JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Tri-Cities group is leading a charge to end homelessness by bringing “tiny homes” to the area.

Kaarina Hill, CEO of “African American Community Action Organization Inc” said homelessness is something she’s experienced herself, and it continues to impact the Tri-Cities every day.

“Everyone needs to have the place where they can call their own,” Hill said. “It shouldn’t just be about status. Everyone should have a place.”

Hill is working alongside others, including Sarah Wells with “Friends in Need” health center to make the tiny home project a reality.

“I was homeless nine times in ten years, so I can tell you you do what you have to do to survive,” Wells said. “I had my children with me, and we stayed in a campground that we didn’t pay, and they turned their backs as I slipped through at night. So having these small houses, it is an answer. It is a very good answer, but it takes a lot of work.”

Wells group plans to provide healthcare services for residents when it gets off the ground.

She said it’s more important than ever to get the homeless off the street since a law went into effect July 1 in Tennessee that makes public camping a felony.

“It’s just a big project that we’re looking at the community, just everyone, could get together,” Hill said. “We could do this.”

Details are still in the works as they await grant funding, but they’ve found already-built tiny homes from out of state they can transport. Now, they’re looking for the right piece of land to get started.

Hill’s goal is to open the tiny homes before Christmas.

For more information on how to get involved or donate, visit https://aacaoi.com.