Creating a Stable Start

and a place to stay – today, tonight and tomorrow

Across the country a growing number of cities have created villages of small prefab houses to rapidly house individuals and families without housing.

Our Mission

To provide immediate residence and onsite or referral services to those who are unhoused in order to bridge the current economic and social gaps separating them from safe and dignified living.

“The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head.”

OluTimehin Adegbeye

Resident

A Solvable Injustice:

Since 2017 homelessness has been rising in the US and recently it was further worsened by the upheaval resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multiple government programs have been created and ramped up to deal with the problem but have not been able to address the core issue: not enough immediately available housing.

Emergency shelters have better air conditioning than the sidewalk but lack dignity and clients experience theft and assault and risk infection in communal shelters.

Section 8 waiting lists introduce priority and governmental advocacy for disadvantaged renters but they do not increase the number of homes.

The pandemic-related disruption in normal production of construction supplies is an additional obstacle to increasing new housing construction.

The Homing Project

Across the country a growing number of cities have been creating villages of VERY tiny prefab houses (64 or 100 sq ft) to rapidly house homeless individuals and families.

In addition to rapid housing, by clustering homeless people with conditions such as mental illness and addiction, appropriate services can be efficiently provided for these conditions as well as job training and placement.

These very tiny houses (64 or 100 square feet) are each easily assembled in less than an hour.

They have heating, cooling, excellent insulation, 1-2 beds in single units, windows, a self-contained solar energy system, and a secure lock.

Dining, laundry, and bathrooms are shared facilities in order to simplify utility installation and to provide opportunities for social interaction. The community is enclosed.

If not needed, the houses can be disassembled and flat-packed for moving or storage.

Meet the Team

J Kristin Olson-Garewal MD

CO-FOUNDER

Co-Founder, Board Member, and CEO. Dr. Olson-Garewal retired from Medicine after a 46-year career primarily as a Medical Director of health plans and programs including State Medical Director for AHCCCS (Arizona’s experimental Medicaid Program) and University Medical Center’s Managed Care Program. While on the faculty of the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, she was consultant to the Yaqui Nation, starting an innovative life-style diabetes program which to this day continues to result in ongoing regular physical activity starting in childhood and decreased community diabetes incidence.

Thanks to a grant from The Greenwall Foundation, from 2000-2002 Dr. Olson-Garewal studied medical bioethics with Allen Buchanan, a philosophical ethicist now at Duke University. During that time she chaired a panel discussion at a World Health Organization ethics conference in England and later convened a two-day conference of First Nation healers and leaders along with Federal government health program heads in the United States. Both events addressed the question: “Should Government Pay for Traditional Indigenous medicine?”

The final years of her medical practice were five years at an Arizona State men’s prison. She had become interested in prison healthcare after being part of a team doing a court-ordered medical audit at Arizona’s main State prison.

She has volunteered at free clinics in Tucson, Guatemala, Mexico, Kentucky and Tennessee (the US locations were with Remote Area Medicine, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee). She received her BA and MD degrees through Boston University’s Honors Six Year Med Program.

Raj Garewal

CO-FOUNDER and PROJECT MANAGER

Co-Founder and Board Chairperson. In response to concern about the growing number of unsheltered Tucsonans, Mr. Garewal researched solutions on the internet. The villages of prefabricated individual shelters being used in Southern California stood out as the most rapid solution. After meeting with a number of non-profits and government agencies, he found that no entity was doing anything along those lines, and none were interested in starting. So he founded The Homing Project after persuading his physician-mother to do the grant applications. Mr. Garewal has worked with multiple programs for the unhoused and recovery communities. He had been most involved as a full-time volunteer at the Saint Joseph Homeless Center in Santa Monica, CA. He eventually turned down The Center’s job offer as a case manager in order to finish his undergraduate degree. Mr. Garewal received his BA in English from Loyola Marymount University and completed additional studies in Creative Writing at Warwick University, England. He is currently a Geico insurance agent while applying to Law School which he plans to start in 2024.

Susan Cordts

FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER and BOARD SECRETARY

Founding Board Member and Board Secretary. Ms. Cordts is president and CEO of Catalytic Health Partners, which she founded in 2014 as one means to serve homeless individuals for whom she has a long record of effective advocacy. Prior to starting Catalytic Health Partners, Ms. Cordts participated in healthcare industry investments and as an advisor to multiple growth companies. She was the CEO of ATi, a pioneering company at the forefront of analytics and artificial intelligence across a diverse client portfolio in multiple industries. She was also CEO and Managing Director of Universal Robot Systems and Vice President of United Regional Health Care’s Cardiology Program. Ms. Cordts has extensive international business experience and more than 40 years healthcare senior management experience.

