We have been focusing our efforts on coordinating & helping with relief efforts for the #CardStreetFire near Sterling. Krista has been volunteering with the Sterling Community Center and coordinating housing for those displaced. Holly & Brandi have also been doing coordinating, networking and manning Facebook & Twitter to get information out. There have been so many volunteers, donations and acts of kindness from our community the past few days. It is inspiring.
Thanks to everyone for their part in helping our neighbors!
Follow our Twitter feed for updates!
The folks of Opportunity Village Eugene, Oregon are celebrating as they have made a huge step in the process of building Emerald Village Eugene. The group purchased a 1+ acre lot for $306,000 in May.
Designed as an affordable housing option for people who cannot afford to purchase turn-key homes or who do not otherwise qualify for public housing assistance, Emerald Village differs from Opportunity Village and is about half a mile apart. OV is a safe and temporary place for the homeless to get off the streets until they can move into a transitional housing situation. EVE will be a housing development of 15 small bungalows complete with a kitchenette and bathroom. Residents will then rent these 250 sq. ft dwellings for $225-275 per month.
The next step for EVE is raising the $400,000 in private funds to begin construction. Like EVE, The Habitation is relying on private funds to bring our dream to fruition. Private donations, volunteer efforts and eventually resident “sweat equity” is what will set us apart from government programs.
This is a step in the right direction, bringing affordable housing to individuals and families in Eugene, OR who are living on less income. More affordable housing options are needed across the Nation for Americans living on less income. We see the need here on the Kenai as well and we want to make a difference.
For more information on Opportunity Village and Emerald Village Eugene click here and here. If you would like to be part of our own housing initiative here on the Kenai Peninsula please join the conversation on The Habitation’s Facebook page. There are several opportunities for you to help!
A recent study published by the Seattle University School of Law reveals the discriminatory basis of many laws aimed at those less fortunate.
Modern anti-homeless ordinances share the same form, phrasing, and function as historical discrimination laws, such as Jim Crow.
Read the report and learn more about the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project here
Housing First is a viable option to end chronic homelessness. We see if working in places like Salt Lake City, UT and Santa Clara County, CA, Cutting the costs per person in half (homelessness costs cities through the services that get utilized like police, social services, hospital and emergency care, etc) and opening up new avenues for treatment for those who want it.
“Ironically, ending homelessness is actually cheaper than continuing to treat the problem. This would not only benefit the people who are homeless; it would be healing for the rest of us to live in a more compassionate and just nation,” Tsemberis says. “It’s not a matter of whether we know how to fix the problem. Homelessness is not a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s where we don’t yet have a cure. We have the cure for homelessness—it’s housing. What we lack is political will.”
Read the entire article here.
Besides the societal stigma homeless people face, many cities are passing more laws that apply to homeless people and/or charities that help them. Last fall saw the high-profile case in Florida where an elderly man was arrested for feeding homeless individuals in a public space. Should being in need make you a criminal?
Fact No. 9 reflects the seriousness of mental health and substance abuse. While it is not a fair stereotype, up to 1/4 of those who find themselves homeless suffer from mental illness and about half of those also have substance abuse issues. For some people, substance abuse is a form of self-medication. Some folks became homeless due to addiction or mental illness and some only begin using illicit substances and/or alcohol because of their homeless status. There are many sides to this Pandora’s box.
The Greater Seattle Cares program published this report in 2013 on 26 commonly held misconceptions about homelessness. These myths & facts apply across the nation, no matter what location.
Here’s an excerpt and fundamental philosophy shared by The Habitation:
“Ending a complex problem like homelessness requires a commitment from all members of our community–government officials, philanthropies, faith and civic groups, communities of color and their institutions and organizations, businesses including small business owners, housing and service providers, and concerned individuals…As a community we can–and we will–end homelessness.”
The state of being homeless is a multifaceted issue for many. A one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating homelessness does not work. We need multiple options available to meet the needs of the unhoused. With community involvement we can make a difference! Will you help us in our efforts to bring a Tiny House Village to the Kenai Peninsula? If you would like to find out how you can volunteer, please contact Krista Schooley at 907-252-2081 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whose job is it to care for the needs of the homeless and poor?
Still in the affordable housing vein, Fact 7 highlights the housing crisis and unemployment crisis we have been facing for the past several years.
Unemployment is down nationwide, yes, according to the numbers. The reality is that people are qualifying for less time, no extensions, and required to fill out work search requirements in order to prove you’re trying to find work. But finding work here on the Kenai that can support a family can be difficult. Tourist season is imminent and along with the summer months comes increased job opportunities as employers ramp up for the extra business in months ahead. Unfortunately the same time period sees a dramatic increase in rents for many available properties. And most of these jobs are temporary and low pay.
Happy Monday all! Picking up where we left off last Friday, we’re half-way through. Similar to #5, #6 highlights the need for more affordable housing. The thinkers and supporters of The Habitation believe in the model of tiny houses as a step in the right direction for providing more housing options.