Bishop blesses first ‘tiny home’ in Eden Village

A photo gallery of this event may be found HERE. (The Mirror)
A photo gallery of this event may be found HERE. (The Mirror)

More than 100 people came to the recent open house at Eden Village, a planned, gated community of 30 “tiny homes” for the disabled and chronically homeless. A project of the Gathering Tree, Eden Village is located at the site of a former mobile home park at 2801 E. Division Street in Springfield.

Bishop Edward Rice was invited to bless and dedicate the first home, which arrived in April.

“We come together today to dedicate this space to the work of charity and to ask God’s blessing on those who will work here or gather here to further the mission of Eden Village,” Bishop Rice said. Bishop Rice called the development a “new Garden of Eden.”

“Lord, bless all the staff and volunteers who labor here; may they always see each person they serve as precious in your eyes,” Bishop Rice said. “Father, we ask your blessing on all those who will live here. May it be a place of comfort, love, and peace.”

Gathering Tree is a nonprofit organization that operates an evening drop-in center for the homeless founded by David and Linda Brown. The Browns expect to have all 30 homes in Eden Village and the community buildings completed within the next year. Then, qualified homeless people can start to move in.

Already zoned for manufactured homes, Gathering Tree purchased the 4.5-acre tract of land late last year. The homes are manufactured in Athens, TX, and are around 400 square feet with one bedroom, one bathroom, and a kitchen. Each home costs roughly $30,000, with the first home purchased thanks to Judy Huntsman and her team at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realtors. It has been appropriately designated “The Huntsman House.”

Eden Village will house individuals who qualify under the standards of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as “chronically disabled homeless.” Residents will pay their own rent of $300 a month. Residents will also have access to case management services.

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