The new Goodness Village “tiny household” community in Livermore is building strides to mitigate homelessness in the Tri-Valley by offering harmless and cost-effective residing spaces to previously unhoused people.
“I am pretty thankful for this spot,” mentioned John Clarkin, who has been a resident at the village for about a month after staying unhoused for five many years.
Clarkin reported that the beginning of the pandemic was in particular tough for him and other folks in the homeless community for the reason that numerous of the general public amenities they relied on were shut.
“In which do you imagine you happen to be heading to use the bathroom? Nobody’s going to enable you go in nowhere,” Clarkin stated. “The library was shut down and there was just nowhere to go, so then that just gets you harassed by regulation enforcement even far more.”
As inhabitants at Goodness Village, Clarkin and his neighbors each and every now have their personal amenities, together with restrooms, showers, a kitchenette, central air and warmth.
Goodness Village is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that exists on Crosswinds Church land. The vision for the system was sparked by Crosswinds Pastor Chris Coli’s stop by to the Group First! Village in Austin, Texas, which served as the design for the venture in Livermore.
In 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodness Village was launched as a long lasting housing application and the growth was supported and brought to fruition in a collaborative exertion by neighborhood religion-primarily based groups, businesses, the city of Livermore, Alameda County, instructional establishments and other community partners.
Even though the advancement is positioned on the church’s land, which is situated at 1660 Freisman Street future to the Tri-Valley Golf Centre, Govt Director Kim Curtis explained that Goodness Village has no spiritual affiliation and it is not predicted or needed for members to attend Crosswinds or any other religious organization.
“We’re not bringing people right here to make positive that they go to church. If they have a unique faith, we are going to aid them get to their faith. If they have no faith, that is interesting. But we will not carry it up unless they carry it up,” Curtis explained.
Goodness Village also does not involve sobriety as a ailment to stay there. Curtis mentioned that they try to generate an atmosphere in which members do not really feel disgrace or guilt. “We really test to enable persons appear in as they are but a lot of of them arrive in with a goal to sooner or later decrease or turn out to be sober,” Curtis stated.
“It also will take away the perception of secrecy,” included staff member Alysia Michaud. “If you’re in a application in which you have to keep on being sober you are not going to go into the business office and request help, you are likely to conceal some of your drug use, whereas now if somebody relapses and they’re actively under the influence, they know that they can arrive into the business office to discuss about how they’re sensation, chat about how they have to have adhere to up the subsequent day and we can make absolutely sure they’re harmless.”
The community consists of 28 one-occupancy very small houses. Most of the units are eight ft by 20 feet and 13-1/2 ft significant, for a total of 160 square toes. Eight of the households are a little bit larger sized and element ramps to accommodate accessibility criteria.
Former Alameda County supervisor Scott Haggerty, who represented District 1 which contains Livermore, was instrumental in securing funding for Goodness Village prior to his retirement. With the thrust from Haggerty, the county invested $3 million into the development’s infrastructure.
Haggerty instructed the Weekly that currently being a supervisor for District 1 can be hard because it takes a lot of convincing to get funding for social solutions in the Tri-Valley.
“Our colleagues never believe that you will find any have to have in either the Tri-Valley or in the Tri-Towns,” Haggerty stated. “When we’re trying to find remedies in relation to wellbeing treatment troubles or homelessness or social products and services, we are usually the most affordable on the pecking buy.”
Haggerty lauded Goodness Village as “one particular of the most satisfying assignments that I experienced labored on” and he reported it was “really emotional” for him to reduce the ribbon on opening day.
“It is really critical for me that even nevertheless we don’t get a incredible amount of money of assist simply because men and women never assume we have the want — which is certainly ridiculous — we have to continue to come across approaches this kind of as this to fend for ourselves when it will come to overall health treatment and social providers right here in the Tri-Valley,” he reported.
The county money were being delivered in three installments that bridged the changeover of electricity from Haggerty to his successor, Supervisor David Haubert, with the very first examine arriving to the city of Livermore — which is the fiduciary agent for the funding — on Aug. 19, 2020 for $1 million. The second installment of $750,000 was sent to the metropolis from the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 21, 2020 and the remaining $1.25 million was administered by Haubert in March of this yr.
The building of the residences was led by HomeAid Northern California, Agency Foundation Group Housing, Wooden Rodgers, Trumark Residences and Teichert Construction, alongside with function and contributions from other associates, specifically Tennyson Electrical, McCall Landscaping, Coastal Lumber, WC Maloney, R&B, RC Readymix, Magazine Trucking and KTGY Group. In assistance of the Goodness Village mission, the design associates offered their providers at discounted prices and donated a lot of of the products, which assisted stretch the project funding more.
The nearby neighborhood also came together in assist of Goodness Village by donating bikes for the citizens, contributing artwork and volunteering their time to aid adorn and prepare models for the 1st set of members to transfer in.
Goodness Village officially opened on Might 21 and as of the conclusion of August, 19 of the 28 units have been occupied. All of the present-day residents ended up referred by an outpatient circumstance manager or liaisons from companies like CityServe of the Tri-Valley, Tri-Valley Request & Preserve and Initial Presbyterian Church.
Clarkin explained to the Weekly that when the locations he typically went all through the working day ended up shut to the public, like the library or Starbucks, he started heading to the resource heart at To start with Presbyterian Church of Hayward, which is in which he uncovered about Goodness Village and made a decision to implement.
A different participant, Carol Romero, shared a equivalent practical experience. She figured out about Goodness Village although she was remaining at South Hayward Parish shelter and just after the dying of her partner. She reported that the moment she took her 1st tour, Goodness Village felt like household.
“I’ve been (in the Bay Space) for 60 yrs and this is the most safe dwelling feeling I have had,” Romero claimed, introducing that due to the fact residing at Goodness Village, she’s also reconnected with her kids and grandchildren.
Even though the the greater part of the Goodness Village people are from the Tri-Valley, Clarkin and Romero are among a handful of individuals from other East Bay communities, according to Curtis.
In addition to owning their personal harmless place to simply call house, some of the things participants explained they like about Goodness Village include the nonjudgmental setting that the workers facilitates, the local community things to do like outside motion picture nights and exercise classes, and the camaraderie they share with their neighbors.
Curtis reported that a vocational software is a element of the Goodness Village eyesight that they program to establish far more completely over time, but they now do not have the spending plan as almost all of the venture funding went towards setting up the homes. Nevertheless, lots of of the residents get paid dollars towards their lease by supporting with the repairs of the local community, which include some gentle landscaping and serving to cleanse and sanitize models in advance of new members go in.
“They get their rent at 24 hours a month at the price of $15 an hour, and we just subtract that down by means of the thirty day period,” Curtis said, including that their plan is exclusive since as their possess landlords, they have more flexibility to style their system their possess way.
In addition to a more robust vocational program and sources for more immediate services for participants, Curtis said that Goodness Village is also in search of funding to build a group pavilion and laundry services. Currently, they have one washer-and-dryer set that they are utilizing for anyone and their group area is a widespread location they refer to as “the yellow home,” which is shared with workers.
Haggerty, who has moved to Tennessee since retiring, stated he is however supporting the fundraising attempts for Goodness Village and connecting them with prospective funding resources and donors.
“Any time that I can enable with the homeless inhabitants or other challenges that will assistance District 1, I’m additional than happy to do that. You can just take the boy out of District 1, but you can’t take District 1 out of the boy,” he said.
For more facts about Goodness Village, visit gvlivermore.org.