A man who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, says that he wants to do everything to help people experiencing homelessness.
Darin Mann, a 31-year-old, tells CNN that he has a homeless camp right in his front yard, but his neighbors are not happy with the idea.
Mann allows the people to use a bathroom in his house and volunteer at a community garden at a nearby public park he runs. At the garden, he grows hundreds of pounds of food each year, most of which he donates to homeless organizations.
“The goal is to de-stigmatize how people view homelessness,” Mann said. “Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and helped when they need it.”
Since building the camp, Mann calls the tent area “Village Camp,” a place where 15 people live. The residents arrived from other camps in the city after they were shut down.
“We wanted to show that to solve this problem we have to address it as a community and not be afraid of it,” Mann said.
Mann explained how the camp is helping him clean the garden. He said while they keep the camp clean, they provide a positive example of working with unsheltered people.
Despite his efforts to help the camp, some neighbors do not agree with it.
City officials received complaints and gave the activist a code violation while giving him a 14-day notice to close down his camp. However, Mann has been meeting with officials in hopes of keeping the front yard open to those who need it.
“We hope that this new camp can be the genesis of something beautiful,” Mann said.