Tiny Homes may Help Curb Growing Homeless Population

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A collection of micro homes could help house the chronic homeless in Springfield. 

A nonprofit came up with the idea in hopes of building a better community.

Hundreds of people gathered over the weekend as Eden Village dedicated its first tiny house in hopes of filling a huge need for the homeless.

Each roughly 400 square feet, Eden Village homes will serve as a first of it's kind for the city which consists 30 single person homes designed to fit a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen,living room and all the amenities.

"I have not slept in a bed since 2011," says Rhonda Bielby. She is no stranger to the streets. "It's not the way that you want to live."

Eden Village is turning toward one-room properties to provide shelter to those.

"It's hard to stand above water when you're out here and you're constantly having to deal with your issues and their issues." Who would otherwise go without. "It's a struggle, it's a definite struggle."

The village doesn't just offer a place to stay for many like Bielby. It's the first step to a new life.

"It's something that I had that I know the love in that  I haven't had that in awhile.It would be a beautiful place to start."

Linda Brown is the Co-Founder of the Gathering Tree and Eden Village. She tells KOLR10 ,"It's just life to them. It's survival."

"It's completely rough especially for an attractive woman, single woman. It terrifying," explains Bielby.

"That's what they live day to day is survival and they have to hide," adds Brown.

Linda and her husband David spearheaded the master plan and gated community. 

"How can we let our friends or family live like that when we can do something better?"

She says the homes will be a safe community to 30 residents.

"This is going to give them security in knowing if they can get a job, they have an address."

The residents will use part of their disability checks to pay monthly payments on the home they live in.

"We want to do something," explains Bielby. Most importantly, "we don't want jobs, we want careers." People believe in the Brown's model.

"A chance for me to see my kids and for them to see that things can get better no matter how far on the bottom you are."

"It's exciting.This is all put together, it's actually happening," explains Bielby.

And is dedicated to seeing it replicated elsewhere.

"Hopefully pull more people off the streets so at some point we will have no homeless," explains Brown.

A simple vision that leads to a big impact, to have a home, that's priceless," says Bielby. And a step forward to a more stable life.

Linda expects to have all the homes and the community building complete by next year.

She adds they have hired a property manager to see who will qualify before residents start to move in.

The total cost of the project to provide 30 homes as well as a community center will cost more than $2 million.

Click Here If you would like to make a donation to Eden Village.


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