Does believing homelessness can be solved mean you’re NUTS?

ca67f1_b4d90e5ddf98468ab540626a9eed4484People keep telling me that I am NUTS.

They keep telling me that my idea that homelessness in my community can be solved because local businesses CARE enough to contribute to solve it is NUTS.

I say they are wrong . . . . or NUTS, if you will.

The businesses in my community, Pinellas County, are fervently loyal and proud of their towns and their neighborhoods.  I believe, when asked, they will step up and contribute ongoing to give housing to the veterans and the disabled and the other members of the community who are “housing challenged.”  I believe that there is enough money and enough caring companies and individuals, to solve completely, the homeless problem in Pinellas County. (The concept is explained on the homepage of our website CaringCompaniesOfAmerica.com )

Some may call it NUTS. I prefer to call it HOPE . . . and optimism.  I also believe IF it can be done in my county, it can be done anywhere in the United States, and to me that IS hopeful.  We just need everyone to chip in. We need local businesses to contribute to make it happen, and contribute ongoing.

Homelessness is not a problem with no solution.  The solution to homelessness is HOUSING.  And we just need to make that happen.

So tell me, what do YOU think.  Please comment and share your thoughts.  Am I nuts?  Or can it be done?

— Kathleen Richwell

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Imitating Tiny House Communities is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

The expression, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ is just a polite way to say “I like what you are doing and I want to copy you . . . . AND . . . . save myself some work .”  😀 Fortunately the people out there who are helping to provide tiny and micro housing for the homeless, disabled and needy are HAPPY for you to copy their ideas in your own community, in fact, some even help facilitate it.  Here are two communities that have done some great things I would like to recreate in my community.

Opportunity Village Eugene Oregon http://opportunityvillageeugene.org

Opportunity Village - Leah Nash Photo for BuzzFeed
Opportunity Village – Image Source: Leah Nash for BuzzFeed

Opportunity Village Eugene is a community of 30 bungalows that provide shared-equity housing for low income people.

Per the website, “The mission of Opportunity Village Eugene is to create self-managed communities of low-cost tiny houses for those in need of housing.”

Opportunity Village Eugene is considered ‘transitional housing’ and I would prefer to build a community that could provide permanent housing.  Plus the tiny houses at Opportunity Village Eugene do not have running water or electricity, and I envision housing catering to older and disabled residents who would require a bathroom INSIDE the tiny house.  It will cost more but I believe it to be a necessity for long-term housing.

The other community that I think has the right idea is Community First in Austin, Texas, which is a project of the non-profit Mobile Loaves & Fishes http://mlf.org/community-first

Per their site, “Community First! Village is a 27-acre master-planned community that will provide affordable, sustainable housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas.”

Community First provides three different kinds of housing: RV 5th Wheels, Tiny/Micro homes from 144-180 sq ft and ‘canvas sided cottages’.  At Community First all three types of housing have electricity but only the RV’s have bathrooms and running water.  Both Opportunity Village Eugene and Community First have private bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities on the property.

The beauty of both of these communities is that they are willing to share their knowledge of what works and what they have learned with other people who want to replicate their work.  Opportunity Village Eugene even provides access to their Google Drive with copies of their application form, their Village Manual, their bylaws and quarterly financial reports.  Everything you might need to replicate a similar community in your area, saving valuable time and money for those of us who are just starting out.

My thanks to them.  It is much appreciated. ❤

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Tiny Houses for Homeless People — an idea whose time has come.

What better way to provide affordable housing for people who have no homes.

My name is Kathleen Richwell and I am the optimist behind Caring Companies of America. I want to sell advertising to local businesses and then take that money and build small affordable homes for people in that same community who have no place to live.

That is the short version. For more details read the rest of this post and check out the website.

If we can partner with local businesses all over the U.S. we could provide affordable housing for any and all who need it. A lofty goal I know, but why NOT think big. The end-all goal would be to end homelessness —- wouldn’t that be great? — Is it doable? I am not sure, but isn’t it worth a try? And if it IS doable, wouldn’t you like to be a part of that? — I know I would. 😀

It’s a big task and we hope everyone will help (and I mean EVERY. . SINGLE. . BUSINESS. . . 😀

Our pilot programs will be in Pinellas County Florida, which encompasses cities like Clearwater and St. Petersburg, AND also Seminole and Orange County Florida which is the Metro Orlando area.

Just to get the proverbial ball rolling in any county it will take a minimum of 100 local businesses to join, and commit to contributing quarterly for a year. We ask each business for a minimum ongoing contribution of $300 every 3 months. In return we provide your business with online advertising, digital coupons, and ‘done-for-you’ text marketing, plus the pride of having made a MAJOR positive impact in your community. So we hope you will join TODAY and be a part of helping to build small affordable homes for the less fortunate in YOUR community. Click the ‘contribute’ link on the left and contribute safely through paypal.

In the long run we hope to get ongoing contributions from 1000 local businesses and with that we can work ACTUAL miracles. 😀

We also request and invite donations of products and services as your contribution. Please see our “What we need” page for product and services resources that we can always use and contact us at Info@CaringCompaniesOfAmerica.com if you can contribute in that way.

If you have any questions you can email us at Info@CaringCompaniesOfAmerica.com and put “question” in the subject line.

If you want to volunteer please email us a Info@CaringCompaniesOfAmerica.com and put “volunteer“ in the subject line.

If you are looking for assistance please email us a Info@CaringCompaniesOfAmerica.com and put “assistance“ or “help” in the subject line.

— PLEASE NOTE: Regarding assistance. — No housing is expected to be built or completed any sooner than the end of 2016, but you are welcome to email us with your information now and share your story and your needs with us.

We invite your (kind) comments and input on our blog posts. — Thanks Kathleen

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