Pulaski County unveils roadmap for community village

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. (January 17, 2023) –Pulaski County representatives will have new information to share at tonight’s community meeting for the Pulaski County community village project. Five major steps have been outlined, with the first being formalizing the County’s advisory committee for the community village.

The advisory committee is expected to be finalized and announced in the next few weeks.

The roadmap’s five steps are:

  1. Formalize the community village advisory committee and swear in the new members.
  2. The advisory committee is to develop the village’s operations manual, based on the Community First! Village model.
  3. Determine the requirements and expectations for request for proposal (RFP) for a non-profit selected to oversee the community village.
  4. Launch the nonprofit RFP.
  5. Pulaski County personnel and select members of the advisory committee are to review proposals and select the nonprofit.

“To continue our transparency with Pulaski County residents, we wanted to finalize and share our roadmap to give everyone an idea of the development process,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde.

“We will continue to follow the successful Community First! Village model as we determine our plans for the village,” he said.

The second community meeting for the community village will be held today at 5:30 p.m. at Longley Baptist Church.

The community village will be located off Green Road in Southwest Pulaski County, and it is modeled after the successful Community First! Village outside of Austin, Texas. The project will be a master-planned neighborhood made up of micro cottages and environmentally friendly tiny homes, that provides affordable, permanent quality housing for people coming out of chronic homelessness. The property will contain a health clinic, community kitchen, entrepreneur hub and much more to ensure the growth and stability of its residents.

Future residents of the village will be required to complete an application process. Residents will have the opportunity to earn dignified income that will help them be able to pay their rent, which is a requirement of living in the village. Chronically homeless individuals are the target population for this village, and sex offenders will not be permitted as residents.

The community village will follow the Community First! Village’s philosophy that housing alone will never solve homelessness, but having a community will. The model focuses on a combination of high quality, permanent housing and a strong culture of personal growth, support and connection.

The County is responsible for developing the project, and then a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization will be responsible for overseeing the village. A non-profit has not been selected yet.

The selected non-profit will work with existing organizations such as Our House, The Van and Jericho Way to provide resources to the Central Arkansas homeless community. The non-profit will also be responsible for fundraising, overseeing development, collaborating with local community members, organizations, and business, and coordinating volunteers and staff. 

The County expects to begin construction in early 2023, and the community village is expecting to be able to start accepting residents at the end of 2023.