Instagram | @farmerman777

Man Invites Homeless People To Camp On His Lawn And Challenges Mayor To Do More

Homelessness isn't just a problem — it's an epidemic. Housing access has historically been difficult for people to achieve if they are living in poverty.

A man living in Utah decided to do something about the struggles that homeless people were experiencing in his neighborhood, and it's time for everyone to follow his example while also advocating for more equitable housing everywhere.

He invited those in need to sleep in his yard.

Darin Mann, a homeowner in Salty Lake City, Utah, invited those without homes to camp out in his yard.

As CNN reported, Mann owns a third of an acre and calls it "Village Camp." He believes that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and being homeless shouldn't change that.

Load Comments

The impromptu camp for the homeless all began back in mid-January.

Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

Mann said many of the 15 residents who currently occupy the space in front of his home have come from other homeless areas that were shut down in the city. Rather than shoo them away, he's welcomed these individuals with open arms.

"We wanted to show that to solve this problem we have to address it as a community and not be afraid of it," he told CNN.

Load Comments

Mann shares even more resources.

In addition to sharing his yard with those 15 others, Mann also shares his home bathroom and has even invited volunteers to tend to his community garden so everyone can have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to the garden, those people who sleep in Mann's yard help prep the soil and nourish the crops. It's a community effort to take care of one another and foster community.

Load Comments

The neighborhood hasn't been entirely supportive of Mann's camp.

While he's been working to build a better world, some of his neighbors haven't exactly been as enthusiastic about his plans.

They've made several complaints to city officials and even reported code violations to prevent people from camping in the yard. In Mann's area, camping for more than two days on residential property is illegal, and he's now been given a notice informing him he has two weeks to shut down his "camp."

Load Comments

However, Mann is determined to keep his little village going, and has even received some help from his community.

Unsplash | Jonathan Rados

Despite some unhappy neighbors, there are others who have been very supportive and have donated food and clothing.

Mann assures that the camp has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any illegal activity. It's all about safety and support.

Load Comments

The residents of Mann's front-yard oasis have certainly appreciated all that he has done for them.

Unsplash | Ev

"I don't have to deal with stress knowing I don't have to suddenly move," one homeless "camper" told CNN. "Being away from a lot of the bad influences has helped me quit some of the addictions I struggle with."

Someone else added that they are supremely grateful for the generosity and kindness Mann has shown them: "To him I was a stranger he saw a few times, but he took a chance and stepped up to the plate to help us."

Load Comments

All of Mann's hard work indicates a need for systemic change.

He believes that the Salt Lake City government needs to do more for those who are struggling.

He and other activists have been attending meetings with city officials and trying to push for more resources and urban farming programs. It continues to be a battle, but Mann and his community are an inspiration for everyone to never give up.

Let us know what you think in the comments and if you're impressed with Mann's mission to make the world a better place.

h/t: CNN

Load Comments
Next Article