House of Hope plans to build a tiny home community for homeless families

Florence Tiny House Campus

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The House of Hope of the Pee Dee plans to build a tiny home community for homeless women, men and their children.

The campus called Opportunity Village will be located on a lot of land next to their office on West Darlington Street.

There will be 24 tiny homes, each with a bedroom and bathroom along with a communal kitchen and laundry room.

Bryan Braddock, executive director of House of Hope, said the organization serves about 60 new people every month. Forty to 50% are women and women with children.

“There’s a huge need,” Braddock said. "We are looking for long-term solutions right now to transition women with children outside the area for housing because there’s just isn’t a local long-term solution for women with children.

The community is planned as long-term transition housing and will give families 12 to 18 months to allow people to save for a more permanent home.

"You can be under one roof, you can have that privacy, that sense of safety and security as you repair your life," Braddock said.

Pauline Brunson knows what it’s like to be homeless having to go back and forth from hotel to shelter with her son and mother.

"It's been hard on me and my mom to try to keep ends meet, to try and keep a roof over my son's head and I feel like every day I wake up and don't know what to look for," Brunson said.

“People would be amazed at how many homeless people we have in Florence,” said Florence City councilwoman Pat Gibson Hye-Moore.

Hye-Moore’s passion for the project comes from having nowhere to go herself. She said she became homeless in college after her parents and grandparents passed away. Then again when her home burned down.

"I was homeless on my left foot at one point and then years later homeless on my right foot so that shoe can fit on anyone's foot," Gibson-Hye Moore said.

The project is estimated to cost around $400,000. Each tiny home will be individually funded and sponsored by a person or business in the community.

The organization will kick off a fundraising campaign in November.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.