The current BASC community advisory team has been working diligently on several key items:
- Action plan, articles of incorporation and bylaws, and other documentation.
- Initial donors willing to provide substantial matching funds once plans are completed and we can begin fundraising.
- Initial offers of help to fund, design and construct prototype shelters.
- Initiated conversations with City of Boise staff and leadership to explain BASC's vision, goals and capacity. We acknowledge that the personal shelter model is currently not supported by local officials, but appreciate their at least invitin us to the table.
- Brought Square One Villages Project Manager Andrew Heben to visit Boise on November 19th for a public presentation to more than 180 community members, including a showing of the 'It Takes a Village' presentation. We hosted a separate strategic planning session with BASC partners and select stakeholders interested in a more in-depth exploration of if and how the Village model might fit in Idaho. Thanks to co-sponsors, the Boise City Ada County Homeless Coalition and the Boise Coop, and expecially to the wonderful folks at the Cathedral of the Rockies for providing the perfect space and generous support.
Steps to implementation
- Complete organizational documents, project budget and MOUs to secure tax-exempt status and liability coverage; circulate draft Village Agreement to potential tenants and service providers for review and modification to meet local needs (in process).
- Continue dialogue with local government and partners to ensure compatibility with current and projected homeless initiatives and local ordinances.
- Identify land (public, private or nonprofit ownership) and negotiate initial lease agreement with owner(s).
- Recruit potential Village residents through mutually agreed-upon application process and Village Agreement adapted form Opportunity Village.
- Line up utilities and common-use facilities as needed.
- Recruit additional volunteers for the build phase.
- Build and deliver shelters.
What we need
Short term. Since we are a new organization, we have limited capacity. We do not provide supportive services or case management; all we are offering is to build a handful of structures to certain standards for health and safety and appropriate to the local climate. We will consider requests from churches or organizations with a mission and capacity to serve persons experiencing homelessness and access to space. It would be up to the host organization to determine how the structures would be put to use. This is how Opportunity Village Eugene got its start.
Hosting one or more shelters is more that offering a physical site; it is a commitment to a relationship with the residents, establishing clear expectations, and building consensus among neighbors and congregants that may be called on to provide support, hospitality or services.
- Expertise and community Board Members
- Access to potable water, electrical service preferred
- Access to community services and public transit (bus passes are available on request)
- Available at least during the coldest months and subject to conditions acceptable to all parties
- Fenced and securable (preferred)
- Limited conflict with adjacent landowners or occupants
- The ideal parcel would include an existing residential or commercial structure that could serve as common meeting space, shared kitchen and food storage, with a half acre or more to place individual shelters.
- Community sponsors and donors willing to partner with area schools and students to create personal shelters. Projected material sponsorship levels as follows:
- $750 — Modified (insulated) Conestoga Hut (± 60 square feet)
- $1,000 — Modified Sheep wagon style (± 70 square feet)
- $1,250 — Bungalow (± 75 square feet plus loft storage)
- $10,000 — Sponsor a Village (essential infrastructure and common facilities)
- Construction space, preferably covered with access to AC. This could be a garage, shop warehouse or storage area suitable for fabricating modular components.