WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Imagine a world with no homelessness. A place where home really is where the heart is.
Here in Wilmington, Eden Village is working to make that dream a reality.
“Every place has a homelessness problem,” said Eden Village President, Tom Dalton. “But if we focus in on the chronically homeless, it becomes a manageable problem.”
Saturday, Eden Village unveiled their first tiny home to public. For $300 a month, a homeless person can join the village and live under their own roof.
According Donna Evans, a social worker meeting with applicants, there’s only three requirements.
“So to live in Eden village, you need to have been homeless for at least a year or more in Wilmington,” said Evans. “And you need to be on disability. And you need to be single.”
In 2019, the US harbored 96,000 chronically homeless men and woman, more than a thousand of those just in North Carolina. And with numbers like that, Evans said many who want to help don’t even know where to start.
“So many people really want to help homeless people, but they don’t know how. And so this is a way to help them… permanently help them change their lives.”
Dalton, a former physician hopes that by building this neighborhood of tiny homes, it will give homeless people a community, a path to integrate back into society, and a form of healthcare.
“We operate on folks and you talk to them and say, hey where are you going to go to heal? And we just send them out,” Dalton explained. “It’s just a really difficult place to heal from when you’re out on the streets. So housing as healthcare.”
Eden Village hopes to move applicants in by November of this year, but can’t do it alone.
According to Dalton, “We need the community to help us build the infrastructure so we can connect to this house, and then put someone in it.”
Not only that, Eden Village also plans on building a 3,000 square foot community facility with 24 hour laundry and offices for social workers and volunteers.