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“A Home for MJ” Wins National Award

A year ago, I was able to be a part of an emotional and incredible fulfilling event. MJ, a deaf man who had been living on the streets of Springfield, MO after aging out of the foster system, was welcomed into his new home at Eden Village.

Traci D. Sooter, AIA, LEED, AP, Professor of the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University, had invited me to be be a collaborator and advisor to her 5th Year Design Build Club students. The goal was to create a “tiny home” that was functional for accessibility, attractive, artful, efficient, and designed to withstand extreme weather. It was a learning opportunity for all, and we all learned to love MJ and look forward to presenting him with a wonderful, safe new home.

The students have all graduated, and MJ is nearing his 1st Anniversary in his new home and community. But just recently, the Design Build team was awarded a national award from the Arch Newspaper in the group category.

I’m so proud of these students and thrilled to have been able to be a part of this life-changing project…not just MJ (because truly his life was changed!), but also for each of us who came to love him, learn more about the life of homelessness, and nurture a desire to give back to our community.

Well done, students!