Hope’s Village of SLO is working to establish “sustainable community living for people without homes.” Their vision is to help provide low cost minimalist individual cabins (small, one-room, no utilities aside from solar) to the villagers in communities of about thirty such units along with a larger community building with cooking/laundry/bathing facilities and such.
They see this model as a way of serving a currently-underserved group of people who are homeless. Also, they feel that providing homes (as opposed to mere "shelter") to homeless people will result in better outcomes and will give those people more breathing room in which to pull themselves together and become more self-sufficient.
The group is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit and has been meeting for three years now.
About the villages
The people living in this community ("village") will be encouraged to help one another and to help improve the community, while also participating in self-help programs.
The project is currently working with a variety of agencies to try to figure out how to get this sort of project permitted. The tiny homes they envision fit awkwardly into existing building codes. So they're spending a lot of time trying to find allies in government and lobby for changes in regulations. They're also seeking funding and land: they need at least ten acres, preferably on a site near a public transit stop.
The Village project they’re envisioning is similar to some others around the country, but also different in some significant ways. They hope to become a model for other similar projects.
Other aspects of the project
The “Showers of Hope” project, which brings a mobile shower trailer to various locations around SLO to serve homeless people, was launched by Hope’s Village.
Hope’s Village also launched a side project, “RVs for Veterans,” which has donated more than 55 motor homes, travel trailers, and such to local homeless military veterans.
They’re also eager to work to dispel negative stereotypes about people without homes — people who are currently treated “like refugees in their own country.” They also see the villages of minimalist homes as positive demonstrations of a less-consumerist, smaller-footprint lifestyle.
- Nonprofit plans to house SLO's homeless; all it needs is land Telegram-Tribune 24 March 2015