Since the publication of the article on Quixote Village in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/garden/small-world-big-idea.html?_r=0), the stream of visitors to the Village seems to have been endless! Most prominent have been major media groups (see my previous post for some) including, last week, Al Jazeera with Allen Schauffler, which spent the better part of two days with us and broadcast live feeds from the Village on Thursday. ABC World News spent Wednesday interviewing and filming villagers — their clip is supposed to air this week (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer) and we will be featured in a story about responses to homelessness nationwide.
The stream of calls, emails and Facebook postings has also been constant, with people from all around the country expressing interest in and solidarity for the mission of the Village. Everyone from nearby neighbors to homeless advocates from near and far have come to visit, see what’s going on and, in many cases, ask “How’d you do it?” The answer to that question, of course, is neither short nor simple, but revolves around the notion that it has taken seven years, since the founding of Camp Quixote, to build a constituency that would make it happen–to gather together the village that would build a village. City, county, state and federal elected officials and staff, local business, hundreds of our neighbors who have volunteered to help, all had to be on board before critical mass — the intention to build a permanent site for chronically homeless adults here — was reached.
Of course the brunt of all this attention, and the hardest work to build that constituency, has always fallen on the shoulders of the residents of, first, Camp Quixote, and now Quixote Village. The recent spate of visitors has turned the Village into a fishbowl, and the ability of the villagers to accept being under the microscope (I love to mix metaphors!) with such good grace has been nothing short of amazing. Special thanks to those who have been willing to open their homes and lives to inquiring eyes and lenses, and here’s hoping that your “fifteen minutes of fame” is a suitable reward. The true value of your gift, though, is your contribution, by being a “guinea pig” (3rd time’s a charm!), to an end to poverty and homelessness everywhere!
While we know that the visitors will keep coming (and they are welcome!), it was with some relief that we said goodbye to the last TV truck and greeted another set of neighbors — ducks! On Sunday five mallards dropped in for a spin on the ponds and apparently liked what they found. We are really looking forward to making the ponds even more alluring this spring by installing wetland plants with the help of wonderful volunteers with the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team and Cascadecopia. Frogs have already taken up residence as well.
So stay tuned (and wish for spring, soon!).