On Wednesday, The Kitchen celebrated the opening of Beacon Village-- a 44-unit housing development that offers affordable permanent housing to individuals. It's part of an affordable housing initiative to help those of our community who need support the most.
For Janice Kay Watts, having a home means more than a roof over her head.
"I just like living here and I think it's beautiful," said Watts. "I'm very thankful."
Watts is one of many who now call Beacon Village in Springfield "home."
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said the struggle to find affordable permanent housing continues and remains a challenge in every corner of the state.
"Having permanent housing allows a person to become a member of a community," said Koster. "It enables families to put down roots and provide stability for their futures."
Watts moved into her new house in April. She's retired and living on Social Security and said paying her rent of $425 relieves financial stress.
"Yes it does, and worry, and that is just a little bit below my income, that way I can survive each month," said Watts.
Located within the developing is a community center, which will offer support, like case management and health services.
Those who qualify for the development must meet income requirements set by housing and urban development.
"There's a lot of need for low-income housing in the Springfield area and we want to provide that housing," said Rorie Orgeron, C.E.O. of The Kitchen, which offers support services to the community.
Orgeron said the goal is to support those in need-- disabled, low-income, and homeless-- in their pursuit of a permanent home.
"Hopefully what will happen is people will be able to get a job, change some things, and be able to save some money and eventually be able to afford their own place," he said.
The development is a collaboration between several organizations, including The Kitchen and Housing Plus, and supporting tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission.
According to Orgeron, almost all of the units are occupied.
A playground will also be built for children living in Beacon Village.
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