The Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) has announced that it has received a major gift of $50,000 from Don and Cindy Waters. The gift was given as a grant from the Waters Foundation Fund at the Savannah Community Foundation. The funds will go directly towards construction costs of Phase 2 of the Tiny House Project.
CSAH broke ground on Phase 2 of the community, called the Cove at Dundee, on October 16, and infrastructure installation is currently underway. The second phase will provide 24 more fully furnished homes for homeless veterans, as well as another clubhouse. The new residents will have access to the same wide range of supportive services available to the residents of Phase 1. CSAH anticipates that Phase 2 will be completed in 2021.
In response to the gift, Cindy Kelley, CSAH Executive Director said “Don and Cindy Waters’ commitment to the strategic advancement of our community cannot be overstated, and we are truly fortunate that the Tiny House Project fits within their vision for a better Savannah. Their generous gift will help to improve the lives of veterans for years to come.”
Don and Cindy Waters are local philanthropists, having endowed the Waters College of Health Professions at Armstrong State University, now part of Georgia Southern University. In 2013 they helped start the Savannah Classical Academy, a public charter school serving an inner-city neighborhood, and in 2016 they established the Don and Cindy Waters Fund at the Georgia Historical Society, ensuring that their shared commitment to education will continue. "We are pleased to support this program for our country's veterans and the positive effect it has on their lives, as well as on the surrounding community," said Don Waters. "We look forward to the successful completion of Phase 2 and hope others will help make this a reality."
When first announced by the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) in 2017, the $2.6 million endeavor was unprecedented in the state of Georgia. Of the total needed to fund the entire project, nearly $1.9 million has been raised, including pledges, cash donations, and in-kind support from more than 500 individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations. Phase 1 was completed in the fall of 2019 and currently houses 23 formerly homeless United States military veterans.
Of the approximately 675 chronically homeless individuals in Chatham County, over 200 of them are United States military veterans. The Tiny House Project is the state of Georgia’s first effort dedicated to reducing veteran homelessness by providing a community of permanent, affordable tiny homes. The community currently includes 23 tiny homes, a clubhouse for laundry and community meetings, walking paths, and a tiny medical clinic staffed by J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care. Residents of the Cove at Dundee have access to supportive services through CSAH staff and community partners. This additional support allows them to improve their quality of life by applying for benefits, securing employment, and accessing education, workforce development, healthcare, and social services, all with an emphasis on building self-sufficiency. All residents pay rent and are expected to meet their daily needs with their income.
CSAH is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to lead the effort to build and sustain community practices to eliminate homelessness. CSAH works in partnership with nonprofit service providers, government officials, business leaders, and the faith community. Annually in Chatham County, CSAH and the Chatham County Continuum of Care partners assist over 4,000 individuals, youth, and families.
To donate or for more information, visit homelessauthority.org
or call 912-644-7945.