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L.A. Churches Present Mini-Homes to Skid Row Homeless
By E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Staff Writer
Published August 25, 2021

From left are Jordan Szigeti-Larenne, inventor, a recipient of a mini Homes 2 Go, and Pastor Sherman D. Manning. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

On Thursday, August 12, Yes We Can! Worship Center, led by Pastor Sherman D. Manning, and McCoy Memorial Baptist Church, headed by Dr. R.A. Williams, teamed up to sponsor Homes 2 Go.

The event, which featured the presentation of five miniature homes to a group of unhoused people, was held at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles.

The mini Homes 2 Go was invented by 17-year-old, Jordan Szigeti-Larenne of Orange County, who designed and built the mobile home prototype to provide shelter and privacy for people living on the street. With the help of members of McCoy Baptist, 10 Homes 2 Go were made in the church’s parking lot and final adjustments were recently to put to units to good use.

Members of Yes We Can! Worship Center and McCoy Memorial Baptist Church joined Jordan and his supporters to make 10 miniature homes for unhoused people on L.A.’s skid row. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

“It was a blessing to be able to partner with Dr. R.A Williams and McCoy as we sponsored Jordan’s Homes 2 Go project. Jordan and his father came to me many months ago and requested my help. I immediately contacted Dr. Williams and ask him to partner with me,” said Manning, whose ministry mainly assists the homeless community.

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The Mini Homes 2 Go are mobile carts designed to provide unhoused individuals with privacy, shelter, storage, and portability. In case of emergencies, the cart can be configured into the toilet with privacy.

The module includes a foldable bed with a covering, which offers privacy as well as protection from inclement weather. Also, each unit can be transformed into a cushioned sofa, a dining table, a storage area, and much more.

David, a skid row resident received one of the Mini Homes 2 Go. (photo by E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

Jordan and the church members who helped construct the mobile homes on wheels were excited to aid those less fortunate. “It’s a blessing to be able to partner with Jordan and see some of our veterans get off the ground and have a little privacy and dignity,” said Williams.

Church members from McCoy Baptist Church work with volunteers to make the mini Homes 2 Go in the church parking lot. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

“I’m just happy to be able to help people,” said Jordan, who came up with the idea to create a mobile home after seeing so many homeless people in his community. Jordan says the beds cost about $250.00 to make in parts and added, “But this will keep people off the ground and sheltered from most outside elements, semi-permanently.”

McCoy Baptist First Lady Debbie Williams said it’s heaven-sent having a partnership with Manning and Jordan’s Homes 2 Go project. “To be a part of the construction of five mobile homes; it was great to see our youth department actually manufacture the homes and give back to the community like this, and to see the smiles on the veterans’ and young ladies’ faces,” she said.

Yes We Can! Worship Center and McCoy Memorial Baptist Church member with the inventor, Jordan (middle – blue shirt), his family, and supporters, pose with mini Homes 2 Go recipients. (photo by E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

David, a homeless man who said he was an ex-marine, lives outside of the Union Rescue Mission. He met Manning a few months ago and had been waiting patiently for his new home. “I’m very happy and grateful to receive this and want to thank Pastor Manning, Jordan, and the church. Now, I’m good for winter when it comes.” David said.

Another homeless man who received one of the beds was overwhelmed by Jordan’s act of kindness and ingenuity. “I’m just amazed that a 17-year-old did this,” D said. Looking at Jordan, he proclaimed, “You are going places because you have a great heart and a great brain. First, you need the heart, so that you are guided on a righteous and obedient path and you have to have the brains in order to create the impossible. But you have both, Jordan. And that will take you far.”

Pastor Sherman Manning, Catalina Manzano, and attorney, John Isen, at the Homes 2 Go giveaway site, outside of the Union Rescue Mission, Downtown L.A., in Skid Row. (photo by E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)

According to an observer, “The event was touching and magnificent. It was about race relations. It was about breaking the spirit of ‘me-ism’ and ‘us-ism.’ We had Catholics working with atheists, Jewish lawyers working with Baptist preachers and White people, Black people and Hispanic people all working together.”

Another onlooker shared, “These temporary homes have elevated people six inches off the concrete until they find permanent housing.  Derrick Williams, an 18-year-old from Mccoy Baptist Church, initially had mixed feelings about the project. “When I first heard about the project I believed it was a waste of time, but when I created my first home and gave it to someone in need I seen the importance and the creativity in it. Overall, it was a great experience that I will expose more of my friends too,” he said.

“Jordan is off to college now and we wish him God’s anointing. We plan to make 20 more Homes to Go when he returns home for Thanksgiving!” said an excited Pastor Manning.

To learn more, visit yeswecanworshipcenter.org or call (213) 858-2608.

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This article has been updated

 

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