TALLADEGA – The Presbyterian Home for Children (PHFC), Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), Daniel Foundation of Alabama and Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC) Foundation have joined forces to expand safe and affordable housing for individuals who are deaf, blind or deafblind.
The Daniel Foundation and IPC Foundation, both based in Birmingham, donated funds to PHFC to help complete two additional homes at Union Village in Talladega.
Presbyterian Home for Children has partnered with AIDB since 2017 to offer Union Village, a permanent supportive housing community for low-income individuals who are deaf, blind or deafblind. PHFC operates Union Village on its campus for AIDB consumers, and rental income from Union Village supports PHFC’s programs that serve and care for at-risk teenage girls, homeless children and women, and families in crisis from across Alabama.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made a critical need for safe and affordable housing for this vulnerable population even more urgent,” PHFC President and CEO Doug Marshall said, in a release. “That’s why Presbyterian Home for Children and AIDB is so pleased that Daniel Foundation and IPC Foundation have made generous donations to add two new homes at our Union Village community.
“Construction has now begun on these homes, which will provide an expansion of this secure housing environment for deaf, blind and deafblind individuals jointly served by PHFC and our neighbor, AIDB.”
Dr. Jack Hawkins, a trustee of the Daniel Foundation board, said, in the release, “Thirty-two percent of Alabamians have trouble finding rental housing they can afford, leaving many homeless or living in squalor.
“This partnership between PHFC and AIDB addresses a critical need to provide affordable, quality housing designed specifically to serve Alabama’s deaf and blind. I am proud the Daniel Foundation of Alabama is supporting the Union Village project.”
Hawkins is chancellor of Troy University and is a former president of AIDB.
Beth Adams, president of the IPC Foundation Board, said, in the release, “We are thrilled to be a part of this much-needed program to support the needs of our deaf and blind neighbors in Alabama. The Foundation continues to seek partnerships with nonprofits that work to make a critical difference in lives in Alabama. We are excited about Union Village."
Phase 1 of Union Village was completed in 2017 and currently serves 28 residents. Phase 2 will eventually consist of 16 tiny homes (two 475-square-foot homes per duplex) that provide special accommodations and accessibility. Construction on the first two homes is completed, and both of the homes have been occupied since September 2019. The donation from Daniel Foundation and IPC Foundation will build two additional tiny homes with matching funds from PHFC.
Each home is to be built by George Hicks Construction Inc., a Talladega-based general contractor.
The homes will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They include zero-step entry, minimal thresholds, 9-foot ceilings, zero barrier showers and other features designed for those who are deaf or blind. Union Village residents can also access wrap-around supportive services, such as employment opportunities, transportation, meal delivery, support groups and more.
“Union Village is one of the few supportive housing communities for individuals who are deaf, blind or deafblind in the United States,” said Donte Little, director, AIDB Talladega Regional Center, in the release. “Union Village complements AIDB’s mission to provide comprehensive education and service programs of superior quality through the creation of innovative programs and support services for individuals who are deaf, blind or deafblind to live independently in safe, accessible and affordable housing. We are thankful for our partnership with the Presbyterian Home for Children.”