Denver's First Tiny Home Village

$24,425 of $30k goal

Raised by 318 people in 1 month
Nathan Davis Hunt
for Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
 DENVER, CO
Will you help us build the Beloved Community Village?!

Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) is proud to launch Denver’s first tiny home village! After years of hard work, it's finally happening.

Our city faces an extreme lack of affordable housing and a shelter system unable to accommodate the number and needs of people on the street. In response, many housing advocates, developers, and people from the homeless community are convinced that a new model of rapidly buildable housing designed around community, dignity, and self-determination is a moral imperative for our region.

Beloved Community Village will provide 11 homes, a common meeting and kitchen space, community gardens, showers and restrooms for up to 22 people. Our location for the first six months at 3733 Walnut was generously provided by the Urban Land Conservancy and will help establish proof-of-concept for tiny homes as one more solution to homelessness.


As seen on/in:


Denver Post -->  https://goo.gl/Wkmmlv 
Westword Magazine -->  https://goo.gl/5rZfdg
Denverite -->  https://goo.gl/sCZgpG
CBS Denver -->  https://goo.gl/quND5Q 
9news -->  https://goo.gl/2xdlVf 
Denver Voice -->  https://goo.gl/ZefpZH 


Why do we need a tiny home village?

In January 2016, 5467 individuals were counted homeless on one night in the Denver Metro area. This number always falls short, since not everyone can be reached on the "count day." Each year, tens of thousands move in and out of homelessness in our city.

The shelter system does its best, but there are fewer spaces than demand and 60% of "beds" are thin plastic mats on the floor. The system is ill-equipped to meet the needs of many groups including:
  - couples
  - people with pets and service animals
  - those with disabilities
  - people who work odd hours
  - the LGBTQ community

Housing prices are at an all-time high. Constructing large-scale affordable housing is essential. However, these developments cost millions, and take years to move from concept to completion. Finally, a high degree of failure in the “Housing First” approach is attributable to the lack of community designed into the model.




Who is Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) and what’s its story?

CVC is a new organization launched by some long-time advocates for homeless rights and housing. A coalition of service providers, advocates, foundations, business leaders, congregations, and people living on the streets began meeting in March of 2016. Convinced that Denver needed both better policy and creative new ideas, they called themselves the Alternative Solutions Advocacy Project (ASAP). 

As their efforts to incubate Denver's first tiny home village gained traction, ASAP decided to launch a new organization to oversee the growth and multiplication of this work. Thus began the young but brilliant life of CVC.

CVC brings together multiple established organizations to help Beloved Community Village become a success. Our partners on this project are:

- Bayaud Enterprises: resource navigation

- Beloved Community Mennonite Church: congregation
           sponsor, project design support, food/community

- Denver Homeless Out Loud: project management,
           resident selection, village governance support

- The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado: project
           management, and fiscal sponsor for CVC

- Mennonite Disaster Services: construction

- Radian Inc.: architectural design, zoning consultant

- Urban Land Conservancy: property owner


Do residents receive any services or support?

Definitely! But they aren't forced into any program. Villagers get to opt into whatever services they choose to help them toward the next step of growth and development.

Bayaud Enterprises will send a Resource Navigator to the village regularly who will walk alongside residents to get the help they need. Areas of support include:
- food & clothing
- mobile laundry truck
- SSI/TANF
- jobs
- housing
- physical and mental health

Villagers will also get to participate in gardening and other community projects. 

Finally, for successful villagers who wish to transition into permanent housing, $1000 in rental assistance will be provided. 


How does this “self-governance” thing work?


While we are raising funds to build the houses and infrastructure, the village is so much more. What makes this project truly unique is that is it not a shelter, nor a "program," but a self-managed, self-governed community.

Day-to-day life at Beloved Community Village will be run by the villagers themselves. Together, the residents of the homes make up the Village Council. The weekly Village Council meeting is where conflicts will be addressed, potential new residents interviewed, chores divided up, and much more.

A few of the villagers, chosen by resident vote, will also be part of the Advisory Council -- a group that includes representatives from supporting organizations, long-term stakeholders, and residents of the neighborhood in which the village is located. The Advisory Council's role is to support the needs of the Village Council, maintain legal and infrastructure documents, facilitate fundraising efforts, perform logistical assitance, and much more.

Together, the Advisory Council and the Village Council keep the fire of community lit and steward the project into its bright future!


(credits: Radian, Inc.)


Who is going to live there?


We are happy to share that the homes have already found their future residents. The founding villagers of Beloved Community are all on board, all exited, and all are engaged in the building of the project.

In Febuary of this year, the organizers realized they needed the Village Council in order to move forward with the project. It was time to engage the community who this exists for. An informational event was held and people formally interviewed for a spot in a tiny home. A transitional group of long-term stakeholders from Denver Homeless Out Loud did the intial interviews, and chose only 6 people at first. We chose these initial folks based on the list above -- those who can't use the shelters and are currently living on the streets. We also kept in mind that the founding residents need the capacity to live well in community, participate constructively in the weekly meetings, and chip in on village chores.

