Day in the life of Inspiration Village


Day in the life of Inspiration Village

Welcome to Inspiration Village! I’m Michele Newhouse, and I work here. Hurry up! Put your lunch kits on the kitchen counter for the kitchen group to put away, change into your work boots and shoes, and grab that last sip of water or coffee, as the flags go up at 9:15 a.m. every weekday morning for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Inspiration Village (IV) has been starting their day like this (weather permitting, of course) since 2005, when this non-profit organization was formed in Trinity Texas.  IV’s mission to this day is to provide residential and day-hab services for individuals and their families who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. They do this on a 90-acre ranch/rural property in Trinity County. David and Connie Price are the founders of Inspiration Village.  Their son William, who has severe autism, is the inspiration for the village.  The clients get a chance to continually participate in day/life skills and work development programs.  Each client is an individual who will always be encouraged to progress as well as their circumstances allow. The village started with one client and now has a total of twenty-six.  Connie Price explains, “I feel like we created a family here. We are all one big family, staff included.”

Pledge of Allegiance is done, now is time to break up into our monthly groups.

The clients in the large livestock group get together and proceed to the barn and feed shed. This is Ms. Kristy’s group. Kristy has been here since the opening of the village and has just returned fulltime after a little break.  The clients proceed to fill up the feed buckets and head into the pasture, where they feed the cows, longhorns, and miniature horses. The livestock are usually right at the gates greeting the clients with lots of mooing as they wait for their breakfast.  Make sure you’re wearing your boots; you don’t want to step into anything brown and mushy! After they are done eating their feed, the clients then get a chance to harness up the horses and have some socialization time with them as they brush them.  After they are done grooming the horses, the clients and horses both get some exercise as they walk them around the village and/or in the pasture. Ms. Kristy also teaches the clients how to keep the pasture in great condition. Her favorite thing to do with them after the feeding is done is to go out in the pasture and show them how to create burn piles in a safe and effective manner.  “The guys really seem to enjoy it, and so do I.  It’s relaxing and is a form of stress relief.”

The clients in the small livestock group meet at the chicken pen.  This is Ms. Candice’s group. They let the chickens (and yes, ducks too) out of the coop, and proceed to collect the eggs from the nesting boxes. They are carefully collected and brought to the kitchen. The clients fill up the chicken feeders with pellets and throw out two buckets of scratch in the pen for the chickens to feast on. Sometimes the clients add a little spice in the chicken’s lives by adding a little “Cayenne pepper” to the scratch. Hush, now; this is a village secret to help them produce more eggs!  The last thing to be done is to make sure the water in the water pools is dumped and refilled with fresh water.  Off to the garden now as this group (and maybe one or two from another group) plants seedlings in the garden boxes, works in the greenhouse maintaining new plants, and cultivates and cares for the spring/summer garden, from which we usually get a huge harvest of vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and herbs to sell. We also sell the eggs year-round for $3.00 a dozen.

The kitchen group works in (well, you guessed it) the kitchen. Ms. Tammy, who has been the lead staff member here, has been working at the village for 8 yrs. She teaches the clients how to shop for and prepare delicious meals and desserts. Tammy tells us, “I love that they are learning to cook. I like to teach them creativity in the kitchen. My goal for them is to see them work independently and learn consistency.”  The first thing she does in the morning with her group is have them put away all the lunches the clients brought for that day. They do this every day except on Fridays. On Fridays, the kitchen group prepares a big meal for everyone, and we eat as a family all together. Tammy explains, “Besides being a family, I want the clients to know we are always here for them. You get really attached to them on a personal level. Being here this long, you know what their hopes and dreams are.”   This group learns how to follow and develop recipes, shop for the ingredients, and also learns how to create a budget. Ms. Tammy has a monthly bake sale with her group in which they sell all kinds of delicious goodies, plus homemade dog treats!

Well, if you’re not exhausted yet, this is just the morning routines. In the afternoons, they have scheduled volunteers for each day of the week to come in with an array of activities.  They have a storytime, jewelry making, craft time, art lessons, and music therapy,

Now it’s not all about life skills, ranching, and farming, as you may think. The clients also have an opportunity to learn some business skills in today’s market (no pun intended). This is my group. I have been with the village for 4 years. We will open a gift shop in which (you guessed it) we will sell our crafts and artwork.  The clients are currently learning about advertising, marketing, and retail sales. The group also puts together a monthly newsletter that goes out. It covers all the news that’s going on at the village.  I love that I get to take my group out in the community and teach them about public relations and how important it is how to communicate with people.   I don’t feel like this is my job; I feel like I’m teaching my own children, and I’m very proud of them.

We invite you all to come out and take a tour! When you’re here, you will see in the pasture our first residential home that one of our clients now lives in. We have another one to be completed soon.  You will see a beautiful barn that was built, along with everything else we are so proud of.  When you leave, don’t forget to get some farm fresh eggs, a bushel of fresh vegetables, and a souvenir from our gift shop.

Our goal now is to see the village continue to grow.  We always welcome donations. You can call us at 936-594-1588. Our mailing address is Inspiration Village, P.O. Box 667, Trinity, TX 75862. Follow us on Facebook by searching  Inspiration Village Trinity or visit

“You’re one of a kind; therefore, no one can really predict to what height you might soar.”

(As of this writing, there are some federal mandates being implemented in September that will affect Day-habs in a negative way.  HHS Rider #21 in the 2019 General Appropriations Act has proposed rules which will force the shutting down of day-habs across Texas; clients will be transitioned into Individual Skills and Services programs. Please call your congressmen to help us address this concern.

Next Up