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First of its kind family emergency shelter set to break ground in Bastrop

A first of its kind family emergency shelter is set to break ground in Bastrop next week. (CBS Austin)

A first of its kind family emergency shelter is set to break ground in Bastrop next week.

It is being launched by the In the Streets-Hands Up High Ministry in Bastrop.

The faith-based non-profit organization hands out dozens of meals each day and provides shelters to individuals, like Michael Barnett, who have struggled to keep up financially.

"I love it here," said Barnett. "It's a very good place."

For months, Barnett drifted from place to place, struggling to find a warm place to sleep.

Now, for the first time, the ministry is expanding its services to families in need with sheds transformed into "tiny" homes. The community, which sits on the In the Streets-Hands Up High property off of Hwy 95 in Bastrop will be the first year-round emergency shelter for families experiencing financial crisis.

The community will be called S.A.F.E, which stands for Secure Acre Family Environment. Three "tiny" homes have already been set up with a price tag of $6,000 each, funded with the help of sponsors. They come with bunk beds, a dining room table, a mini-fridge, and microwave. Residents will also have access to free health screenings and meals each day.

"$6,000 is not much money, because each [family] is welcome to be here for three months, so that's four families in just one year in one place," said Roland Nava, Pastor of In the Streets-Hands Up High Ministry.

Jason Eason, a representative with the Salvation Army of Bastrop says the need for family housing in Bastrop has grown exponentially as the population and housing prices rise.

"Up until now, we've been putting people in hotels, but really, we can only really put them in a hotel for one to three days. That's all any ministry or any organization can afford," Eason said.

The organization has raised thousands of dollars in donations, but they hope to attract more sponsors so they can add seven additional "tiny" homes for families in need shelter.

To donate to the cause, visit here.

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