FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) –  An empty lot in Goshen doesn’t look like much, but in nine months it will transform dozens of lives.  It’s the future home of California’s first permanent supportive housing community for people experiencing homelessness.  

A project developed in part by the non-profit “Salt and Light,” which is the brainchild of Adrianne Hillman.

“I was at church listening to our pastor talk about something else and I kind of got this, ‘you’re going to serve people…who are homeless,'” says Hillman.

“Salt & Light” launched in 2019 and created a new narrative for how homelessness is addressed.  Adrianne calls the people they serve “neighbors.”

“We do refer to our neighbors experiencing homelessness as ‘neighbors.’ Just because they don’t have homes or roofs over their heads doesn’t not make them our neighbors,” she says.

Five days a week the “Salt & Light” food truck provides more than 1,200 hot and cold meals, socks, and other essentials in Tulare and Visalia.  The donated food was prepared and distributed by volunteers.

Hillman’s passion is infectious. Jamison Kaufman noticed it at the Visalia Rotary Club of which she and Adrianne are members.

“I walked in and look at this operation and it all came out of this girl’s brain and I was, ‘Oh my god, remarkable isn’t even the best word.  She’s astounding.” says Kaufman.

Back to that empty lot in Goshen. In December, it will be the new home for Salt & Light.  Modeled after a similar project in Austin, Texas, 53 Mobile homes will provide permanent housing and amenities for neighbors in need of a neighborhood. A miniature city.

And it all started with one woman who was called to serve.