LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
Who is Compassion Village?
Compassion Village is a grassroots effort led by faith communities in the Sacramento Region, to build Tiny Home Villages on underutilized church properties. The Villages consist of Tiny Homes on wheels built to the RV code, Innovation/Resource Centers that provide necessary wrap around services and community living, restrooms, showers, laundry, computers and television. Finally, the “maker” Villages, in partnership with the The E49 City Transformation Hub trains the residents in entrepreneurship and gain necessary experience in the workforce through small business innovation.
Each Village consists of 20-50 Tiny Homes on the church site depending on space and land. Each Tiny Home is currently 8x16 square feet and 13’5” high with a loft.
In the research stages of building the Village concept, the team visited Community First! in Austin, Texas and chose to partner with and base Compassion Village’s model on Austin’s vision with two exceptions; the Sacramento version is a dispersed site model and encourages residents to eventually own their home.
The Village also gives priority to people experiencing homelessness in the neighborhood they are in and focuses each Village on the needs in that community. In Del Paso for example, many of the applicants are men and Veterans. In South Sacramento, the need is for women and children. The Vision is to have 15-20 Villages throughout the Region of Sacramento, each having the ability to focus on a particular population’s needs such as formerly incarcerated, sex trafficking victims, refugees, youth and adult populations.
Once on site, residents are provided an opportunity to participate in weekly group meetings regarding the day to day operations of the site and any issues they me be having that need to be discussed. They are also assigned a case manager who meets with residents twice weekly in a group setting and once weekly individually to help the resident guide their goals and needs. Finally, each resident is asked to volunteer weekly with food distribution to the local neighborhood and some site maintenance.
How does it work?
Compassion Village is a collaborative strategy, between The E49 Foundation., Churches throughout the Region, Business Sponsors and Nonprofits, to provide a wholistic approach to homelessness housing that addresses the whole person and the whole of the issues needing to be addressed. Generally, E49 manages the overall project and deliverables; Churches adopt a resident and provide Mentoring and general assistance; and various Nonprofit and Health providers provide Case Management and wrap around services. Each organization will have a role focused on
three key areas: Housing, Mentoring and Entrpreneurship.
Churches commit to raising $10,000 to pay for the Tiny Home materials, building the homes with their congregations and then partnering for a minimum of three years afterwards by providing volunteers for site assistance and a minimum financial commitment of $5000 that is used for maintenance of the home and ongoing services for the resident in the home. Businesses match the $10,000, assist with the building the Tinies and/or with the Compassion Garden or Food Trucks, as well as the same three year partnership of $5000 a year. Phase I services will include shelter, advocacy and life mentoring and job skills training. Phase I residents will utilize the Phase II building for restrooms, kitchen and showers.
Phase II of the project will include a light rehab of an existing building on the church property, which currently is vacant and consists of 12 bedrooms and common areas that include a kitchen, showers and bathrooms. Residents living in the temporary version of the tiny homes will utilize the phase II building facilities for services and social enterprise including dorm living for residents enrolled in the social enterprise incubator program. This building will also house two full time site managers, homeless advocates, social services, mentoring, vocational education, as well as, provide a place for visitors to stay for short or long term missions. Phase II enterprise and housing will be short- term employment and housing for up to two years.
Phase III of the project is a permanent solution to homelessness in Tiny or Small homes on a 1- acre lot nearby. The vacant lot is currently being purchased through the County of Sacramento in a tax sale. Conditional use of the lot will include the requirement to build low-income housing for lease or purchase.
Finally, once residents are stabilized, vocational training and an opportunity to work for one of our social enterprises will start. The initial social enterprises will include a Village Garden, Culinary Training and a Food Truck Business. Additionally, residents will have an opportunity to work with build Tiny Homes.
St. Pauls COGIC
Compassion Village is a collaborative effort to transform communities through Tiny Homes and Hope Centers.