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Transitional housing village planned to combat homelessness in Salisbury

Volunteers work to build the Anne Street Village, transitional homeless housing on Sept. 19, 2022, in Salisbury. Anne Street Village is a planned cluster of Pallet homes that aim to help the city combat the chronic issue of homelessness. (Lauren Roberts/The Daily Times via AP)

Volunteers work to build the Anne Street Village, transitional homeless housing on Sept. 19, 2022, in Salisbury. Anne Street Village is a planned cluster of Pallet homes that aim to help the city combat the chronic issue of homelessness. (Lauren Roberts/The Daily Times via AP)

SALISBURY — Salisbury held a community build recently for Anne Street Village, its planned cluster of Pallet homes that will help the city combat the chronic issue of homelessness.

Anne Street Village will be located in the East Church Street area, at Anne and Short streets.

“Inside each shelter there’s a bed, and there’s also going to be a mini fridge, a microwave, a chair and a small table, furnished by the generosity of the community. We also have an air-condition unit and a heater in there,” said Brett Sanders, Salisbury Housing First outreach coordinator.

The fiberglass units, manufactured by the Pallet company, also have carbon dioxide detectors and rear exits in case of emergency, Sanders added, and there will be a shower trailer with four individual showers, plus toilet units on the site.

Twenty-four units, each measuring 8-foot-by-8-foot, will be used as living spaces with an additional unit to be used as an office space.

“People have been calling this a tiny home village, but all the while it had been planned as a transitional housing program, and that’s one thing we’re working to clarify for folks,” he said.

As construction moves ahead, the city has also been identifying priority candidates to use the housing once it’s completed.

“We know folks who have been outside for five or 10 years, so those folks will be given priority to enter into the program,” said Sanders.

Along with providing housing, Salisbury’s Housing First project also aims to teach people without a home about goals along the way.

“Transitional housing gives those people reaching those benchmarks and attaining those goals that are required to be successful in the permanent support of housing,” said Sanders. “Getting acclimated from being outside to being back on your own and re-remembering the behaviors that go along with being successful at managing your own dwelling.

Plans call for Anne Street Village to open in the first week of November.

“We really want to start bringing folks in before the winter comes,” Sanders said.

Keith Demko and Lauren Roberts report for The Daily Times.