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New Seattle tiny-home organizers promise ‘no drugs, no alcohol’ after neighbors express concern

SEATTLE --  Some community members are concerned what a new tiny home village off of Yesler Way and 18th Avenue will mean for their neighborhoods.

Tuesday, community leaders held a meeting to discuss plans for a tiny home village.

The village will hold 38 8x12 heated homes. Right now, the village is surrounded by a chain link fence. Residents say the fence is both figuratively and literally keeping them out of the project.

"To have this put up right in our backyard, without our say, without our input from us is really kind of just a slap in the face,” said Rebecca Somekhian, who has lived in the neighborhood for three years.

She says she and her husband thought this would be a great place to start and raise their family.

Now Somekhian is concerned what may be coming to her neighborhood.

“It’s not something positive for me,” she said.

However, organizers say they will do everything to make sure this tiny home village is a good neighbor.

“I live here, I have a stake in it, too,” said the Rev. Robert Jeffrey.

Jeffrey is the pastor of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, a few blocks from the site of the tiny village. He and the Rev. Lawrence Willis are working to educate the neighborhood about the new site to help homeless people.

Jeffrey says in the beginning they ran into issues getting the word out to the public.

“We said we were sorry, we didn’t get the word out like we should,” he said.

Now they’re working to make sure the entire process is transparent. Jeffrey and Willis held a community meeting on May 22, and another one on Tuesday.

They say they want to hear from the community.

They also want the neighborhood to know residents in the tiny home village will have to live under strict rules

“No drugs, no alcohol,” said Willis.

Willis says the tiny homes are only meant to be temporary housing, and residents will work to get jobs and return to society.

Willis and Jeffrey say anyone who does not follow the rules will be removed from the tiny home village.

There is no set date yet for when the village will open.