"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Nov 7, 2019

Hope for the Homeless

I'm house-sitting at Lake Tahoe again (I know, tough gig), and just wanted to post a couple things about Hope Village in Medford, OR, which recently celebrated its 2nd Anniversary on Halloween, and where I've been a volunteer for over a year now.

These tiny duplex's do not have electricity or plumbing.  There are separate bathroom and kitchen facilities, and a common area for resident's use.  As anyone with a beating heart can imagine, it's hard to live with no fan in the summer or heater in winter.  So where do they go?

The Community Center.  A  larger center was recently constructed, so the old area (r) has becometo a Visitor Center, which is where I was painting this past summer.

I always felt badly that the city of Medford would only permit the Village the same designation as campgrounds, so no power allowed.  I'd like to see the Council members spend a single night without heat in the dead of winter or any way to charge their phones.  I was therefore thrilled to learn our local Rotary Club donated 15 solar panels:

"We are extremely grateful for Medford Rotary and their investment of time, funding and resources into Hope Village. These 15 solar panels will help provide light and a small charging station in all 30 of the tiny house units. We are humbled to receive this support. Thank you for lighting up our lives."

Here are two stories sent to me recently:

"Sitting in a vacant studio apartment on the second floor of one of the complexes, Brenner shows me data on a patient named Steve, a 54-year-old with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, heart disease, and diabetes. He was homeless before UnitedHealth got him into an apartment. In the 12 months prior to moving in, Steve went to the ER 81 times, spent 17 days hospitalized, and had medical costs, on average, of $12,945 per month. In the nine months since he got a roof over his head and health coaching from Brenner’s team, Steve’s average monthly medical expenses have dropped more than 80%, to $2,073."

And here's a surprise from Amazon:

"While other major tech companies donate billions of dollars to West Coast affordable housing projects in response to criticism their high salaries make area housing unaffordable, e-commerce giant Amazon is taking a bit of a different approach.

"Amazon's Block 21 office complex under construction in downtown Seattle could well be a first in the annals of corporate America: It includes a custom-designed, eight-level shelter for homeless families inside the company's newest office.

"The shelter, a collaborative effort between the Seattle-based company and the nonprofit Mary's Place, is set to open at 2220 Seventh Ave. in the spring. Mary's Place said the eight-story, 63,000 square foot shelter will take up half of one of Amazon's two buildings at the site. It's designed to accommodate 275 people nightly. Two of the floors will be set aside for the nonprofit's Popsicle Place program for homeless families with critically ill children."
 Now, how nice is that to read about businesses stepping up to the plate?  Too bad Uncle Sam remains in the shadows.

So when I return to Oregon, I'll be delivering home-made pine cone decorations for the residents, and then start painting the new community center (r) to try and make it homey.

What can you do to help your own local tiny-home community?  Lots, believe me.

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Original gourd art designs Copyright 2020 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.



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