About Quixote Village

  • Quixote Village is a self-governing community of 30 previously homeless adults.
  • The Village consists of 30 tiny (144 sq. ft interior) cottages, and a community building that contains a shared kitchen, dining area, living room, showers, laundry, and office and meeting space.
  • The Village site is 2.17 acres, and includes space for a large vegetable garden and personal “door yard” gardens in front of each cottage.
  • The Village is staffed by a full-time Program Manager and a part-time Resident Advocate.
  • The Village is supported by Panza, a 501C3 non-profit organization.  (Panza is named for Sancho Panza, the servant of Don Quixote in the Cervantes novel.)

How to Apply for Residence at the Village

  • The Village opened full, because its initial residents all moved from Camp Quixote.
  • We have not yet created an application process or waiting list, but will do so soon, and will post information immediately when we are ready to take applications.
  • In general, the admission process will include an initial interview with Village staff to determine eligibility, followed by an interview with the Resident Council’s Executive Committee, and a vote by Village residents.
  • Background checks are also required; residents may not have outstanding warrants, a recent history of violence or theft, and may not be sex offenders.
  • Village residents are expected to be clean and sober.

History

  • In February, 2007, a homeless camp was established in a downtown Olympia parking lot to protest a city ordinance that forbade sitting or lying on a sidewalk.  When police threatened to break up the camp, a local church offered campers sanctuary on their grounds.
  • The founders of Camp Quixote hoped to find land a build a village for themselves, consisting of tiny houses and a shared building that would house showers, laundry, and cooking facilities.
  • For the next six+ years, the camp moved from one church parking lot to another every three to six months under the terms of an ordinance that regulated it.
  • Panza, a non-profit organization, was created to support the camp.  Panza and the camp’s Resident Council worked together to build Quixote Village.
  • Camp Quixote residents left their tents behind and moved into the Village on December 24, 2013.

What the Village Cost

  • The total cost to build the entire Village was $3.05 million.  (This includes all development costs, infrastructure, materials, labor, the community building, permits, fees, required road improvements, donated land and services etc.)
  • The cost for each cottage was about $19,000.
  • Thurston County leased us the land for $1 a year for 41 years. (The value of the land is about $333,000.)
  • We had substantial donated services from our architect, our civil engineer, and others.
  • IF we divide the total cost of the Village, including donated land and services, by the number of cottages, then the cost per unit would be $101,567 per unit.  The average cost for studio apartments for low-income people is about $200,000 per unit.
  • However, what we actually PAID for the Village was just under $88,000 per unit, because we didn’t have to buy the land or pay full price for some high-value services such as architecture and engineering.

Where the Money Came From

  • $1.5 million in the state capital budget, which came through the state Department of Commerce’s Housing Trust Fund
  • $699,000 from federal Community Development Block Grant funding that came through Thurston County and the City of Olympia
  • $170,000 in Thurston County funding from state document recording fees
  • $215,000 in community donations, including the Nisqually and Chehalis Tribes, the Boeing Employees’ Fund, and individual donors