Utilizing a framework built upon evidence-based models, Hope Village offers energy-efficient housing for people in our community who are most at risk of experiencing chronic homelessness and are medically fragile. Case management for behavioral health, healthcare needs and other opportunities to help residents thrive will be provided for the entire duration of their stay in tiny-home community. The community will be located in open farmland north of the Carver subdivision in Urbana.
“Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) will provide intensive case management, including the identification of any benefits they may have or be eligible for. We extend an invitation to all community members to join us in supporting this vital initiative. We believe that by coming together, we can transform the lives of our homeless neighbors, promote social equity and create a city where everyone has a place to call home,” said Claudia Lennhoff, executive director of CCHCC.
Both Carle Health and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have pledged funds to support program implementation and operation. In March, Hope Village additionally received ARPA funds from the City of Urbana to help jumpstart the initiative. The community also expects to receive a direct appropriation in Illinois’ FY24 State Budget, thanks to support from state senator Paul Faraci.
Hope Village will be a gated community with 30 small homes, a community center and amenities to engage and assist the residents. Each home will have living space, kitchen, bedroom and full bathroom. The community center will provide office space for social services and counseling, community gathering, life skills teaching and recreational opportunities. Outdoor walking trails, gathering space, community gardening and other various amenities will provide a complete living experience within the Village.
“Hope Village is a great example of community organizations coming together to serve humanity. From efficiently designed buildings to resource monitoring, engineers, architects and social scientists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have given the utmost thought to the community’s design. We’re thrilled to develop a blueprint that could be a model for other regions around the country and the world,” Rashid Bashir, dean of The Grainger College of Engineering at the U of I.
In order to live in the Village, residents will complete an agreement of policies and procedures to create a safe and productive environment for everyone connected with the community. A Board of Directors of the 501(c)(3), including representation from CCHCC, UIUC and Carle Health will oversee governance of the Village.
For the safety of the residents and the neighboring communities, the Village will be fully staffed and monitored for security and resident assistance. Services to the Village such as Carle Health Mobile Clinic and the Carle Health fresh produce grocer bus will also be available to the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The direct impact of reliable housing on the health and wellbeing of those we serve is clear. We’re so proud to be a part of this innovative project, the first of its kind in our region, to foster empowerment, dignity and a path towards a brighter future for these neighbors. Carle Health is excited to work to improve local health outcomes in this new way and strengthen our community and the residents’ lives through our partnership,” James Leonard, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carle Health.
Construction in Urbana will begin in July. For more information, please visit HopeVillageCommunities.org.