TALLADEGA, Ala. – Construction has begun on six new tiny cottages at Union Village on the Presbyterian Home for Children’s campus. The new phase expands housing options for those who are blind, deaf, deafblind or multidisabled in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.
The second phase will feature 16 tiny cottages (two 475-square-foot cottages per duplex) when complete. Phase 1 of Union Village is currently home to nearly 30 residents who live in five large cottages. The six new cottages are being built by Talladega homebuilder Graham Davis of Davis Builders, Inc. and will join four completed cottages in Phase 2.
PHFC has partnered with AIDB since 2017 to offer Union Village, a permanent supportive housing community for individuals who are deaf, blind or deafblind. PHFC operates Union Village on a separate and secluded part of its campus for AIDB consumers.
Rental income from Union Village provides an additional funding source for PHFC, which serves at-risk and homeless children, youth, and families in addition to young female adults in crisis and families in crisis. Program participants come from across the entire state of Alabama.
Each cottage is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They include zero-step entry, minimal thresholds, 8-foot ceilings, zero-barrier showers and other features. AIDB provides wrap-around support services to Union Village residents such as job coaching, case management, transportation, assistive technology and more.
Donations from several organizations made the Union Village expansion possible. The Holle Family Foundation awarded a grant of $152,000 to PHFC toward building two additional tiny cottages at Union Village, and the Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. awarded a grant of $50,000 to PHFC toward one new duplex in Union Village. The City of Talladega awarded a grant of $50,000 in 2021 and a grant of $51,500 in 2022 to support the building of more tiny cottages on the campus of PHFC at Union Village.
The congregation of Shades Valley Presbyterian Church in Mountain Brook recently donated $150,000 from the sale of the church property on Montevallo Road to PHFC to support the Union Village tiny cottage expansion. The church has been in the process of merging with Southminster Presbyterian Church in nearby Vestavia Hills.
“These grants and gifts are truly an answer to our prayers and follows the earlier leadership of Regions Foundation, the City of Talladega and KODA Technologies, Inc. and The Caring Foundation in providing the first grants in 2021 toward these new tiny cottages,” said Doug Marshall, president and CEO of PHFC.
“Now in our 154th year with our core ministry of serving at-risk and homeless children and families, the Home continues to provide a path of healing and hope to their precious lives,” Marshall said. “Our Union Village Community provides a diversified funding source to help continue to make the work we do possible. These incredibly generous grants and gift will help enable the continuing ministry to children and families at the Home in addition to the adult consumers of AIDB at Union Village on our campus.”
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About PHFC: Presbyterian Home for Children is one of the few organizations in the state caring for Alabama’s homeless boys and girls, along with their female caregivers in its Secure Dwellings Program. PHFC also serves teenage girls who have experienced extreme trauma and/or neglect, young female adults in crisis, families in crisis through in-home intensive services, and children and youth in extreme poverty residing in rural Wilcox and Marengo counties through mission outreach.
About Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind: Established in 1858, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is the nation’s most comprehensive provider of education and services to individuals who are blind, deaf, deafblind or multidisabled. Last year AIDB served over 36,000 individuals from Alabama and across the Southeast through programs on its five campuses in Talladega; AIDB North Campus in Decatur; and 10 regional centers located in Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Shoals, Talladega and Tuscaloosa. AIDB also operates Alabama Industries for the Blind (AIB), the state’s largest employer of people who are blind. AIB is composed of manufacturing facilities in Talladega and Birmingham and base supply stores on military bases in Alabama and Georgia.
About The City of Talladega: Talladega is a diverse community with a rich history and a promising future. The City works hard to promote and preserve Talladega’s heritage while also ensuring its economic development and vitality. That work and focus includes enhancing its parks and recreation centers and academic institutions; building tourism; reducing crime; developing a strong infrastructure; beautifying its communities; and helping its businesses to flourish and ensure its economic growth while also improving the quality of life in Talladega. The city is home to the Presbyterian Home for Children, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, Talladega College, First Bank of Alabama, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, and Talladega Superspeedway.
About Holle Family Foundation: The Holle Family Foundation is a grant making institution established in 2014 to honor the legacy of Brig. Gen. Everett Holle and his parents, Evelyn and Fred Holle – champions of servant leadership. Its mission is to support nonprofit organizations that use entrepreneurial methods to address societal needs, promote individual achievement, develop young leaders and celebrate culture throughout central Alabama. The Holle Family Foundation’s grants and donations are concentrated in the following counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa and Walker.
About The Presbyterian Women and its Thank Offering: Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. is a community of more than 200,000 women who participate in Presbyterian Women and align their ministry and hearts around a shared purpose. The Thank Offering is one of Presbyterian Women’s two offerings. This offering, received in the fall each year, gives Presbyterian women a tangible way to express their gratitude for the special blessings in their lives. Thank Offering grants range from $5,000 to $50,000.
About Shades Valley Presbyterian Church: Shades Valley Presbyterian Church was a congregation of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley in the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was located at 2305 Montevallo Road in Mountain Brook. Shades Valley began worshiping with Southminster Presbyterian Church of Vestavia Hills in June of 2022 and formally merged with Southminster on October 2, 2022. The church was organized on December 5, 1943 and a lot for a church building on Mountain Brook Circle was purchased in 1945. By May of 1950, the site on Montevallo Road had been purchased. Ground was broken in July of 1951 and the new sanctuary was first used on March 22, 1953. Additional education space was added in 1955 and 1959. Historically, the mission of Shades Valley Presbyterian Church (USA) was to exist through God’s love to Build a strong spiritual formation, Bond together in love and harmony, and Go Beyond our walls to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.