Regions Foundation, PHFC, AIDB break ground on innovative housing opportunity

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The Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative primarily funded by Regions Bank, joined the Presbyterian Home for Children (PHFC) and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) Wednesday to break ground on an innovative, inclusive home at Union Village, a permanent supportive housing community in Talladega.

The Regions Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to PHFC to support construction. PHFC has worked with AIDB since 2017 to operate Union Village on a portion of the PHFC campus set aside for AIDB consumers. In turn, rental income from Union Village supports PHFC’s programs that serve and care for at-risk teenaged girls, homeless children and mothers, young female adults in crisis, and families in crisis.

The latest Union Village home now under construction represents the next step in both PHFC and AIDB advancing their long-term support for people who are deaf or blind.

“The Presbyterian Home for Children and AIDB are pleased that the Regions Foundation has made a very generous donation to address the unique and critical housing needs of this vulnerable population,” said Doug Marshall, the home’s president and CEO. “This gift will help us offer more safe and secure housing specially designed for deaf, blind and deafblind individuals jointly served by PHFC and our neighbor, AIDB.”

“The Regions Foundation is committed to supporting opportunities that level the playing field for more people while creating more inclusive prosperity,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation. “This investment in Union Village will empower more people through safe, independent living in an affordable environment surrounded by their peers. Further, it creates space to focus on education, job readiness and workforce training opportunities. Union Village, Presbyterian Home for Children, and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind are making a difference in the lives of people every day, and the Regions Foundation is proud to be a strong community partner.”

Phase One of Union Village was completed in 2017 and currently serves 28 residents with five large cottages. Phase Two will consist of 16 tiny homes (two, 475 square-foot homes per duplex) that provide special accommodations and accessibility. Construction on the first four homes is completed; the first duplex constructed has been occupied since September 2019, and the other recently completed duplex has been occupied since February 2021. The homes are designed by David Baker Architects, an architecture firm in both the San Francisco Bay area and Birmingham, and were built by George Hicks Construction, Inc. of Talladega.

“Union Village is exactly the type of project we want to be part of. Designing dignified housing at an affordable rate is not only our bread and butter, but why we get up in the morning,” said Amanda Loper, principal at David Baker Architects. “Collaborating with organizations that approach the critical need of safe and secure housing for a vulnerable population in a creative way – like the Presbyterian Home for Children, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, and the Regions Foundation – really invigorates the project and helps create a supportive environment for residents. In addition to accessible, universal design, Union Village centers on community. From shared porches to tiny home clusters, the design balances livability with density and allows people to find their home within a neighborhood.”

Each home will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They will include zero-step entry, minimal thresholds, 9-foot ceilings, zero-barrier showers and other features designed for those who are deaf, blind or deafblind. AIDB provides wrap-around support services to Union Village residents such as job coaching, case management, transportation, assistive technology and more.

“Today’s groundbreaking is an exciting moment in our partnership with the Presbyterian Home for Children. AIDB is committed to ensuring people who are deaf, blind or deafblind have full access to employment opportunities and involvement in their community,” said John Mascia, Au.D., president of AIDB. “We are thankful for the support of the Regions Foundation as we work together to transform the lives of those we serve. Together we are ‘Deaf. Blind. Limitless.’”

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About Regions Foundation

Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.

About PHFC

Presbyterian Home for Children is one of the few organizations in the state caring for Alabama’s homeless boys and girls, along with their female caregivers in its Secure Dwellings Program. PHFC serves approximately 225 unduplicated individuals each year from across Alabama, including teenage girls who have experienced extreme trauma and/or neglect, young female adults in crisis, families in crisis through in-home intensive services, and mission outreach to children and youth in rural Wilcox and Marengo counties.

About the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind

Established in 1858, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is the nation’s most comprehensive provider of education and services to individuals who are blind, deaf, deafblind or multidisabled. Last year AIDB served over 30,000 individuals from Alabama and across the Southeast through programs on its five campuses in Talladega; AIDB North Campus in Decatur; and 10 regional centers located in Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Shoals, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa. AIDB also operates Alabama Industries for the Blind (AIB), the state’s largest employer of people who are blind and deaf. AIB is composed of manufacturing facilities in Talladega and Birmingham and base supply stores on military bases in Alabama and Georgia.

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