Homeless advocate, volunteers build huts for homeless

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A former homeless man — now homeless advocate — has turned his life around is continuing to bless others with hope. 

Caleb Houston, founder of Huts 4 Our Friends and There is Hope rehabilitation center, alongside volunteers in the community came together this week to build five hut shelters for the homeless. 

“I’ve learned recently that homelessness has tripled since the 90s,” Houston said. ”That lets me know there is really a need for more of these rehabilitation centers and shelters.” 

Houston’s mission to help end homelessness in Escambia County started this year. Since February, Houston has started This is Hope, which currently can shelter 210 people, and has developed plans to build at least 50 huts to be stored on a separate property to house the homeless. 

“The journey has been amazing to say the least,” he said. 

The huts will be equipped with a bed, lights, air conditioning and electricity. 

“We’ll have these here and hopefully in the next two weeks, we’ll be able to house people in them,” he said. “We’re actually in the process of looking at properties in the next couple of weeks and hopefully we can put about 50 on there.”

Houston told WKRG News 5 he still remembers what his life used to be like — hooked on drugs and homeless. He says since then, he’s dedicated his life to helping others. 

“I prayed and I sought God and I just saw a turnaround and before long, I was no longer using. It went from there man and we’ve been working ever since,” he said. “Our desire is that if people have a willingness to change their life, we’re here for them.”

The City of Pensacola has allocated $100,000 to Houston’s mission. 

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