Construction of a small residential village in progress
August 6 — Construction of a small homeless reception village in Brunswick is progressing as planned and should be ready to welcome its first residents early next year.
Linda Heagy, Treasurer of Hand in Hand at Glynn Inc., said the first 20 homes under construction should be ready for occupancy in early January.
In anticipation of the resort’s opening, Carolyn Johnson has been appointed manager of the small family village, which will have 60 homes by the end of the project in about a year. Most recently, Johnson was Director of Operations and Volunteer Ministries at FaithWorks Ministry.
“We are delighted that our project has attracted so many qualified and interesting applicants.” said Anne Stembler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hand in Hand of Glynn. “In the end, we were overwhelmed by Carolyn’s good judgment and her empathy for this population. She demonstrates the required firmness of mind, but also views people through a prism of kindness. ‘she has all the energy, experience and enthusiasm to tackle this important and challenging job. “
The prospect of helping the homeless by providing a safe living space on 4.24 acres of land on the site of the former Altama Presbyterian Church on Altama Avenue was one of the reasons Johnson said she was drawn to the job. Some homes will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“I’m super excited to be a part of Hand in Hand of Glynn,” Johnson said. “With the support of the community and with the resources that have been and will be made available to all who have come forward, we will be able to help many people experiencing homelessness. My personal goal is to foster a family atmosphere among volunteers and residents. . We want to help as many residents as possible get back on their feet and improve their quality of life. “
On-site services will include medical and psychological care and a community garden where residents will grow their own fruits and vegetables. Nutrition and cooking classes will be offered.
A common area will include a laundry room, library and reading room, computer room, kitchen and pantry, classrooms and an office for the CEO.
The goal is to provide permanent housing with the necessary community support to help new residents adjust.
Hand in Hand raised $ 3 million in donations and pledges.
When fully occupied, the new community will save more than $ 1.6 million per year for services such as shelters, medical care and custody that residents would have cost taxpayers if they were homeless.
A fence will surround the village, which will include a closed entrance, emergency access and 27 parking spaces.
The project received welcome support from the Southeast Georgia Health System, which selected the project for the Community Outreach Project for 2021.
“This year, our volunteers decided to host a Christmas service project in July,” said Kristin Doll, director of volunteer services at Southeast Georgia Health System. “After several months of planning, coordination and promotion, the project ended with a ‘drive-off’ on July 27 that exceeded all of our expectations.”
Thanks to the generosity of the hospital staff, the homes will be equipped with household appliances, linens, basic cooking products, cleaning products and personal hygiene donated.
“As always, our volunteers came together with enthusiasm for this project in such a generous way,” said MaryLynne Cochran, a volunteer in the Health System Outreach program. “We had hoped to furnish a house, but that goal was achieved within a few weeks.”
The board of directors voted unanimously to purchase a second home and soon after also exceeded that target and were working on furnishings and supplies for a third.
“I feel blessed that we have been able to get involved in this most laudable community project and that our volunteers have been so generous,” said Cochran. “Knowing that residents will not be spending the holiday season on the streets is invaluable to us.