Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tiny homes community to help unsheltered population officially opens

Eden Village is a community with one-bedroom tiny homes available for the chronically homeless, specifically for those with disabilities. (Port City Daily/Amy Passaretti Willis)

WILMINGTON — After three years of securing land, donations, contractors and undergoing development, a 31-home neighborhood providing residences for chronically homeless individuals, many facing disabilities, is open.

READ MORE: Eden Village plans more tiny homes to combat homelessness, first community opens early 2023

Eden Village of Wilmington is offering permanent housing for disabled and chronically homeless individuals. The pedestrian-only gate community is located near the Wilmington International Airport and the future home of Salvation Army’s new campus.

Founded by Dr. Tom Dalton and his wife, Kim, both medical professionals, the community is more than a housing initiative, it offers support services and job training, a 4,000-square-foot community center, garden area, and so far five tiny homes. 

The homes are 400 square feet, a single-adult residence. They’re turn-key ready and consist of one bedroom and one bath, complete with full kitchen appliances.

The Daltons were inspired by the project after learning about Eden Village of Springfield, founded by David and Linda Brown. 

To bring the vision to life, the Daltons worked with Thomas Construction Group, LLC and architects LS3P.

“After spending time and hearing his motivation and the case for the people we should service, seeing the pure divine inspiration, I was sold,” Chris Reid, president of Thomas and a board member at Eden Village, said in a press release. “Thomas has always been about the community — one of our mantras has been to invest in the community through ‘people we know’; the Daltons fit that bill.”

LS3P joined the initiative, Design In-Kind — donating time, equaling 20 hours a year per employee, and resources.

Almost 40 more community partners donated or discounted services as well.

The residences are open to individuals who have been homeless for more than a year and have a mental or physical disability. Renters are locked in at a $300 per month rate for the entirety of their stay, which has no end date. The cost covers utilities as well.

Phase one is located at 1302 Kornegay Avenue, purchased in May 2020. The city appropriated $250,000 to help fund the first village’s infrastructure. The money came from the sale of Optimist Park to the North Carolina State Ports Authority and Cape Fear Public Utility Authority in April 2021.

Council allocated an additional $40,000 toward Eden Village’s efforts in June.

The county paid out $250,000 from American Rescue Plan Act funds to extend water and sewer to the village.

ALSO: The cost of homelessness: City, county dole out at least $9M over 10 years

It also received a $250,000 grant from the New Hanover County Community Endowment to help with operational needs, including bills and construction costs.

Each home in the village costs around $60,000 each to construct; the first phase came in roughly at $5 million.

Eden Village is already looking at expansion of its permanent supportive housing concept, with phases two and three on the table. It could relieve nearly 100 more unsheltered people from living on the streets.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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