From then on, the resident selection was handed off to the newly formed Village Council. These 6 founding residents held another round of interviews and filled out the rest of the available openings. There are now 14 members of the Village Council who are meeting weekly to bring the village to fruition.

With immense respect for their privacy and process, we won't say more! But stay tuned for the huge opening day party, and maybe you'll get to meet them ;)


What happens after six months?

The permitting path Denver's planning department presented to us only allow us to do this kind of thing for six months at any one location. (BTW - let your city council person and mayor know you want this changed!)

But don't worry! All the houses are portable, no one will be kicked out, and we will relocated to a new home when the time comes.





Do you have bigger plans?

You better believe it. Our goal is to have 3 villages up-and-running for the winter of 2017-2018.

By 2020,  we want that number up to 10.

And with your help, there's no stopping us.


Still hungry for more details??

Check out our website. 



Oh yeah, and there's rewards!!!

Donate to this campaign and you'll get...

$10 - Thank You Note
$50 - Sticker: “House Keys not Handcuffs” 
$250 - Framed Tiny Home Architectural Drawing  
$500 - Original Art from Residents 
$1000 - Name on Donor Wall
$7000 - Name Plaque on Tiny Home

All donations are tax deductible.


Thank you for your support!

Hundreds of incredible people are living outside tonight. The places for a person experiencing homelessness to feel like a human being, experience dignity, and find genuine empowerment are few and far between.

Beloved Community Village will be one of those places, but we can't do it without YOU!
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Update 9
Posted by Nathan Hunt
12 days ago
   Share
Just a few more days before we plan to close this page! We've continued to have a great week -- actually, much better than this page shows.

The Tiny Home Blues fundraiser went great, and brought in an additional $6700!

We'd also like to extend a huge thank you to the Denver Catholic Worker who voted last night to give us $7500 (the cost of one house) out of their own pockets.

Adding up all the gifts from the past three and a half weeks, we've received more than $47,000 from more than 300 sources -- none of which is from a foundation or government.

Simply miraculous!

Tomorrow morning is our big donor breakfast for foundations, business leaders, and other high dollar donors. Wish us luck and say a prayer if that's your thing.

If you've seen this a few times, but haven't given yet -- could it be time? If you have some friends, family or associates who might consider giving -- could you ask them? If you could share our page -- would you do so one more time?

As always, thank you for helping build the Beloved Community Village.
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Update 8
Posted by Nathan Hunt
17 days ago
   Share
Almost $2000 more have rolled in the past few days! Thanks for keeping us moving toward our new goal!!

Reminder that you are invited to the best Tiny Home Blues party Denver's ever seen....ok, the only one it's ever seen, but it's still going to be a hell of a party. And you should come! Details & Facebook page below:

The Tiny Home Blues

Join us for a Blues Night, and community gathering to raise funds, and friends, for the Beloved Community Village! The event is family friendly and open to all! Come learn, connect, and share as we support a great cause!

When: Sunday, April 9th 2017 from 5-7:30 pm.

Where: Beloved Community Mennonite Church
(@Mayflower Congressional Church)
3001 S Acoma st, Denver.

What: Blues music, dancing, bake sale, art show/auction, Q&A with the village organizers. The event is all
donation-based and no one is turned away for lack of funds!

https://www.facebook.com/events/233150127159510/
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Update 7
Posted by Nathan Hunt
20 days ago
   Share
19 days. 270 people. 3,600 shares. $20,425. All leading to 11 homes and one Beloved Community.

The outpouring of love and generosity from people in Denver and across the country has overwhelmed us these past couple weeks. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us -- whether with social media love, money, or prayers and well-wishes. We simply could not do this without you!

Now, we believe we can do more.

The total cost to build and operate this village is $144,000. And this is just the first village. We already have plans to build a second at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and intend to open a third before winter. (much of this will come from foundations and businesses, don't worry!)

Honestly, we didn't know if we could raise even $20k through this crowdfunder. But we did. And we did it in half the time.

So we're raising the bar and setting a new goal: $30,000

Let's keep sharing, keep inviting friends, and keep giving to build Denver's first tiny home village!
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Update 6
Posted by Nathan Hunt
23 days ago
   Share
The city approved our permit!!!!

This has never been issued before, and officially makes it legal to build tiny home villages in Denver! Thank you to everyone who has stood with us through this journey.

Now, it's time to party.

We invite you to join us for a celebration and benefit event next week:

The Tiny Home Blues
a benefit evening of art, food, music, and dancing
Sunday, April 9 from 5:00-7:00pm
Beloved Community Mennonite Church
3001 S. Acoma St.
Englewood, CO 80110
(village organizers and residents
will be available for Q&A)

As this goes to press, we are only $335 away from reaching our goal. We can do it tonight people!

