A team effort led by Dorn Homes and the Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) of more than 50 contractors, vendors and suppliers is resulting in construction of two residential homes to provide housing for homeless people in the greater area.
Collectively, more than $300,000 was contributed by generous donors to help fund construction, said David Grounds, owner-President of Dorn Homes.
Groundbreaking for the two new homes, to be called “lodges,” was organized July 29 by Jessi Hans, CCJ executive director. CCJ had purchased and contributed property at 226 S. Rush St. and contributed to what is being called a “Second Chance Housing Program.”
During groundbreaking ceremonies, Hans praised Grounds and Dorn Homes and partners who contributed to the project. Hans told the crowd of 75 community leaders that originally, CCJ wanted to conduct a capital campaign to fund home construction. She said because of the generosity of the local building community led by Dorn Homes, these houses now were gifts to CCJ. She said the homes will fulfill a recently redefined CCJ mission — to end homelessness in the community.
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli also praised the cooperation of project supporters. He said he was not surprised at the support of all the partners. “That’s just the kind of community we live in.”
During the groundbreaking, Grounds explained the project was a visible extension of the Dorn motto of “Dorn Cares.” He said Dorn Homes was glad to support a meaningful project to give homeless people hope.
Designed by local architect Carol Russell, each 1,472-square-foot, single-story lodge will accommodate four to six individuals in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Each home has a large communal kitchen and shared dining and living area. Each lodge has a shared library and a den/office space. Each bedroom has its own separate entrance and patio.
Occupants will pay $300 a month, which includes utilities. Hans made clear the housing is for adults. The collective monthly rent from each lodge then will be placed into a designated CCJ fund. Money will be used to build even more homes for the homeless, she said.
Additional money will come from the sale of the CCJ Thrift Store. The current store at 1034 Fair St. is being sold. Its contents are being relocated to the CCJ main headquarters at 531 Madison Ave., just off Miller Valley Road. The repurposed thrift store will operate from within the Stagger Straight Shelter when a second floor is constructed in the near future.
Jim Gunby, Vice President of sales-marketing for Dorn Homes, said he anticipated the two lodges will be complete by midwinter, depending on weather and no unforeseen interruptions.
He said the estimated cost for each lodge was approximately $150,000. The figure does not include the land.
Gunby said the property owned by CCJ on which the lodges were being built is large enough that four more lodges could could easily accommodate for more lodges. He said he fully anticipated additional lodges will be constructed as soon as feasible.
Mary Bauer, current First Vice President of the CCJ board directors, said the shift in CCJ’s mission occurred because board members wanted to focus on ending homelessness. She said the board believed the importance of putting people into affordable housing that CCJ helped create can do more to solve homelessness than anything else the coalition can do. She lauded Dorn Homes and the partners they brought together to build the lodges. “We all owe them our gratitude.”
Bauer said the new CCJ mission will focus upon five emphases: affordable housing, providing shelter for the homeless, home repair, advocacy and creating employee readiness.
More information is available by contacting CCJ at 928-445-8382 or Yavapaiccj.org.
Those wanting further information can contact CCJ at 928-445-8382 or online at Yavapaiccj.org