Opportunity Village welcomes new residents

Dream Center participants move into Opportunity Village. (FOX Carolina/ May 24, 2017)

As James Morrison opened the door to his home, for him it's the key to a new a life."It's very comfy," Morrison said.The tiny home, which is 168 square feet is located in a village in Easley. "Late last year, I was struggling pretty bad," he said.Inside the home, there's a bed, a bathroom, and a sink. It's more than he's had in awhile."I was homeless numerous times," Morrison said.So, he signed up for the Opportunity Village Program through The Dream Center of Pickens County."I had no hope or joy in my life. But, I have both of those things now and I'm so grateful for that," Morrison said.The Dream Center is a place where sessions and classes are held to improve the lives of those in need. "Opportunity Village is not an emergency shelter. We're a homeless shelter program," Stephen Estrada said.He's the program coordinator with Opportunity Village. "It's a one year program and as they move up through the steps, they get a chance to start by working through change within themselves," Estrada said.Volunteers created the village by building more than 20 tiny homes at the site."Opportunity Village is a chance for somebody to get a second chance for their life," Estrada said.Those who would like live in one of the homes have to go through a three-step program. The program includes personal improvement like school or rehab, finding and keeping a job, and then getting into a transitional home. "It's just been an amazing thing and it's a joy coming to work every day. It doesn't feel like work," Estrada said. Morrison, is one of the first to live at the village. A move he says is also the key to a better life. "I truly believe that God led me here. I feel like he's given me another chance at life," he said.Administrators with the program say two more homes are being built at the village. However, funding is still needed. There is also a sponsor wall being build and homes can be sponsored by donors too. Administrators are also trying to raise money for a new Opportunity Park which will be placed just behind the tiny home village. Those who live in the village spend a lot of their time at The Dream Center where there's a kitchen and a living space. Although most of the tiny homes are about 168 square feet, in phase three of the program, participants can move into transitional homes which are 700 square feet.For more information about Opportunity Village and The Dream Center you click here.

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