Garden Updates – Jaycie

UPDATE February 2018: If you’d like to help us with our garden this year, please donate here.  I’ve had some people asking for updates on our garden. Well here you go!

We have had a few weeding parties with residents, staff, volunteers, and board members. We are almost done overhauling the beds and will start planting soon! The residents have started a small garden group where people will map out where each plant goes and who will be responsible for what. We are so excited to see what this season brings! If you’d like to donate any plants, seeds, pots, or even your gardening skills – please contact me (Jaycie) at 360-890-4079 or jaycie.osterberg@quixotevillage.com. Stay tuned for more info!
Garden April 2017 (4) Garden April 2017 (3) Garden April 2017 (1) Garden April 2017 (8) Garden April 2017 (7) Garden April 2017 (5)

How it all began by Jaycie

One of our most asked questions is how did Quixote Village get started? Well, let me tell you!

camp quixote 2007

Camp Quixote Downtown, 2007

The Village started as a tent city back in 2007. The tent city was established in protest of the Pedestrian Interference Ordinance. This ordinance made it illegal to sit or lie on a sidewalk between 12am and 7am (when people usually sleep). Just as the police were threatening to break up the tent city, a local church graciously offered the residents sanctuary on their property.

Although tent city’s weren’t sanctioned, they were allowed to be on church properties. However – this was not a permanent solution. Per city regulation, each church could only host the tent city for three to six months at a time. So, as soon as residents got settled in they had to pack up and move to another church. The camps also had to have 24/7 “hosts”, or people to watch over. The hosts were 100% volunteers and we gained a lot of public support from them. Residents imagined a tiny home village where they were able to live communally as well as have their own privacy. Then came the birth of Panza. Panza worked with Camp Quixote’s Resident Council to build Quixote Village.

Camp quixote

Camp Quixote at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation host site

It was years of residents and Panza working with an abundance of different local
authorities to raise the money needed for the Village. We received money from the Department of Commerce’s Housing Trust Fund, Community Development Block Grants from Thurston County and the City of Olympia, and funding from document recording fees. We also received grants from local communities at Nisqually, Chehalis Tribe, Boeing Employees’ Fund, and local donors. Thurston County leased us our land for $1 per year for 41 years. We worked with Community Frameworks as our developer and one of our own volunteers, Garner Miller, did the architecture.

Although we had public support, there were just as many people against us. We had to show them that all of their fears of crime, vandalism, and
architectslowered property values were merely false. Location also proved to be complicated because of NIMBY (Not In My BackYard). Many people did not want “our type of community” in their neighborhood. We were even taken to court for our present location. Another downfall was zoning – since there wasn’t really any permitting for tiny homes we had to work with local legislatures to create one. We had (and still have) many supporters who advocated for the Village.

building

Early stages of the village, 2013

Our residents were involved in every step of the way. They helped with the design, location, and even some of the construction. After many hours of labors of love, the Village was finally opened on December 24, 2013. Camp Quixote residents left their tents behind and started their journey of permanent housing. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work of the board, residents, and community members. Housing is a right and we will continue to safely house people and provide a path to stability.

 

Quixote Village Updates from Jaycie

Hi everyone – Jaycie here. I just wanted to give some updates on how we are all doing! We had our 3 year anniversary for the Village back in February as well as our 10 year anniversary for the start up of the camp. Can you believe it? We had a fun night with music, story telling, and tours to celebrate this milestone. We’ve accomplished so much in these past years but it’s really nothing compared to what our residents have achieved. People constantly amaze us with their resiliency! We’ve had people earn their high school diploma and Bachelor’s Degree. We’ve had people get their driver’s licenses back and own their own vehicle. People are going back to work (or continuing their work). People are reconnecting with family members they haven’t talked to in years. There are people who are finally able to work on their mental and/or physical health. People are learning to trust again. They don’t have to live on a 24 hour clock, trying to think of where they are going to stay or how they are going to get food or even how to heat it up. We have people who have fought extreme substance use addictions. We just had someone celebrate their 2 years of sobriety and have another resident about to celebrate their 4 years! People are constantly working on themselves and it’s a beautiful thing.

Residents have access to staff for supportive services. But they also have each other. There is a TON of peer support here at the Village. Residents are always helping each other out. It’s this type of peer mentorship that aids in the success of the Village. Residents are able to live with other people with shared experiences and it’s those shared experiences that bring them together. We aren’t just a Tiny Home Village, we’re a family.

Spring is just around the corner!

Hi everyone, Jaycie here! Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for us to work on the garden! The residents got together last week to put together a plan of action. Here are our “before” pictures. I can’t wait to show the results! Our residents love gardening. It is really a great way for collaboration within our community as well as a form of therapy and self-care. Plus, it’s great to eat! Stay tuned for updated pictures!

Garden Before (1) Garden Before (2) Garden Before (3)