There are homeless people in almost every place in the world, no matter how big or small. There are steps being taken by governments, NGOs, and other groups to fight it, but it is still not fixed. This Canadian millionaire chose to donate his money to help people who are homeless in his own town. That’s what he did.
A Fredericton, New Brunswick, millionaire builds 99 tiny homes to help people who are homeless and create jobs.
A wealthy businessman in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, has done an amazing thing to help people who are homeless in his downtown area. Marcel LeBrun poured $4 million of his own money into building 99 small homes for people in need. He is the founder of a successful company that monitors social media. He not only found a safe and stable way to house people, but he also made jobs possible with his creative method. Join us as we learn more about Marcel LeBrun and his project, 12 Neighbours.
How 12 Neighbours Came to Be
After getting a lot of money from selling his business, LeBrun chose to use his newfound wealth to do good things. He saw that Fredericton had a lot of homeless people, so he thought of a community of tiny homes that would give homeless people a second shot. He called this project 12 Neighbours, and the goal was to build a gated community with 99 homes and a business centre that would provide both housing and jobs.
Taking Care of an Important Matter
In New Brunswick, about 1,600 people were homeless for at least one day last year, showing that it affects a lot of people. We know that there are a lot more homeless people in the United States’ bigger towns, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Marcel LeBrun saw a chance to help and make things better for the people who were going through this tough time.
Making a Neighbourhood
LeBrun has bigger plans for 12 Neighbours than just building tiny homes. He sees himself as a community leader and works to make the area a good place for people to live. Tiny homes are more than just places to sleep; they’re fully furnished living spaces with kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, full bathrooms, and even solar panels on the roofs.
Putting up the houses
LeBrun set up a factory where skilled workers put together the homes to make his dream come true. Every four work days, the factory uses cutting-edge manufacturing methods to make one tiny house. Once the houses are built, they are carefully moved onto concrete blocks, which become the community’s base.
What Owning Something Does
For Marcel LeBrun, owning a home is a very important way to give people who have been homeless a sense of duty and stability. By letting people own their own homes, 12 Neighbours hopes to give its residents more power and build a society where everyone helps each other.
Why jobs are important
Along with building homes, LeBrun’s project aims to give its residents job chances. The residents of 12 Neighbours run the coffee shop and silk printing business in the building’s business centre. This business idea not only makes money, but it also gets people in the neighbourhood and the wider community to connect with each other.
Disagreements and criticism
People have said bad things about 12 Neighbours, as with any big project. Some people say it’s better to immediately put poor people back into society instead of locking them up. But LeBrun is aware of the problems that could arise and has taken steps to protect the community’s safety and well-being.
The number of red tape you have to go through to build four homes is just as hard as building ten or twenty. We wanted to make a dent in the problem we have here in Fredericton.… “We need to build some houses if we want to make a real difference,” LeBrun said about his approach vs. a decentralised approach. “Let’s say I take someone who has been living on the streets and offer them the nicest flat in the city for free for 10 years.” Will they be able to do it? That’s not their neighbourhood. It’s not like that where they’re used to living,”
Keeping the Community Safe
Marcel LeBrun has put in place cutting edge security measures in the 12 Neighbours neighbourhood because he knows how important it is to keep everyone safe. With gated entrances and top-notch security, the community gives its people a safe place to live.
“When the resident moves into a house, other people move in and say, ‘Hey, you owe me this, you owe me that.’ They take over, and the resident has to learn what it means to have a space where they are the manager, control it, and decide who comes and goes.” That’s a challenge.” LeBrun talked to CBC about some of the problems people in the area have.