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Lakeland mobile home park being renovated into village for the homeless

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Polk County non-profit is transforming a mobile home park into a community for people without a place to call home.

Gospel Village is what a mobile home park near downtown Lakeland will become when it’s all finished.

The non-profit, Gospel Inc. is renovating these homes for people experiencing homelessness who have COVID-19 or who are at risk of contracting it.

“It’s very hard for a person who’s homeless to social distance. If they need to go get a meal or even use the bathroom, they’re always going to have to be entering into a public space or a shelter or something along those lines,” said Brian Seeley, Founder Gospel Inc.

Nearly 40 mobile homes are being repaired by volunteers and future residents themselves. The organization is doing this with the help of a $1 million grant it received from the CARES Act.

“This has kind of presented an opportunity to purchase a property to provide housing and then also to serve our community in the capacity that we’re able to do, during this pandemic where there’s a real need for shelter in place,” Seeley said.

Gospel Village plans to expand with more units in the future, so more people can have a place to call home.

“Long term, we’ll continue to provide housing to people experiencing homelessness as well as job skills training and opportunities for people to work and maintain a roof over their head,” explained Seeley.

The homes should be ready for move-in next month.

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