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Residents sought for homeless village

— EUGENE (AP) — A village for homeless people modeled on one in Portland could be open this summer in Eugene.

Organizers of Opportunity Village Eugene are accepting applications in hopes of finding a dozen homeless people and opening the village in July, The Register-Guard reported Monday.

Organizers say they’re looking for people who want to make a transition to permanent housing.

“We are looking for people who want to get off the streets,” said Jean Stacey, a member of the village’s board. “We are looking for people who are at that point in their lives.”

Eventually, between 30 and 40 people could live in the village, Stacey said.

Adults and couples will be considered, she said. Families with children will not initially be eligible. The occupants will live in small dwellings called micro-housing. One variety is a 6-by-10-foot structure dubbed a “Conestoga hut.”

The village next to the Public Works maintenance yard is expected to be financed by donations and built by volunteers.

The proposed housing area is patterned after Portland’s Dignity Village, which is occupied and operated by formerly homeless people. Stacey said residents must abide by community agreements, or rules, that forbid drugs, alcohol and violence.

People with criminal convictions won’t automatically be excluded from consideration, she said.

“But we will be looking extraordinarily closely at anybody with any violence in their recent past,” Stacey said.

It’s important for the first group of residents to get along with each other to “prove that homeless people can manage their own community, and serve as a model for future Villages,” according to an Opportunity Village Eugene statement.

Organizers say they’re looking for people who want to make a transition to permanent housing.

“We are looking for people who want to get off the streets,” said Jean Stacey, a member of the village’s board. “We are looking for people who are at that point in their lives.”

Eventually, between 30 and 40 people could live in the village, Stacey said.

Adults and couples will be considered, she said. Families with children will not initially be eligible. The occupants will live in small dwellings called micro-housing. One variety is a 6-by-10-foot structure dubbed a “Conestoga hut.”

The village next to the Public Works maintenance yard is expected to be financed by donations and built by volunteers.

The proposed housing area is patterned after Portland’s Dignity Village, which is occupied and operated by formerly homeless people. Stacey said residents must abide by community agreements, or rules, that forbid drugs, alcohol and violence.

People with criminal convictions won’t automatically be excluded from consideration, she said.

“But we will be looking extraordinarily closely at anybody with any violence in their recent past,” Stacey said.

It’s important for the first group of residents to get along with each other to “prove that homeless people can manage their own community, and serve as a model for future Villages,” according to an Opportunity Village Eugene statement.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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