The Huntsville Community of Hope plans housing development for homeless

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison County has been seeing an economic boom for years, but some people are being left behind.

The homeless community in the area has not gone anywhere and now one group, the Huntsville Community of Hope, has a plan to help them live with more dignity.

President Mandy Kilgore says her team is working to create an entire subdivision of homes to give these people in need a long-term, stable place to live.

“We are very excited to share that we are in pursuit and have been in pursuit of land here in Huntsville to provide a community for our homeless brothers and sisters,” Kilgore said.

The non-profit is looking for 50-acres of land and a substantial amount of money to make this work.

Kilgore says her team is inspired by the Community First! Village in Austin, TX, a long-term housing community for the homeless.

The goal is replicate the Austin model of small, well-built homes with front porches and communal areas to encourage community building and fuel friendships.

“We are so in love with that community and have seen how successful they have been in not only providing work for the homeless, but providing long-term housing for the homeless,” Kilgore said. “It is a gorgeous gated community with beautiful architectural homes. It is something to be very proud of and I think Huntsville would be very proud of that as well.”

There will also be enterprises on site where residents can work and earn money.

No specific spot in Madison County has been picked yet, but there’s already some push-back to the idea.

“There is a general principle called NIMBY, or Not in My Backyard,” Kilgore said. “I have been to the Austin community twice and they have experienced something very similar. It’s not surprising to us and we know that we will continue to face that. But we have good plans in place to make sure our community knows that we love Huntsville and we are going to do the very best for it.”

Kilgore says her organization has tons of generous community partners who are on board with this mission. But still, more supporters are needed to help find that 50-acre lot, and reach that 1 million dollar goal.

For more information you can visit the Huntsville Community of Hope Facebook page. You can also visit the organization’s website for donation and contact information.

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