The Value of a Home
Working in the real estate business every single day, I know the value of a home. (And the price of homes is not cheap in Portland right now!) Not just the financial value, but the heart value and the emotion that goes along with ownership. Having a home, even in a tiny house village, brings peace of mind, a sense of place, and serves as a launching pad to a stable life. Shelter is transformative. I still remember the moment I got keys to my first home, and that feeling I had when I walked through the door, knowing it was mine to help me establish a new life and lasting memories.
The Real Struggles of Homelessness
It makes me think about the contrast of being homeless. We can think about all the reasons people get there and make judgments about all those reasons, but the bottom line is that many are homeless and living in instability and fear every single day. I can’t help but think of our homeless population here in Portland, and the difficulties they face just by being without a home.
What Kenton Village is All About
That’s why the Kenton Village means so much to me. The project, dreamed up by Portland State University, consists of 14 tiny homes designed to house homeless women. Each home is about 8′ by 12′ and allows the woman to dwell in a safe community while they get their feet back under them. They share a community kitchen and bathroom facilities and create and agree to their own “community rules”. They have a year to learn and share with each other.
I love this premise so much that I jumped in on the volunteering. I wanted to help in the preparation for this tiny community in Kenton because I believe safety and stability are some of the first steps in being able to make better decisions. Being able to eat better, sleep better — everything starts with shelter. Plus, it’s my neighborhood, and lending a hand is the first step in being neighborly.
The Way Providing Shelter Gives Back Again and Again
Once housing is established, we can help them start addressing things like addiction, mental health, physical health, and employment. We can help these beautiful women get back a sense of self, of dignity, and help hold space for them in the process.
By providing shelter, we’re decreasing medical bills, lowering incarceration rates, and lowering emergency room visits. This is the first neighborhood of its kind in Portland, and I certainly hope it’s not the last. If you want to help, these women can use clothing, encouragement, and friendship. Let’s work together to support these brave women who are working hard to get back on their feet.
Let’s keep building hope, one tiny home at a time. Click here to get involved!