SAN DIEGO — Attorney Petrina Branch spends much of her time serving her community, working to make sure everyone has a place to call home.

“When I was a teenager, I heard a sermon, and the sermon was about a Bible verse from Luke that says, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.'”

And that she did. Walk down the street in El Cajon, tucked behind a church, you will see what Branch has built.

“We’re sitting here in Meridian Amikas Village, which is a community of six sleeping cabins and one office in which we provide temporary shelter for women and children facing homelessness.”

Branch says homelessness is a big issue, especially here in San Diego, and having a safe place to sleep is something many take for granted.

“Think about what it would be like to have to sleep in your car. I think that a lot of people do take for granted having a roof over your head where you can have bathroom facilities, cooking facilities, heat, air conditioning — all those things that make life more comfortable — they take for granted the fact that everyone doesn’t have that.”

She is hoping others will be inspired from this project and begin to help to build houses for those struggling with the trauma of homelessness.

“This piece of ground was just gathering tumbleweeds for years and now it just went from an empty lot serving nobody to serving all these people who live here.”