Mikayla Jernigan is still working to insulate her tent.
Jernigan lives outside on a hillside near La Posta Road, and she’s had trouble adjusting to the December cold. People have lived at the Purple Cliffs for about three months – Jernigan has been there about a week.
But a bright-blue dome at the Purple Cliffs sanctioned sleeping site offers her and others living on the hillside some reprieve from winter temperatures.
The insulated ice-fishing tent “is very warm. It’s like a pit stop where I can have coffee and socialize with people,” she said.
A resident who wants to remain anonymous donated the hut to keep people warm, said Tim Sargent, who lives on the hillside. Others have knitted hats for people living on the hillside and some bring food, water or propane, he said.
But “(the tent) makes a big difference in peoples’ lives,” Sargent said.
The dome can fit up to four people comfortably and was donated with a propane tank topped with two heating elements. It took five or six people working for hours to level the site for the hut, Sargent said.
The people living on the hillside gather in the warming hut to cook meals, discuss community projects and bring up community complaints, Sargent said. There are two huts at the Purple Cliffs site.
“It’s a place to have community,” he said. “We have started acting more like a community instead of individual campers.”
Anyone interested in donating to the community may call Sargent at 317-8943.