NJ Homeless Man Receives a Tiny House

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Non-profit group "Make It Rain, Inc" builds New Jersey homeless man a tiny home after his tent was destroyed.

It all started with a documentary called Destiny’s Bridge about a homeless encampment and a group of volunteers from an organization known as Make It Rain (“MIR”). Austin Landes, president of MIR, contacted Destiny’s Bridge filmmaker, Jack Ballo, when he heard that residents from Tent City in Lakewood, NJ were being evicted. He wanted to see if there was something they could do to help.

Ballo took Landes to Tent City along with three other members of MIR. There were only three residents left of the 80 who once lived there and one of them was, Sam Dill, a 72 year old homeless man. The four members of MIR spent a good part of the day with Dill and were moved by his life and his story.

It was about a month later that Ballo posted a 58 second clip of Dill watching his home being demolished by a bulldozer and it quickly went viral. With over one million views it eventually made it’s way to the folks at MIR.

Not long after that, Landes called Ballo and told him that the MIR organization wanted to build a tiny house for Sam if Ballo could assist in getting everyone on board to make it happen. Ballo then went on to call Minister Steve Brigham, the Tent City founder, who is also the main character from the Destiny’s Bridge documentary. Brigham was excited about the proposal and became instrumental in bringing it all together.

The house was presented to Sam at Monmouth University on November 10, 2015. Dill received the keys to his new house during a social work forum about homeless issues. Ballo, Brigham and Scott Roth from MIR spoke to the students at the event about the need for tiny homes for the poor and homeless. Following the presentation the students had a chance to tour the house and ask questions.

The house is now at a state park campground. Brigham and other homeless advocates are searching for a more permanent location.

Please go to: http://www.HelpMakeItRain.org for more information about this story and to get involved with helping the homeless.

Please go to: http://www.DestinysBridge.com To find out more about the documentary.

Jack Ballo (Destiny’s Bridge Documentary) 732-387-8230 or jack(at)ultravis(dot)com
Austin Landes (Make It Rain) 267-614-2766 or alandes(at)helpmakeitrain(dot)org
Steve Brigham (Tent City) 732-364-0340 or lakewoodoutreach(at)gmail(dot)com

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Austin Landes

Forrest Musselman
since: 07/2013
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