TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A day of celebration, in a one of a kind community, where hundreds of people can now say they call home.
A chance for a new beginning after four months on a wait list, John, a veteran, and Debbie can now call this house their home.
"It's going to be nice to finally get back on our feet...yes, get back on our feet after struggling for a few months - we're going to get right back where we were," said John and Debbie, new residents at The Dwellings.
Friday's ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of the 107th "tiny house" in The Dwellings community and their community center.
The Dwellings in Tallahassee, offers low cost housing for people who are financially, socially or institutionally disadvantaged and need help getting back on their feet.
"If you are consistently consumed with struggle and where you are going to live and what you're going to eat, it's hard to even manipulate and do anything productive in society," said Dr. Alesia Scott-Ford, Field Office Director for U.S. Dept. of Housing Urban Development.
The Dwellings not only gives people shelter, it also provides life skills, training, job opportunities and a sense of community, which is exactly what Marilyn Knight and her husband needed after hard times and the loss of their only son.
"It's like a family, it's like having a second family," said Knight.
There is a community garden, meeting hall, laundromat, wood shop and market where the people who live in the community can volunteer.
"We do hope that this is the model, the template for other communities because there is nothing like this in the country - this is holistic, this is not just an affordable housing program , this is social services, this is community , this is family, these people really have ties that unite them," said Rick Kearney, Board Chair of CESC.
There will eventually be 130 completed homes in The Dwellings.