Orange Acres Free Guest Ranch

Orange Acres Montana Couchsurfing Community Center has given over a thousand people a free place to stay. Missoula County sued us for $1 million dollars in an act of discrimination against the young adults, the veterans, we help. We were told by the county attourney "the County cannot continue to allow you to help these people". 
They even denied us permits to expand so we could help more people.

After trying to work with them we fought for 5 years in court and we won our right to exist and help others. To give people free food and a free place to simplys be and feel like part of our family. 

Sadly our community room , guest showers and free laundry, free clothes closet burned in a fire. Along with tons of my personal possessions and my shop and all my tools.

If you have ever heard the YMCA song , you know what we do. We provide free food, hot showers, and a drug and alcohol free safe place to stay, where people feel at home with friends. 

People that stay here volunteer to work 2 hours a day cleaning and improving the property. Volunteers built cabins from pallets and recycled building materials, and we maintain a large organic garden to produce food for sharing. 

We welcome people regardless of sex, race, religion, financial situation, and sexual orientation. We are not a cult and do not force religion on anyone, but simply do Gods work of helping one another.

Over the past 10 years we have hosted furloughed airline pilots, union plumbers and carpenters, people who lost their homes to foreclosures and unemployment, mentally challenged individuals, people recovering from sickness, cancer, surgeries, and heartbreak, young bands and musicians trying to make their names, painters and artists that need time to make the world more beautiful, people in the process of moving and looking for jobs or housing before college, grad students doing cancer cure research at the U of M, volunteers building a nearby Buddhist temple, young entrepreneurs traveling and marketing their businesses, athletes riding their bicycles or walking across the country, people who are broken and starting over in life, and people chasing dreams on a tight budget.

We have had domestic abuse survivors, and young families who were turned away from local homeless shelters because they had children, and impressionable young adults who should not be around drug users that frequent other shelters. We have had people who lost their homes to fires, people wrongly charged with crimes who were later proved innocent but still lost everything they owned.

Many are veterans who suffer from PTSD and cannot deal with crowded shelters, or need a place to stay while traveling to VA clinics.  We have had people whose cars broke down in front of our driveway, as though God knew we could help them.

We are a free guest ranch, not a homeless shelter. We don’t host people who routinely spend all their money on drugs and alcohol and then want to let others pay for their food and place to stay. We don't host violent or sexual offenders.

We teach life skills like sharing, cooking, gardening, construction, welding, car repair, and basic cleanliness. We have helped people with rides to healthcare, interviews, jobs, and to get food.

My Name is JeffreyJames Halvorson. In 2008 I bought 8 unzoned acres north of Missoula Montana and made it into this free guest ranch. The property came with a house and a 5,000 square foot commercial tannery building that had a permitted employee kitchen, a shower, and septic system and sadly it is now gone. All the volenteer labor we put into remodeling and making the place nice for our guests is now destroyed.

Now Orange Acres is severely limited in our ability to help others.

Defending our property and rights to help others has cost us thousands of dollars, and we still owe on our mortgage. In our 13 years we had less than $6000 in donations, most of the bills were paid from my pocket, my car lot, and raft trailer sales . We are not sure our insurance will pay enough to replace our building or even if the county will give us the permits to rebuild.

While our goal of $250,000 or more may seem like a lot, it would create a space for 10-20 people. A new homeless shelter in Missoula was just built for $5 million and was designed for only 100 persons and has already reached capacity.

If this Go Fund Me campaign is successful, it will allow us to upgrade the current property and pay off the mortgage.  Or, if we raise enough money, we could buy a new property outside of Missoula County where we could have more than 6 bedrooms. 

No donation is too small, even if it is $5 it allows you to leave us a comment supporting us, especially if you have stayed at Orange Acres before or know someone who we have helped. If you only have $10 please don't send us $5, but please share this on your Facebook page.

Thank you for your continued support.  Visit us at our Orange Acres Facebook page and subscribe to "get notifications" to stay up to date with our progress!

Shepherd JeffreyJames Halvorson

Donations

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  • Lindsey Lewis 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Sharon Clay 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anna Colom 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Mario Ar 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Pete Rossi 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
See all

Organizer

JeffreyJames Halvorson 
Organizer
Arlee, MT
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