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Council OKs 'tiny homes' for homeless


 
By Curtis Winston
Contributing Writer
Posted on 11/25/2020, 11:55 AM

MARION -- Marion's homeless problems were discussed on Monday night by the City Council, which approved a three-month special-use permit for Cornerstone Church to build three "tiny homes" at the corner of 2705 Walton Way.

Cornerstone seeks to install the portable-building homes on its property, and help those in need. The initial program will have three tiny homes, plus a shower trailer and portable toilets. In addition to shelter, Cornerstone plans to "navigate" the needful folks to employment, medical care and, eventually, their own home.

The special-use permit from the Zoning Board had been denied. A neighboring property owner opposing the permit complained about homeless people sleeping in his barn or in the treelines of his property.

But Mayor Mike Absher supported the tiny homes, and said that Marion's homeless problem can't be solved unless there is a start to the solution. He further suggested that the problems with the homeless were imaginary, like "the monster under the bed".

"Our only other option is picking people up out of the ditch and getting them to go to another town," he said.

"We're going to try it for three months," Absher suggested. "First meeting in March, and let's evaluate."

The council, with Absher and commissioners Doug Patton, John M. Barwick Jr., Jim Webb and John Stoecklin, meeting in person unmasked but socially distanced, approved the measure unanimously.