She frequently speaks at local and national events. Her deep commitment to community involves volunteering, organizing and sponsoring community impact programs. Ms. Cordts has been recognized for some of her work through numerous awards, including: 2010 Greater Phoenix Athena Private Sector Recipient, 2018 Athena Valley of the Sun Hail Award for Fostering Collaboration, 2019 Arizona Health Leaders of the Year, 2019 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business, 2019 Woman of Inspiration nationally by Women Business Leaders of the US Healthcare Industry Foundation, 2022 Titan 100. She received her AD in Nursing, a BA in Marketing from Midwestern State University, and a master’s in international management (MIM) from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management.

Richard Spaulding

BOARD MEMBER and PROCUREMENT MANAGER

Mr. Spaulding recently retired from El Rio Health Centers after 44 years overseeing procurement and project management as El Rio ballooned from the single original site to an additional 16 new medical centers throughout Tucson. He was particularly interested in the center that was developed for unhoused patients’ unique needs such as a kennel for pets that could not be left in extreme hot weather during appointments. He graduated with Baccalaureate degrees in Anthropology and Art History from the University of Arizona.

Brian Flagg

BOARD MEMBER

Mr. Flagg has lead Tucson’s Casa Maria’s soup kitchen, a Catholic Worker House, since 1983. A Tucson fixture, Casa Maria serves over 250 people daily closing only on Thanksgiving. A well-known community activist, Mr. Flagg has successfully championed multiple local causes, including blocking a City transit-system fare hike. This year, responding to the unrelenting increase in homelessness, Mr. Flagg coordinated a fundraising campaign to purchase a motel that Casa Maria is renovating and converting into apartment units. In addition, he was recently elected to the South Tucson City Council as part of a three-candidate slate with the agenda of decreasing crime and gentrification, and increasing affordable housing. Mr. Flagg graduated with a BA in Sociology from an evangelical Christian college, Biola College, La Mirada, CA.

Yolanda Sethi, BA, MSW

BOARD MEMBER and VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

Ms. Sethi for 32 years worked as a Clinical Social Worker and Bilingual Educator. She began her career as a Clinical Social Worker at La Frontera Center in South Tucson. Then she moved to Mission View and Ochoa Elementary Schools in South Tucson. At first working as a Social Worker, she subsequently acquired formal credentials in order to be a bilingual teacher and curriculum specialist at Ochoa Elementary School in South Tucson where she was until her retirement in 2013.

Ms. Sethi has supported many local organizations and has volunteered at Tu Nidito Children’s grief support program, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Catholic Relief Services’ Casa Alitas, and the Ronald McDonald House. Since becoming The Homing Project’s Volunteer Coordinator, Ms. Sethi has increased its volunteer cadre from 35 people interested in volunteering to over a hundred with monthly meetings, interest-oriented subcommittees, and a newsletter.

She has Baccalaureate Degrees in Spanish and Mexican American Studies from Loyola-Marymount University, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UCLA, and a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Bilingual Education from the University of Arizona.

Jennifer Leinhos

BOARD MEMBER and BOOKKEEPER

For 36 years Ms. Leinhos has been a bookkeeper, initially for the Gaslight Theater group of companies, then for the Diocese of Tucson, starting with project work on several parishes and eventually becoming the Senior Staff Accountant for the Diocese. Jennifer then joined a local CPA firm as a bookkeeper for a large list of clients, working her way up to Accounting Services Supervisor. In 2006 she formed her own company, which had six employees serving hundreds of clients by the time she retired in 2019. She is a certified QuickBooks Consultant, a former member and Treasurer of American Society of women Accountants, and a member for fifteen years of American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. She has held many volunteer positions with several community organizations including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for which she was Treasurer; volunteer for Casa de los Ninos ; occasional Foster Mom for Lifeline Oro Valley Animal Rescue; volunteer bookkeeper with Hope Animal Shelter; and volunteer with Tucson Center for Women and Children.

Mark Leinhos

BOARD MEMBER and CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Mr. Leinhos owns and operates Professional Computer Solutions of Arizona, providing outsourced IT services and support for small businesses in and around Tucson. He has over 26 years of highly varied experience working in the information technology sector. He has been Chief Technology Officer for Beyond Bookkeeping for 10 years and for Adelante, a Tucson software developer for 2 years. Mr. Leinhos has been Senior Engineer for a Tucson IT solution Provider and has filled multiple roles from technician to management at a Microsoft support call center for six years. He has experience and expertise in a wide range of technologies: Website and graphic design, data back-up and recovery, cloud services and infrastructure, phone and VoIP systems, etc. Mr. Leinhos completed two years at Pima Community College.