MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A former Melrose High School graduate is stepping up for his community in a unique way.
"This is where I actually got my values and I learned about friendship and family,” said builder Dwayne Jones.
Jones has called Orange Mound home his entire life. Now, decades later, Jones says the community isn't what it once was.
"You see vacant lots. Some of them were my paper customers. One house up the street caught on fire and a lot of houses are in disrepair and peeling paint,” said Jones.
Jones is now using his degree in architectural engineering to bring back some life to this once thriving community.
He got the idea while traveling on mission trips and seeing people living in smaller homes.
The tiny house movement has taken off nationwide and Jones is bringing it to Orange Mound. A few years ago, he was part of a movement to bring a tiny house village for homeless people to Nashville.
"We have energy efficient windows. We have low VOC paint. We have central heat and air and full size appliances,” said Jones.
So far, Jones has three tiny homes in Orange Mound like the one on Supreme Avenue.
He's hit a few bumps along the way with donors, loans, and construction companies. But his goal is to bring new life to the neighborhood that gave him so much.
"I love this community. It’s a passion. I’m not going to get rich doing this but I think it’s just a labor of love for me,” said Jones.