Epitec celebrates anniversary by aiding Tiny Home program

For 40 years, Epitec has been helping businesses with IT, engineering, and professional staffing solutions. This year, as the company celebrate its 40th anniversary, Epitec will help those who need it most, using the occasion to give back to the Detroit community by organizing a fund-raising drive to finance the construction of six Tiny Homes for six homeless Detroiters.

“Metro-Detroit is my home and this area has always been good to me, my family and my business,” explained Jerry Sheppard, chief executive officer and founder of Epitec. “What better way to celebrate Epitec’s 40th anniversary than to give back to the community that I appreciate and love.”

The Tiny Homes Detroit project is led by Cass Community Social Services. The agency purchased 25 vacant lots from the City of Detroit with the intention of building small homes on them. Each home costs about $50,000. Epitec has set a $300,000 fund-raising goal to finance six Tiny Homes.

“When I heard about the Tiny Homes project,” said Sheppard, “I had to find out more. And then after I met with the Rev. Faith Fowler and read her book, ‘Tiny Homes in a Big City,’ I knew this project was something I wanted to be a part of.”

The homes go to low-income Detroiters with a rent-then-own model. Residents pay $1 per square foot, participate in home ownership and financial planning classes as well as volunteer in the community. The idea is to give people help, but make sure they also help themselves. After renting for seven years, residents will own the property free and clear.

The Epitec fund-raising effort will be “a straight donation drive,” according to Sheppard, with Epitec matching dollar-for-dollar the amount raised. The project also will include events such as a silent auction, a T-shirt sale, a family bowling night, 50/50 raffles, a wine tasting, a night out at Our Detroit Vodka, an art auction, and much more.

“No one wants to live in poverty, it’s human nature to dream,” said Sheppard. “This project gives people living in poverty the opportunity for something better, something to strive for, the opportunity for home ownership.”

As Rev. Fowler, executive director at Cass Community Social Services said: “There are so many great things about the Tiny Homes – home ownership for poor people, properties returning to the tax rolls, energy efficiency which is good for the planet, re-populating a neighborhood, and, of course, the fact that it requires the involvement of so many people. It's like an urban barn raising. Epitec is helping us raise the walls for six houses. They have helped turn the vision into a viable solution."

Donations to the Epitec Tiny Homes Project, can be made at: https://epitec.com/blog/tinyhomes/. All donations are matched by Epitec and are tax deductible. To learn more about the Tiny Homes charity, visit casscommunity.org.

The Epitec Tiny Homes are scheduled to be built in the Spring of 2019.
“While the project is called ‘Tiny Homes,’ it’s sure to have a big impact for the families who get them, as well as the City of Detroit,” said Sheppard.