Tiny home dedicated to memory of homeless man who joined Green Country family

TULSA, Okla. — The first house of a village of tiny homes to help homeless people in north Tulsa has been dedicated to the memory of a homeless man that became a part of a Green Country family.

The village of tiny homes is being built by the City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma. They’re planning to build 75 tiny homes on a 23 acre site near E. 46th St. N. and N. Peoria Ave.

“Truly this is going to provide hope and dignity and homes for somebody that would not have that otherwise,” said Sarah Grounds, the executive director of the City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma.

Grounds said the village will be a permanent supportive environment to live in.

“It will be a permanent supportive environment for people to come and live in, this is truly a community where volunteers can come and work and serve and get to meet people but also a place of rest,” Grounds also said.

The Ritchie family donated $55,000 to buy the first tiny home of the village. They dedicated it to the memory of Dave Wilkins, a homeless man that the Ritchie family took in and gave a job to.

Family spokesperson Ryan Ritchie said Dave became a big part of their family.

“Dave was a very special person and him coming into our lives added so much to our family he taught us how to give, he taught us how to love people, he taught us how to not want for ourselves but want for other people. He was a special soul there’s no doubt,” he said.

The people behind the village said they hope the house and the story behind it will inspire the Tulsa community to help people get out of homelessness.

Ryan Ritchie said he wants the house to encourage more people to step up and help.

“Obviously the people who live in this house it will change their lives. My hope is that this village will become a sign a hope to the homeless, that they know people care even beyond the people that get to live here,” he said.

The house is just under 400 square feet. Grounds said even though it’s small, she hopes it can make a big difference.

“There is hope given, hope to the people that have a home to move into and to call forever home, but also hope for the volunteers and the supporters that get to come along side,” she said.

The land to build the village was donated by Catholic Charities and Catholic Diocese of Eastern Oklahoma.

The City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma said they still need more money and more volunteers to help the village happen. They’re hoping to break ground later this year and start building the village