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Connecting North Alabama: Huntsville Community of Hope plans to build new community for homeless

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Huntsville Community of Hope stand

A new initiative in Huntsville is hoping to help the homeless by giving them a place to stay and a job.

Homelessness has become a real problem for Alabama's largest city, and Huntsville Community of Hope is working on changing that.

"We've got to start putting some preventative measures into place, or we will not be able to enjoy Big Spring Park like we do today," said Mandy Kilgore,  president of Huntsville Community of Hope.

The nonprofit is selling trinkets and jewelry at local craft fairs.

Organizers need your help to make and sell the items. The money raised will go toward a new community, built by the homeless for the homeless.

"That is truly restoring dignity to our homeless men and women by crafting them and giving them an opportunity to earn a dignified income," Kilgore said, "so that they can earn a dignified income — an hourly wage — with respect like we all like to do."

Once complete, the plan is to have multiple houses, a community kitchen and even a chapel in the community.

Kilgore said it's to give the homeless a purpose, because no one deserves to be without a place to stay.

"That's a tough position to be in, so we want to change that," Kilgore said.

With close to 550 people homeless in Huntsville and that number only rising, Kilgore said it's time to think out of the box.

"As a city, as a community, we have to do things differently in the way we address homelessness," Kilgore said.

Community of Hope still needs to buy the land for this neighborhood. Close to $500,000 has been raised so far, about $1 million shy of their $1.5 million goal.

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