Bonton Village @ Lake Highlands is a community asset and unique ecosystem focused on relationships that addresses core human needs and provides customized pathways for our most disadvantaged residents to reach their potential.
This innovative project will replicate the economic development and housing model established in southern Dallas by Bonton Farms and combine it with the collaborative impact model from City of Refuge in Atlanta and best practices from other cities and organizations.
An urban farm, a farm-to-table café, a workforce innovation hub, primary and behavioral healthcare, and transitional housing will be located at one site to help people build job skills and secure long-term employment opportunities to empower long-term thriving.
Bonton Village @ Lake Highlands will provide people experiencing homelessness with the necessary services and environment to recover, while creating a sense of community that is connected to and integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods.
What began in 2011 as a garden in Daron Babcock’s back yard and Bible study in his home has grown into a remarkable place that annually attracts visitors from more than 40 countries around the world. People are drawn to Bonton Farms to experience and learn more about how Daron and his team provide the necessary resources to restore lives, create jobs and ignite hope for the most vulnerable people in southern Dallas.
Recognized as one of the city’s most respected nonprofit organizations, Bonton Farms relies on relationships as its foundation to help people advance from various levels of crisis to higher levels of independence and dignity, while providing an asset that positively impacts the entire community.
City of Refuge (COR) is a collaborative environment that helps individuals and families transition out of crisis into stability. In the most dangerous neighborhood in Atlanta, City of Refuge has brought partners together under one roof to deliver high-quality job training, financial literacy, education, healthcare, housing and other services to empower the marginalized to thrive. Its mission is rooted in getting to the hearts of people first and then building the necessary infrastructure needed to provide sustainability.
City of Refuge-Atlanta has strong partners like NAPA Auto Parts, Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines and others that have expressed interest in expanding the COR model to Dallas. This level of partnership creates both a uniqueness and sustainability to continue our goal of providing hope to an underserved population.
Bonton Farms has partnered with Mike Reinsel, CEO of City of Refuge-Dallas, to lead this project and implement best practices and programs from Atlanta and elsewhere.
The Human Impact (THI) believes the fundamental solution to poverty and homelessness is replacing broken relationships with new, healthy ones. Founded in 2013 and a longtime partner with Bonton Farms, THI will be expanding its role to recruit housing candidates for Bonton Village @ Lake Highlands and helping to create community rules and accountability measures.
THI is led by Founder and President Elisabeth Jordan, and its mission is to befriend people experiencing homelessness and bridge the relational gap to change lives. THI’s team builds trust over time with its friends and identifies their root causes of homelessness. They then partner with those friends to walk alongside them toward a new future—one that they articulate. This future often includes meaningful work, a safe place to live, access to quality medical and mental healthcare, and legal assistance.