EASLEY — The Opportunity Village at The Dream Center continues to grow with the opening of yet another unit, this one built and sponsored as a project for the 2017 Leadership Pickens County class.
“This wasn’t even the project we had originally intended,” said Derrick Popham, class president. “But when we saw the need here, we knew that this was the project we needed to do.”
The Opportunity Village is designed as a one of a kind homeless shelter program and is currently the only homeless shelter in Pickens County.
The units utilize a “tiny house” model, with area schools and organizations sponsoring the individual “step one” homes.
In addition to the 23 tiny houses, The Dream Center has 10 transitional houses which are located in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Easley, Powdersville and Wren high schools are each sponsoring a home.
“We spent quite a few hours out here volunteering, which was great,” said Popham. “It was awesome to see everyone wrap their arms and hearts around what we were doing out here.”
In addition to helping to build the house, Leadership Pickens 2017 class also raised $15,000 for the cause.
“We’ve had people from Canada, from Maine, from just all over the place come down here to see what it was we were doing,” said Chris Wilson, executive director for The Dream Center.
“Not a surprise,” said Popham. “When you see what’s going on here, when you see how God’s touching this and the work that they’re doing and when you come out here and visually put eyes on this — and see how amazing and beautiful this is — it’s no surprise that people are coming from all over to see this.”
Popham said he was hopeful the Opportunity Village would not just continue, but spread across the country.
“I think this is the perfect idea and a perfect model,” he said. “It helps get people back on their feet and empowers them to move forward.”
Wilson said three of the units are already occupied and that the Center is expanding as more and more qualified and in need people sign up.
To sponsor a house visit www.dreamcenterpc.org/opportunity-village/.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.