They all hope the village will be a template “for the kind of thing we can do as a city going forward,” Ritchie said Wednesday.
“We’re trying something that’s never been done here before,” he said. “There are lots of moving parts with this. … We know we will probably hit some speed bumps, and we will deal with them immediately when we do.”
No formal agreements have been signed yet, but all partners are committed to making it happen, Silver said. Clark County will provide the majority of funding for operations, which are expected to be between $200,000 to $250,000, he said.
That figure doesn’t include building materials and construction. Silver said he hoped the community would donate the estimated $40,000 needed to build the tiny houses, given the recent outpouring of concern about street homelessness and the lack of shelter space to house everyone.
The Council for the Homeless will select the village’s tenants. Church groups will serve hot meals every night. (Food can’t be prepared on site because there isn’t a commercial kitchen.) Council for the Homeless will contract with Consumer Voices Are Born, a mental health agency, to provide peer-to-peer support at the village, which will have a full-time manager living on the site in a trailer to enforce strict rules.
Want to Help?
The Council for the Homeless is trying to raise $40,000 for building materials for tiny houses for the homeless. To donate money, send a check to Council for the Homeless, 2500 Main St., Vancouver, WA 98660. Write “tiny houses” on the memo line. Donations also can be made online at www.councilforthehomeless.org/donate.
Once the building materials are purchased, volunteers will be needed to assemble the tiny houses. Organizers also are seeking churches willing to serve nightly hot meals to tenants of the tiny village after it opens. They’re also hoping someone might donate a food cart, which would provide the village with a commercial kitchen for food preparation. Anyone interested in helping is asked to contact Bill Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, Edwards has had one visit and one email from neighborhood residents concerned about the project. When Edwards explained the plans to the neighbor who stopped by, “he was very much in favor of it,” Edwards said.
Work will start as soon as possible, Ritchie said. However, before construction begins, the city must approve plans and permitting, contracts need to be in place with the church and Clark County, money for the tiny houses must be raised and a “good neighbor agreement” must be negotiated with the North Garrison Heights neighborhood association, Silver said. A neighborhood association meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at City Hall to discuss the plan.