New Life Village (NLV), an intergenerational residential community, opened its doors to 16 families this month, moving into newly built townhomes on its 12-acre Tampa campus.
The unique village model, the only of its kind in Florida, is designed to support low-income families raising foster-to-permanence, kinship and adoptive children, many of whom survived trauma, abuse and neglect, and senior citizens, who live in the village as surrogate grandparents, tutors and mentors.
“Tampa Bay is facing very challenging affordable housing and foster-care crises. There are nearly 7,000 children in out-of-home care in the tri-county area. New Life Village offers stability for families in need of affordable housing who are positively affecting the foster-care crisis by removing children from the system,” said Mariah Hayden, executive director of New Life Village.
Each family has their own three or four-bed townhome offered at below-market rental rates. Families have access to on-site wrap around services, including the Villages’ Trauma-Informed Wellness, Resilience and Character Development Program, which helps improve residents’ housing stability, well-being, access to health resources, educational attainment and community connection.
The 16 new units adds to the existing 32 townhomes, plus a clubhouse, community garden, splash pad and pool, playground and football field.
Inspired by the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” New Life Village offers foster children and those who suffered abuse and trauma a sense of permanency and safety to heal and thrive.
“We moved to New Life Village to give our kids better opportunities. They don’t feel out of place or different here just because they’re adopted. The other kids have been through the same experiences,” said Josie, a resident who moved into one of the new townhomes with her wife and their six kids, five of whom they adopted.
Hillsborough County has the highest number of foster-care children in the state, and over 60,000 families in the county lack affordable housing options. New Life Village exists to reduce the number of children in foster care by encouraging more families to adopt or to prevent them from entering foster care at all. You can find NLV at 4926 Venice Lake Ave. in Tampa