Against what at times seemed insurmountable odds, and with the help of countless volunteers, our supportive contractor, Construct Inc., and the their own hard work, the residents of Camp Quixote became the first Quixote villagers on Christmas Eve!
The construction phase is not fully completed–there is a lot of landscaping still to do, and finishing touches to be applied to the community building. But things got far enough along that the City of Olympia could issue a temporary permit of occupancy, and all the cottages and kitchen, laundry and bathing facilities are fully functional.
Panza Board members and other volunteers provided a Christmas tree, a fire in the wood stove and a sumptuous dinner–the first meal in the community building!–on Christmas Eve, and the kind folks from Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Camp Quixote spent the past six months, brought gifts for everyone. More than a few tears were shed that night!
Much remains to be done: villagers are hard at work cleaning up the last camp site at Westminster; Construct, Inc., and its subcontractors are applying the final touches; and Panza and its staff are putting in place all the strategies and procedures designed to make Quixote Village an outstanding model of permanent supportive housing for our homeless neighbors.
From all of us, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who worked so tirelessly to help the residents become villagers, and on Christmas Eve! The list is as long as memory: scads of volunteers, donors, gift-givers and dinner-providers; city and county, state and federal elected officials and staff who championed and facilitated our progress through the rules and processes; major and minor donors who took a chance on a first-of-its-kind response to homelessness; and, last but by no means least, the owners and employees of the businesses–especially Mike and Andrew of Construct Inc.–who put in so much extra time and effort to make that first evening possible.
Keep an eye out for an announcement of a GRAND OPENING in the next few weeks. In the meantime, HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Quixote villagers and the Panza Board!!!
Tim Ransom, President of Panza
P.S., Obviously our website will need updating now! Please be patient, as we lack a webmaster at the moment. So much to do, so little time…..