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INDIANAPOLIS — The number of people that are homeless in Indianapolis seems to be on the rise, but two Indianapolis organizations dedicated to solving the homeless problem are partnering on an idea to try and fix it.

“Before COVID, we had 14,900-plus individuals who were in homelessness in Central Indiana,” said Elder Tyree Coleman, president of Seven Pillars Refuge Place to WISH-TV.

Coleman’s organization is working with Alliance Homeless Transformation on a project to build tiny homes and set up tents in a vacant field on the southeast side of the city near South Emerson Avenue and East Raymond Street.

Both groups have submitted a plan to city leaders to set up 500 tents and build 150 tiny homes along with 75 cottages in the field. The plan needs the approval of the city before it can move ahead.

“We’ve been looking at models from San Francisco, California, and other states where tiny homes and tent camps have been a success,” said Sean Jointer, a member of Alliance Homeless Transformation.

The tiny homes would be from between 96 and 400-square-feet. The goal is to get homeless people back on their feet and eventually be able to go out and live on their own. Coleman said the project will cost roughly $13 million to get started and then another million every year to keep up.

“We’re also gonna be partnering with Ivy Tech on some training and some college education for those who are coming out of homelessness,” Coleman added. “Where we’re going to be doing small business incubators in some of those properties and those communities if the city will join with us in creating these long term solutions.”

If all goes according to plan and they get the nod from city leaders, Coleman expects they can have the whole project built by the spring of next year.