A SMALL home village has become an important resource for a multitude of people struggling with homelessness.
But there are a few past actions that would prevent a person from transitioning into this supportive, open-minded community.
Goodness Village is located in Livermore, California, approximately 40 miles west of San Francisco. Patch reported.
The rent for the 28 tiny houses is 30 percent of the residents’ income.
Each 160 square meter unit has a double bed, a toilet, a kitchenette and a shower.
The community, which celebrated its second anniversary this month, also offers 24-hour on-site mental health care and a vocational training program to help residents transition into work.
“You need a house before you start changing your maladaptive coping strategies,” founder and director Kim Curtis told Patch.
“You need to eliminate the scary things that put you in fight-or-flight mode.”
But that doesn’t mean that housing chronically homeless people in traditional housing is the solution.
“Putting people with high needs in isolated housing doesn’t always work with people like you and me who are afraid of them,” she said.
“That part of the community was missing, in my opinion.”
It’s not easy to get kicked out of Goodness Village since alcohol and drug use are allowed in the community.
“We’re about removing shame and guilt and having comprehensive conversations about how this substance use has been incredibly effective in keeping you alive on the streets,” Curtis said.
“If I were unprotected, I definitely wouldn’t be sober out there.”
There are only three prior crimes that would disqualify an applicant: arson, sexual assault and repeat acts of violence.
To date, under Curtis’ watch, no residents have been arrested and only one has been evicted from the community.
“Safety is an immediate way out,” she said.
“Within 24 hours we will ask you to leave. We don’t play. The village must be a safe place.”
But even the sole resident who had to leave her tiny house was asked to reapply for housing if she could prove her behavior had improved.