How Eden Village Came to Be

Every New Eden Village Adds to Our History & Legacy

In the fall of 2010, ten individuals from a local church formed The Gathering Tree in an effort to do ‘more’ for the city’s homeless population. The group observed that there was a concentration of homeless individuals in the downtown area of Springfield.  Further investigation revealed that there were several places where the homeless could spend time during the day and places where they could be housed at night.

There were gaps during the late afternoon and early evening hours. It was during these hours that most of the homeless would be on the street, especially downtown.

It was apparent that ‘more’ would mean, they needed to act and not simply meet each week to discuss the issue. The ‘more’ became an organization, The Gathering Tree, with a commitment to do ‘more’ than give the homeless a small reprieve and then sending them back out onto the streets. The Gathering Tree lead by Dr. David and Linda Brown has created multiple ways of helping the homeless in the downtown area of Springfield.  As a result of this experience and in an attempt to focus on a few specific challenges that are not addressed by other entities, The Gathering Tree closed its drop-in center on November 1, 2018 to concentrate all of its resources and efforts towards the Eden Village communities, a solution to solving homelessness, not only in Springfield, but beyond.

A Review Of Our History

Meet founder Linda Brown and see the story of the first Eden Village in Springfield, MO came to be.
play

Eden Village Timeline

First Village Outside of Springfield, MO

The first Eden Village outside of Springfield, Missouri is in progress. After consultation and licensing, Eden Village of Wilmington, NC attained 510(3)(c) status and is in the works of development and raising funds.

March, 2020
January, 2020

Springfield's Second Eden Village

Enough funding had been collected through grants and pledges to begin construction of Eden Village West. Anticipated to open in late fall 2020, 24 more homeless individuals will be placed into permanent homes. Upon its completion, the two Eden Village properties will have reduced the chronically homeless population in Springfield by 25%.

Greater Impact

Eden Village is recognized across the country as a model that can be replicated in any city. Multiple cities across the United States and internationally have made inquiries about the Eden Village model and starting an Eden Village in their city. Eden Village has expanded its development services to offer consultation and licensing to other cities hoping to create an Eden Village in their community.

October, 2019
September, 2019

Expansion on the Horizon

The land at 3155 East Brower in Springfield which had been an old trailer park was purchased and donated to Eden Village. Eden Village quickly began developing plans and launched a capital campaign to not only develop the second village, but to continue growth to create a city where no one sleeps outside.

One Down More to Go

With 32 residents housed on property, Eden Village was successfully completed.  At this point in time, the number of chronically homeless in Springfield was reduced by 14%. This number was significant, but there were many more homeless individuals. It became quickly apparent that the work wasn’t done. The vision grew to work toward a city where #NoOneSleepsOutside. Eden Village set out to build more properties soon.

March, 2019
August, 2018

Grand Opening and Housing of First Resident at Eden Village

From December to August, the bulk of the construction was completed and on August 28, the Grand Opening of Eden Village was held before a large crowd of supporters and dignitaries. Fourteen houses were on site and the first resident was handed a key to his new home to take up permanent residence and no longer homeless.

Groundbreaking for Community Building at Eden Village

Three homes were on site and with advancement in infrastructure development and funding. The formal groundbreaking was held, and construction of the community building started.

December, 2017
June, 2017

First House Dedicated at Eden Village

The first house was purchased, brought on site, set up and decorated. A formal open house was held along with a blessing by the Bishop of the local Catholic Diocese. Finally, Eden Village was a tangible entity of the vision that had been shared for several months.

Site Purchased for Eden Village

Land was purchased and the formal announcement for the Eden Village Community was made public. For the next several months, many meetings were held, and multiple speaking engagements were held sharing the vision of Eden Village throughout the community.

November, 2016
February, 2016

Vinyard Church Building

The Gathering Tree reopened its evening drop-in center, but more as a coffee shop/library venue. They were able to rest, play card games, use computers, sing karaoke, partake in a bingo evening, take a shower and continue to get essentials they needed to survive on the street.

Street Outreach

The Gathering Tree did not renew the lease and took some time off to reassess and redefine its purpose. David, Linda and a few key individuals continued ministering to their homeless friends a couple evenings a week passing out “Brown Bags” of food and other essential items. They were able to continue their relationships with their friends who were truly homeless.

November, 2014
February, 2013

The Gathering Tree Opened at 215 S. Campbell

The Gathering Tree obtained a two-year lease for their own facility and were able to expand the hours to five evenings a week with the help of many individuals and several organizations. Meals were provided along with essential items such as clothing, personal care items and survival gear. As many as 150+ individuals were served during these evenings.

