Tiny House Community Would Help Women Focus On Recovery

By Victoria Kim 03/22/17

A new project aims to support sober women who are transitioning from jail by giving them a safe place to go with treatment access. 

A row of tiny houses.

A project that would build a tiny house community for women in recovery is closer to reality. 

The project, “Tiny House Big Recovery,” has found a home just a short drive away from Grace to Change, a treatment center in nearby McKinney.

Justin and Meranda Phebus gave a five-year lease on 20 acres of their land to the project. They’d heard that Grace to Change was looking for a location for the project back in January, and were immediately on board. 

“I said, ‘We’re in,’” Justin told WFAA. “My wife always had larger aspirations for this property.” 

The plan is to build 14 homes which would house about 20 women. There, they would have a stable home as well as access to a treatment program for substance use disorder. 

The idea is to support women who are transitioning from jail but have nowhere to go, and give them a safe place to focus on staying sober and rebuild their lives. 

“We’re gonna save lots of lives out there,” says Shannon White of Grace to Change, whose dream it was to open the tiny house community. 

White, who is a recovering alcoholic herself, would meet with women in Collin County Jail through her work with Grace to Change, and it made her realize the need for a residential, supportive community for women seeking sobriety and a fresh lease on life. 

White explained to WFAA that the women leaving jail have a hard time staying sober once they’re out, and it doesn't help that many don’t have a safe place to go. “These are great people who don’t have the ability to do for themselves,” said White.

In the meantime, there’s a makeshift tiny house community in the parking lot of Grace to Change. But now that they have 20 acres of land to expand the project, they are working to raise the money to make it happen.

Supporting these women can go a long way—White says rehabilitating former inmates and keeping them from cycling in and out of jail is more cost-effective than locking them up.

Justin and Meranda Phebus know the effect that addiction can have—they witnessed this for themselves in people they know personally. It’s why they felt that Tiny House Big Recovery was a good cause to share their acres with. 

“It boils down to faith, fate, service, a little bit of good luck, and certainly grace,” said Justin.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr