A home for the homeless

March 8, 2012

OPINION By BECKY JORGESON

We are pleased to announce that a board of directors has been appointed for our soon-to-be nonprofit public benefit corporation “Hope’s Village of SLO.” The board is comprised of local homeless advocates who are working to establish a self-sustaining community village of tiny homes where local homeless adults, regardless of their backgrounds, will live in dignity and in peace.

The village will provide a viable housing solution for more of our homeless neighbors and the most vulnerable – our women and the elderly, who are unsafe living on the streets.

The board is now preparing bylaws and will submit articles of incorporation to operate as a 501(c)3 organization. Formal written agreements will be developed between the board of directors, the villagers and local government officials. All laws, agreements, and rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to.

The village’s membership will be restricted to adult men and women. Each villager will have a voice and a vote in village decisions, and must contribute to the well-being of the village. Short and long term goals (and progress toward these goals) will be regularly reviewed in scheduled meetings at both the board and villager levels. Issues to be addressed include (but are not limited to) homelessness, work, public safety, sustainability, respect, and civic participation.

The current hope is that land can be inexpensively leased from San Luis Obispo County on the outskirts of the City of San Luis Obispo.

The villagers will work to design and build the residential structures (utilizing sustainable building methods) with the help of Central Coast community residents. Local fire, health, and planning departments will be asked to inspect and approve the buildings as they are being constructed to ensure all requirements are met.

The village will be a model for sustainability and civic participation with the smallest carbon footprint possible. Our goal is to encourage interaction, cooperation, and a better understanding between our previously homeless neighbors and local community residents as they come together to build the village.

There will be a “one-strike-you’re-out” culture; there will be zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, theft, or violence. The village will have round-the-clock security for residents and property. The board of directors and villagers will work in cooperation with the SLO County Sheriff and SLO Police. We want to ensure their continuing support and will keep these agencies apprised of all aspects of our village.

The village will have liability insurance coverage (under the auspices of the nonprofit) and will hold harmless the city and county of SLO for any liability they may have had concerns about.

Most importantly, the village will allow formerly homeless people another chance for a better life. They will have the stability of a home in a safe and healthy environment. They will be held accountable for their actions. They will learn new job skills to enable them to obtain meaningful work. They will be encouraged to start (or continue) their education, and to take advantage of the many services available to them at agencies in our community. Our board also looks forward to working in conjunction with these agencies.

Thanks to our caring community and government, more of our homeless neighbors will be able to live in safe and healthy homes, and help promote the same for others — and have hope for a better future.

Our village will eventually be self-supporting. However, we have start-up costs and invite you to participate in this project by making a financial donation. (Future contributions will be tax deductible when our nonprofit status is finalized.) Checks can be made to Hope’s Village of SLO and deposited at any Sesloc Federal Credit Union branch, or mailed to Hope’s village of SLO, P.O. Box 100, Santa Margarita, CA 93453.

We’re very excited about this project, and welcome your ideas. Thank you for your interest.

Becky Jorgeson is a long time supporter of the homeless and the founder of Hope’s Village of SLO.


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seesfarther

Tough problem. At least two neighboring cities have attempted to deal with it. Our own shelter is a decent attempt at same.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT6X6i74tB8&feature=related


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/13/MNDVUALRV.DTL&ao=all


I have picked up hitchhikers from northern California who have told me on more than one occasion, “Oh yeah… San Luis Obispo takes GOOD care of the homeless!” They referred to free lunches and bus rides to the homeless shelter.


Apparently word is out. Just don’t try to live in your car or RV.


jackbnimble

Ms. Jorgeson, could you please specify who is on the Board of Directors and a bit about their backgrounds? thanks.


bjorgeso

Certainly – just give me a call — 234-5478


godislanguage

Sunny Acres II….good luck!!!


Ted Slanders

This sounds like the government agricultural camps in California and Arizona for the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930’s! GREAT! They were like a microcosm of a town government within the confines of the camp. Hope it works!


Jesus is finally smiling upon San Luis Obispo County!


SLOChildrenAtPlay

Back in the 1930’s the agricultural camps were populated by people who had traveled hundreds and even thousands of miles to California looking for work. Of course people accustomed to hard work are willing to work a little harder to develop a successful community.


Let’s just see how well this “homeless village” can be self-governed by people who traveled hundreds of miles to our area looking for good weather, good entitlements, and guilty upper middle-class people to feel sorry for them.


bjorgeso

Actually, most of our homeless are local citizens…it’s a misconception that people

flock to SLO to live – our reputation in how we treat our homeless is not that good


Please — try going out there and talking to some of our homeless neighbors before

you judge them.


SLOChildrenAtPlay

“There will be a “one-strike-you’re-out” culture; there will be zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, theft, or violence.”


How will this be enforced? I would hope that everyone living in this “village” would be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. And what about prescription medications? I have known a few homeless people who are “disabled” and addicted to pain killers, who also sell their prescription drugs on occasion to earn some cash. Will “medical marijuana” be allowed in the “village?”


“The board is comprised of local homeless advocates who are working to establish a self-sustaining community village of tiny homes where local homeless adults, regardless of their backgrounds, will live in dignity and in peace.”


“Regardless of their backgrounds.” Meaning: Convicted felons and sex offenders welcome.


Good luck getting any of the NIMBY SoCal transplants in SLO city to allow this anywhere near their pretentious little “Happy Town” neighborhoods.


bjorgeso

Please give me a call if you’d like to discuss this – 234-5478 – I’d be happy to talk with

you. It’s hard for me to answer those who don’t put their names on comments.


inmyopinion

Just one thing, It is sad to see this article state that the most vulnerable are the women and elderly.

What happend to the Men that are just as vulnerable if they have any mental or physical disabilities that might keep them from protecting themselves. JMOO. Let’s not forget them. And of course the children. God bless them all.


bjorgeso

You’re right – men are vulnerable, too. Our next village will be for families – right now,

they’re the ones who are getting the help – single men & women are left out more often.

Stay tuned!


Bob

Good Luck. I sincerely hope your efforts are successful.


bjorgeso

Thank you very much — me too!


doggin

Yeah, that’s a but concerning. Either way here’s a perfect opportunity for some of SLO’s finest to step up and put their money where their mouths are by donating and helping out anyway possible for a great cause.


curlyp

Please clarify “The village’s membership will be restricted to adult men and women.” Homeless families with children will be excluded??

I hope I am miss reading this


bjorgeso

Currently, families are the ones who get the most help — read below