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insurance, and operations costs,” says Kelley. All project funds are being raised through partnerships with private foundations, businesses, groups and individuals. CSAH has received an outpouring of support since initiating the project, which has allowed them to raise $1.6M in both in-kind and financial donations to date. Groundbreaking for infrastructure development began in July of last year and was completed in September. Project Manager Tom Taylor, who came


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on board over a year ago, says, “One day my wife attended a function where Cindy Kelley, the executive director for CSAH, was the guest speaker. She brought home a brochure about the project, and I was looking for something to do. Since I was a builder in Michigan for 40 years, I knew it would be the perfect project. About four years ago, the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless came up with the Tiny Houses concept. Because of zoning they decided on 75 Dundee Street off of Wheaton St. What started with a budget of $200,000 has now mushroomed into 2.4 million dollars, all from private donations.” “Not a dime comes from government funding,” says Tom. “I then started getting the permits and ultimately got the ball rolling.” CSAH purchased a $208,000 piece of land near active homeless camps in the hopes of completing the construction of 72 houses. “We’re actually completing 3 stages, with stage one completed. There are 24 houses already built, one of which is a medical clinic,” explains Tom. The medical clinic is sponsored by JC Lewis Primary Health and Village 2 is sponsored by Nine Line Foundation.” All together the project will finish constructing a total of 71 tiny houses. Veterans selected for the project undergo an assessment and those most in need are prioritized for the housing. This was the third piece of land the CSAH considered but marked the first purchase that did not face objections from the surrounding neighbors. “We hope to have our first occupants in by June,” he adds. Ultimately, The Tiny House project hopes to provide 60 permanent homes and 11 transitional homes for eligible homeless veterans. Most of the 71 homes will measure 128 ft2, with 3 homes being built at 144 ft2 to accommodate veterans with wheelchairs or other mobility support needs. Homes will be separated into six villages across a community, which will also contain walking paths, three clubhouses, and the medical clinic. Each of the six villages will be self-managed with the support of an appointed resident manager. To instill feelings of pride and promote self-

Profile for With You In Mind Publications

Chatham County Living Magazine - Summer 2019  

Chatham County Living Magazine - Summer 2019