Below is the text from our press release on today's permit approval:

--------

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Approves Zoning for Denver’s First Tiny Home Village

(Denver, March 30, 2017) -- After three years of hard work by many in the homeless community and their allies, Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development issued a first-of-its-kind permit to Colorado Village Collaborative to build a tiny home village at 3733 Walnut Street. This marks a historic victory in the struggle for creative, dignified solutions to Denver’s interconnected economic, housing, and homelessness crises.

The approval arrived on the eve of the National Day of Action for Housing and five days before three homeless people stand trial for citation’s under Denver’s Unauthorized Camping Ban. The project -- Beloved Community Village -- is a response to these compound issues.

5467 individuals were counted homeless on one night in the Denver metro in 2016, while those who become homeless over a year soar into the tens of thousands. Shelters are not homes and particularly ill equipped to provide even short-term care for many community members, including: couples, people with pets, those with disabilities, people who work odd hours, the LGBTQ community, among others. Housing prices are at an all-time high. Large-scale affordable housing projects, while essential, cost millions and take years to develop. Finally, those who cannot find somewhere safe to sleep indoors are criminalized for using blankets, sleeping bags, and other survival measures.

Tiny homes offer a safe, cheap, inclusive, and rapidly buildable alternative. We are grateful to the City of Denver for supporting a new approach. Colorado Village Collaborative believes this village is only the first of many to come, and this permit is only the first step toward developing new zoning that will allow for permanent tiny home communities.

We also extend our gratitude to the many community members who have supported or endorsed this project, including: RiNo BID and Art District, Cole Neighborhood Association, Curtis Park Neighbors, Councilman Albus Brooks, and Councilwoman Robin Kniech.

Finally, we are grateful to the more than 250 community members who contributed financially to making this dream a reality. We would not be here without you.

To celebrate our historic victory, Colorado Village Collaborative invites you to come party with us!

Tiny Home Blues
benefit evening of art, food, music, and dancing
Sunday, April 9 from 5:00-7:00pm
Beloved Community Mennonite Church
3001 S. Acoma St.
Englewood, CO 80110
(village organizers and residents
will be available for Q&A)


Donations can be made through our crowdfunding page:
https://www.gofundme.com/denvers-first-tiny-home-village


Colorado Village Collaborative Partners

Denver Homeless Out Loud
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Bayaud Enterprises
Beloved Community Mennonite Church
Radian Inc.
The Buck Foundation
Alternative Solutions Advocacy Project
Denver Relief Consulting
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Read a Previous Update
Acasia Mae Tucker
21 days ago
2
2

My heart is so incredibly happy to hear this. I think I started crying and ran to tell my family about this. It is truly wonderful and makes such an impact to so many lives. I will be spreading the word and supporting this project. Thank you.

+ Read More
Kristine N Napalm
20 days ago
1
1

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate everything everyone is doing to help get BC Village up and running and I can't wait until we start building and I can move in! I hope to meet some of you at our upcoming fundraising events!

+ Read More
Brandice McMillen
27 days ago
1
1

This is so amazing. Thank you all so much for your donations, kind hearts, and compassion. Many of you have donated when it has been difficult to give. We are so grateful for you.

+ Read More

$24,425 of $30k goal

Raised by 318 people in 1 month
Created March 14, 2017
Nathan Davis Hunt  
Funds raised will benefit:
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
  Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Denver, CO
EIN: 841467640
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CS
$40
Caroline Savery
2 days ago

In support of solutions, in support of human dignity, in support of self-determination, in rejection of the shameful rules criminalizing homeless people's existence by Denver city council. Thank you to all involved with Beloved Community Village for doing this great work.

$25
Anonymous
3 days ago
GH
$100
gene hakanson
5 days ago
MV
$40
Monica VanBuskirk
6 days ago

Fantastic way to make our communities better - keep dreaming big and being an example to us all!45

$100
Anonymous
7 days ago
MM
$200
Morgan Matter
8 days ago
NG
$100
Nancy Greager
8 days ago
JB
$100
Jenny Bramhall
9 days ago
TB
$50
Trinity Bigford
9 days ago

I'm so inspired by how hard everyone has worked to make this happen. Thank you for caring about & tackling a problem that no one else wanted to deal with!

SM
$40
Sarah Maharry
10 days ago
Acasia Mae Tucker
21 days ago
2
2

My heart is so incredibly happy to hear this. I think I started crying and ran to tell my family about this. It is truly wonderful and makes such an impact to so many lives. I will be spreading the word and supporting this project. Thank you.

+ Read More
Kristine N Napalm
20 days ago
1
1

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate everything everyone is doing to help get BC Village up and running and I can't wait until we start building and I can move in! I hope to meet some of you at our upcoming fundraising events!

+ Read More
Brandice McMillen
27 days ago
1
1

This is so amazing. Thank you all so much for your donations, kind hearts, and compassion. Many of you have donated when it has been difficult to give. We are so grateful for you.

+ Read More
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