We have partnered with Community Frameworks, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and Puget Sound Veterans Hope Center to create a tiny home village in Orting, Washington. The village will be the same set up as QV. Yesterday I went to go visit the area. WOW, was I impressed! The land was beautiful. It was quiet and serene. The pictures below do NOT do it justice. It had not one but TWO baseball fields and even a trout pond!
I then went to a community open forum in Orting with our partners. We presented our “case” on building affordable housing for Veterans at the Old Soldiers Home. We had great feedback and support from the community. Our very own resident Jimi gave a powerful speech about his journey from Camp Quixote to the Village. Two veterans from the Hope Center told their stories about how the Hope Center and Tacoma Mission has helped them. They will hopefully be two of our first residents in Orting!
There were some reservations from a few community members, mostly about crime and fear of drug use in their neighborhoods. We hear this one a lot. Although it is a concern to a lot of neighbors, it has proven to be nothing but the opposite at the Village and other permanent supportive housing facilities. We spoke to them about their concerns and gave them an open invitation to come to QV to see how things are here.
Overall, I would say the community open forum was successful. It was great to see all of our partners coming together in order to house homeless veterans. We still have a long way to go and may have some bumps in the road but all I can say to that is bring it on!
Walking into the field and admiring the landscape. From L to R: Jimi (QV resident), Sean (Executive Director), and Joe (Board Member).
Raul (Program Manager), looking for some trout.
Fishing Pond gazebo. Can you imagine hanging out here – let alone living here?!
Ted (Panza President) speaking with Alfie (Director of Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs).
Jimi (Resident) speaking with Community Frameworks
Orting Community Forum watching our PBS video.
Raul talking to the audience about Quixote Village
Residents just completed their second week of the Life Skills Program 201 with the Peace Center! This week we learned about budgeting and finance. There were some great group activities where residents looked at how much they were actually spending (it made me rethink my daily coffee…). We had some fruitful discussions on wants vs. needs and how these may be different for each individual. We went through some example budgets and the residents’ homework is to work through their own personal one.
Next week we will be learning about savings and loans, debts, FICO scores, and credit cards.
It’s been really amazing working in this new partnership with the Peace Center. The Peace Center is an all-inclusive outreach center that offers a food pantry, resource coaching, as well as different classes such as CPR certification and English as a second language. Our residents have been having a blast with their new classes and coaches. When I got into work at 8 am on the day of the class one of the resident’s said “I just want it to be class time already!”. It’s those comments that make it all worth while!
Conversation with the teacher “are you sure coffee isn’t a NEED?”
Debating on who has the best handwriting to write up on the board!
Apparently Joe has the best handwriting!
Wants and needs list