OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Tiny House Village in Oshkosh, a neighborhood to house the homeless, nears completion less than a year after its groundbreaking.

Although some families are already living in the houses, the 32, 600-square feet homes are expected to be ready for moving in by the end of the summer.

The idea for the project came from the Oshkosh Kids Foundation, who had an overwhelming amount of requests for shelter during the pandemic.

Board chair Will Deppiesse says, “If a family gets to a point where they’re homeless, they’re probably not going to get out of that in a short period of time. That is what led to us to have a lot more conversation about what could a process continuum look like for families to start working their way out of that situation.”

Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld, along with other community leaders, toured some of the houses.

“Being able to have this sense of community coming together to care for the people that live here, and take that burden off of them while they’re trying to get their life in order is just so exciting,” Blumenfeld says.

Secretary Blumenfeld’s visit comes after the state gave $10.3 million to the project as a part of the Neighborhood Investment Grant.

Deppiesse also says he is grateful to see the project close to finished, as it is a cause that is close to his heart.

He says, “My wife teaches at a school that’s a high-poverty school here in the community. Some members of our board, me included, grew up below the poverty line, so it’s just pretty impactful to us to be able to provide this for the community.”

The project is close to hitting its fundraising goal of $5 million, having already raised about $4.7 million.