The Presbyterian Home for Children and the AIDB Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind held a dedication ceremony on Sept. 13 for the addition of six tiny cottages at Union Village on our campus. It was a beautiful September day to celebrate Union Village, which is a permanent supportive housing community for individuals who are deaf, blind, deafblind or multi-disabled that is affordable and safe.
Phase 1 of Union Village is currently home to nearly 30 residents who live in five large cottages. This second phase we recognized on Sept. 13 added six tiny cottages to the four existing small cottages at Union Village that are unique and unmatched in the nation.
PHFC has operated Union Village on a separate and secluded part of its campus for AIDB consumers since 2017. The project marked the opening of six more tiny cottages (two 500-square-foot homes per duplex) to the four existing small cottages at Union Village.
Each new cottage is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They include zero-step entry, minimal thresholds and other features. AIDB provides full wrap-around support services to Union Village residents such as advocacy, job coaching, case management, transportation, assistive technology and more.
Donations from several organizations made the Union Village expansion possible. Regions Foundation with a grant of $50,000; KODA Technologies, Inc. with a grant of $10,000; and The Caring Foundation with an undisclosed grant amount provided the first grant funding of the expansion during 2021. 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 an additional tiny cottage on the campus of PHFC at Union Village.
In 2022, the Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) awarded a grant of $50,000 toward funding a tiny cottage, and the congregation of Shades Valley Presbyterian Church in Mountain Brook donated $150,000 from the sale of the church property on Montevallo Road to PHFC to support the Union Village tiny cottage expansion. Shades Valley Presbyterian Church has since merged with Southminster Presbyterian Church in nearby Vestavia Hills.
The Holle Family Foundation awarded a grant of $104,148 in 2022 and a grant of $101,620 in 2023 toward one new duplex at Union Village.
“All of these grants and gifts were truly an answer to our prayers,” said Doug Marshall, president and CEO of PHFC.
“Now in our 155th 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.”
Dennis Gilliam, Ed.D, president, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, said, “The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is committed to working in partnership with our students and consumers to empower them to live the independent life of their choosing. Union Village offers safe, affordable housing options that encourage involvement in the local workforce and community. We are incredibly thankful for the support of the organizations who made this expansion of Union Village possible.”
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.
Team members for the project included: Amanda Loper and David Baker of David Baker Architects of Birmingham and San Francisco who designed the cottages, Building and Earth Sciences of Birmingham which provided geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing, and Talladega-based Davis Builders, Inc. which built the cottages. A temporary construction loan was financed by First Bank of Alabama of Talladega.
About PHFC: Now in its 155th year of service, Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama, is one of few organizations in the state caring for Alabama’s homeless boys and girls, along with their female caregivers in its Secure Dwellings Program. In its Moderate Residential Care Therapeutic Program, the Home also serves teenage girls who have previously experienced extreme trauma or neglect. In addition, the Home serves young female adults in crisis through its Transition to Adult Living Program and serves families in crisis over seven counties through its In-Home Intensive Services, Family Bridges. All its programs are accredited by Social Current (formerly Council on Accreditation) and the EAGLE Accreditation Commission, the only faith-based accrediting body in the world focusing on ministry to children and older adults. Our Ascension Leadership Academy features a fully Cognia-accredited academic curriculum focusing on academics and leadership for our residential children and youth in addition to children and youth from the surrounding communities. PHFC is rated 4-Star by Charity Navigator and received a Gold Seal of Transparency from Candid (formerly Guidestar).
About AIDB: Established in 1858, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind 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 31,000 individuals in Alabama and across the United States, through programs on its five campuses in Talladega, Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf, Helen Keller School of Alabama, E. H. Gentry Facility and Alabama Industries for the Blind; 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 vibrant and diverse community with a rich history and a promising future. The City preserves Talladega’s heritage while also ensuring its economic growth and vitality. Guided by its commitment to continuous improvement, the City enhances the overall quality of life for its residents by helping its businesses to flourish; improving its parks and recreation centers; beautifying its communities; supporting its academic institutions; expanding tourism; reducing crime; and developing a strong infrastructure. 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, TOP Trails OHV Park, Historic Ritz Theatre, Hall of Heroes Museum, 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: Founded in 1943, Shades Valley Presbyterian Church was a congregation of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley in the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 2022, after nearly eighty years in the city of Mountain Brook, Shades Valley sold its church property and merged with Southminster Presbyterian Church (USA) in Vestavia Hills. Shades Valley’s long legacy of giving and service includes a strong commitment to the education and nurture of children. This legacy lives on through major gifts to long-time mission partners like the Presbyterian Home for Children and through our continuing ministry at Southminster.
About Regions Foundation: Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.
About KODA Technologies, Inc.: KODA Technologies is an award winning, woman-owned small business headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama focused on solving complex engineering problems on national-priority projects to include hypersonic weapons, missile defense, aircraft survivability and space exploration. KODA, a Native American word meaning allies, is deeply committed to the mission, to each other and to the community. Charitable giving is a founding KODA principle and has been boldly practiced since the company’s founding in 2017.
About The Caring Foundation: The Caring Foundation (TCF) was established in 1990 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama to serve as our corporate charitable foundation for philanthropic needs within the state. TCF is focused on improving the health and well-being of Alabamians by investing in charitable organizations across the state.