The Gathering Tree Moved to 324 S. Campbell

After the first year, The Gathering Tree moved to a different location in the downtown area of Springfield. During this second year, several more individuals became involved in ministering to the homeless and serving meals. They were also able to meet some of the essential needs of their friends.

January, 2012
November, 2010

The Beginning of the Gathering Tree

David and Linda Brown saw a need for a drop-in center for the homeless in downtown Springfield during the early evening hours. Together with some friends, they opened one evening a week at The Front Porch, a venue in the heart of downtown. The purpose was two-fold. First, was to provide a safe place for homeless persons to get off the streets for a few hours. Second, was to build relationships and gain a firsthand understanding of homelessness.

March, 2020

First Village Outside of Springfield, MO

The first Eden Village outside of Springfield, Missouri is in progress. After consultation and licensing, Eden Village of Wilmington, NC attained 510(3)(c) status and is in the works of development and raising funds.

January, 2020

Springfield's Second Eden Village

Enough funding had been collected through grants and pledges to begin construction of Eden Village West. Anticipated to open in late fall 2020, 24 more homeless individuals will be placed into permanent homes. Upon its completion, the two Eden Village properties will have reduced the chronically homeless population in Springfield by 25%.

October, 2019

Greater Impact

Eden Village is recognized across the country as a model that can be replicated in any city. Multiple cities across the United States and internationally have made inquiries about the Eden Village model and starting an Eden Village in their city. Eden Village has expanded its development services to offer consultation and licensing to other cities hoping to create an Eden Village in their community.

September, 2019

Expansion on the Horizon

The land at 3155 East Brower in Springfield which had been an old trailer park was purchased and donated to Eden Village. Eden Village quickly began developing plans and launched a capital campaign to not only develop the second village, but to continue growth to create a city where no one sleeps outside.

March, 2019

One Down More to Go

With 32 residents housed on property, Eden Village was successfully completed.  At this point in time, the number of chronically homeless in Springfield was reduced by 14%. This number was significant, but there were many more homeless individuals. It became quickly apparent that the work wasn’t done. The vision grew to work toward a city where #NoOneSleepsOutside. Eden Village set out to build more properties soon.

August, 2018

Grand Opening and Housing of First Resident at Eden Village

From December to August, the bulk of the construction was completed and on August 28, the Grand Opening of Eden Village was held before a large crowd of supporters and dignitaries. Fourteen houses were on site and the first resident was handed a key to his new home to take up permanent residence and no longer homeless.

December, 2017

Groundbreaking for Community Building at Eden Village

Three homes were on site and with advancement in infrastructure development and funding. The formal groundbreaking was held, and construction of the community building started.

June, 2017

First House Dedicated at Eden Village

The first house was purchased, brought on site, set up and decorated. A formal open house was held along with a blessing by the Bishop of the local Catholic Diocese. Finally, Eden Village was a tangible entity of the vision that had been shared for several months.

November, 2016

Site Purchased for Eden Village

Land was purchased and the formal announcement for the Eden Village Community was made public. For the next several months, many meetings were held, and multiple speaking engagements were held sharing the vision of Eden Village throughout the community.

February, 2016

Vinyard Church Building

The Gathering Tree reopened its evening drop-in center, but more as a coffee shop/library venue. They were able to rest, play card games, use computers, sing karaoke, partake in a bingo evening, take a shower and continue to get essentials they needed to survive on the street.

November, 2014

Street Outreach

The Gathering Tree did not renew the lease and took some time off to reassess and redefine its purpose. David, Linda and a few key individuals continued ministering to their homeless friends a couple evenings a week passing out “Brown Bags” of food and other essential items. They were able to continue their relationships with their friends who were truly homeless.

February, 2013

The Gathering Tree Opened at 215 S. Campbell

The Gathering Tree obtained a two-year lease for their own facility and were able to expand the hours to five evenings a week with the help of many individuals and several organizations. Meals were provided along with essential items such as clothing, personal care items and survival gear. As many as 150+ individuals were served during these evenings.

January, 2012

The Gathering Tree Moved to 324 S. Campbell

After the first year, The Gathering Tree moved to a different location in the downtown area of Springfield. During this second year, several more individuals became involved in ministering to the homeless and serving meals. They were also able to meet some of the essential needs of their friends.

November, 2010

The Beginning of the Gathering Tree

David and Linda Brown saw a need for a drop-in center for the homeless in downtown Springfield during the early evening hours. Together with some friends, they opened one evening a week at The Front Porch, a venue in the heart of downtown. The purpose was two-fold. First, was to provide a safe place for homeless persons to get off the streets for a few hours. Second, was to build relationships and gain a firsthand understanding of homelessness.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up with your email address to receive Eden Village news and updates.