Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) recently broke ground at Transformation Village, a building project that will transform the landscape of homelessness in Buncombe County and allow hundreds of women and children to move from hopelessness to self-sufficiency. When complete, Transformation Village will be one of the largest emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing facilities in North Carolina.
Nearly 80 members of the community, including legislative, government and community representatives; builders, architects and subcontractors; local clergy; along with ABCCM volunteers, board members, donors to the Transformation Village capital campaign, staff and others attended the groundbreaking at the 24-acre site, which ABCCM purchased in 2015, and is located at 45 Rocky Ridge Road, near the Asheville Outlets on Brevard Road.
"Thanks to our churches, our volunteers and all of you who are sharing your strength to solve a major community problem," said Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM's executive director.
"Our goal is to end homelessness in the Asheville area," said Bob Rogers, an ABCCM board member and chairman of the Transformation Village capital campaign. "This is a huge step in making that happen. Once we get Transformation Village completed, we think we can end homelessness in the entire area on a permanent basis because of the training and the programs that we have in place."
To date, ABCCM has raised nearly $4 million towards the project's $7.5 million goal for Phase I. Funding is in place to build the project.
Transformation Village - a transitional living facility named by Steadfast House residents in 2011 in recognition of the transformational impact it will have on the lives of its residents and the community as a whole -- is ABCCM's vision to end homelessness for women, children and families. It will provide homeless individuals and families with a safe and secure living space, along with the skills they need to take steps to successfully move on with stable income and in their own home.
The facility will eventually replace ABCCM's Steadfast House, which has a waiting list of more than 300 women and children. Steadfast House is a 43-bed transitional living facility for homeless women and children, including 10 beds for female veterans, all of whom will move to Transformation Village when it opens.
Phase I of the project includes the construction of a 43,000 square foot community center that will include 33 short-term apartments with a total of 90 beds. In addition, the community center will feature a central kitchen, dining area, training classrooms and client intake offices. Construction of 20 modular two-bedroom apartments will be done concurrently. Phase I is expected to be complete in Fall 2018. At that time, Steadfast House will transfer operations to Transformation Village and residents will move into the new apartments.
Phase II of the project will create neighborhoods across the site to provide transitional, supportive housing to groups such as mothers, single fathers, intact families, survivors of domestic violence and female veterans.
Transformation Village will also include outdoor green space with play areas for children and an indoor educational playroom.
Once open, residents of Transformation Village will receive the same education and training opportunities, life-skills classes, case management support to move to self-sustainability and permanent housing, and basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter as current residents of Steadfast House currently receive.
For more information go to www.abccm.org/transformation-village. To donate, go to www.abccm.org/donate.