Missouri groups builds small homes for the homeless

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Groups in Springfield, Missouri had a plan to help some of the homeless in their community. 

There are 200 people living on the streets in Springfield, according to the Ozarks Alliance for Ending Homelessness.

In an effort to help solve the problem, the organization the Gathering Tree made a decision to close down their nightly drop-in center called The Tree to build these small houses for homeless people as a permanent solution.

“Where we no longer look at people holding a sign on the corner of our streets,” said Nate Schlueter with Eden Village.

Schlueter said the goal of the Eden Village Program is to have 30 chronically homeless people move in by Christmas Eve.

“Somebody that’s chronically homeless has had multiple long-term episodes of homelessness over the last three years or they’ve been homeless for over a year or longer,” Schlueter said, “our rule is that they need to be homeless for a year or longer in Springfield.”

Volunteers spent the past few months trying to get the houses finished in time.

“I helped with planting a lot of the gardens, and we’ve just done a lot of cleaning over the times,” said Connor Ewens, a volunteer.

Ewens and Maya Fabro tell me why they chose to volunteer here.

“The residents that I’ve met so far they’re all amazing, so sweet, and I just love getting to help them out in whatever way I can,” Ewens said.

“It’s super impactful, especially being that I’m from Springfield and I’m always seeing people out on the streets,” Fabro said, “doing this is phenomenal. Knowing that people are going to be able to live in these extremely nice homes.”

Schlueter said they will continue building Eden Villages until every homeless person has somewhere to sleep.

“That’s what this month is about, it’s homeless awareness month, but it’s about what we can do as individuals to end homelessness, and so people can come, donate here, they can volunteer here,” Schlueter said, “we need up to 1,000 different individual volunteers.”

To volunteer or be a part of this project, visit https://www.gatheringtree.org/eden-village.

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