What is Everyone Village?
Everyone Village is a planned shelter development with a mutual benefit model for the community. As part of a replicable, hub and spoke network, Everyone Village will provide shelter, empower healing, bolster food security, create jobs, and add to community resiliency. By leveraging and radically aligning existing community resources, Everyone Village will create value-added solutions for businesses, government, coordinated care organizations, and faith communities.
Our Mission: Creating Brave Communities of Belonging Where Everyone Can Flourish
The Rexius property in West Eugene serves as the first pilot village in our “hub and spoke network” and will prove that supporting and equipping our unhoused neighbors with innovative housing and employment solutions through a community-based, connected, multi-stakeholder approach will weave economically marginalized community members into the fabric of a healthy, productive society. This model represents a blend of best practices from around the world aligned specifically for our region to build financial literacy, healthy relationships, and economic strength.
In August 2021, Rexius President Arlen Rexius donated the use of the 3.55 acre Dani Street property to EveryOne Church to meaningfully address homelessness in West Eugene.
In September 2021, the Eugene City Council voted to approve the location for hosting up to 60 units of shelter.
In October 2021, core staff were hired and outreach to potential villagers began. A series of Friday Open House events were held to share ideas and solicit input from the community.
In November 2021, a supporter donated the use of a 3,000 square foot adjacent warehouse to serve as the entrance to the Village, shop space, and hub for workforce development projects.
Everyone Village opened in early December 2021 with $60,000 in community contributions and an initial pilot group of 7 brave individuals and 3 dogs.
In January 2022, Everyone Village reaches its January goal of sheltering 30 people (5 families, 20 individuals, 7 dogs, and 7 cats) and signs an 18-month contract with the City of Eugene to 6 full-time staff for operational support.
Expansion continues throughout February 2022, supported with a $170,000 infrastructure grant from the City of Eugene. By mid-March, 51 people, 15 dogs, and 10 cats will call the village their home.
“He gave me the keys, and he said, ‘Don’t screw it up, kid,’” Piechowicz said. “That was the beginning of Everyone Village.”
Why are we doing this?
Our community needs shelter. Lane County has one of the highest per-capita rates of homelessness in the nation with 80% of the unhoused population living in places not meant for human habitation. We are 24,000 affordable housing units short of need with fewer than 2 shelter beds for every 100 people living unsheltered. The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department estimates approximately 11,900 households in Oregon are currently at risk of eviction.
The unsheltered need community. Unsheltered homelessness is the most visible manifestation of Lane County’s health and housing crisis. More than half of the people who are homeless in our community report one or more disabling conditions, and a third experience average episodes of homelessness lasting over a year. Traditional models of emergency shelter have failed to prevent the churn from emergency shelter back to unmanaged, unsupported camping.
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfire disasters in the region have only served to add to the numbers of unsheltered individuals and threaten the health, stability, and prosperity of our community. We propose a community first model that facilitates permanent exits from homelessness and collective flourishing.
How are we doing this?
The City of Eugene received $3,250,000 in one-time state funding to provide safe sleep shelters managed by social service providers for people experiencing homelessness to legally park their vehicles, stay in microshelters, or sleep in tents and $250,000 for temporary camping site development. A portion of this funding source will cover sanitation and hygiene services and 24/7 basic staffing for Everyone Village.
EveryOne Church is one among several other nonprofits that have risen up to meet the extreme need for safe and supportive community sheltering programs who will be requesting funding support through the state funds. Infrastructure development funding has been requested from the state capital improvement plan. Contracting with Lane County Health and Human Services for a full-time housing navigator is underway.
By working with subject matter experts and the talents of our residents, we aim to develop successful cooperative business models to foster microenterprise and create jobs for our community in areas of workforce need to supplement our income and support the greater community. We are accepting donations from community members to leverage these resources.
Villagers will receive support to increase individual stability (income, housing, health, social) and access to hands-on work experience in preparation for community employment, targeted job training, or vocational and educational programs. Scalable pilot programs centered on each individual’s experiences and skillsets will supplement traditional work-to-housing models.
An additional 2.5 acres of developable land is available at the site for hosting additional RVs, tents, Conestoga huts, pallet shelters, microshelters, and other minimal dwellings. Everyone Village is working with architect Bill Randall and UO’s Landscape 4 Humanity team to design a layout to support trauma-informed care for villagers, provide a sustainable ecosystem, and a sense of place for the surrounding community that fosters collaborative solutions.
- 15% reduction in recidivism
- 50% increase in access to health and human services
- 25% increase in long-term assets or income
- 25% increase in self-sufficiency matrix
Key performance indicators for the surrounding area during the two-year pilot period include:
Integral to the village model are community benefit projects that add to a sense of place, improved security, and community resiliency. The site will be improved with fencing, a secure entrance, a 30-foot dome for group meetings, and regionally built structures by the local arts community to provide meaningful aesthetics. Villagers will enjoy expanded access to fresh local food through a farm project and to revenue opportunities through an innovative recycling program. Key performance indicators for villagers during the two-year pilot period include:
- 10% increase in CAHOOTS/EPD diversions
- 35% decrease in garbage from unsanctioned camping
- 15% increase in community engagement in neighborhood
- 15% increase in community resiliency
We unite and steward collective resources to make it easy for people to support their communities. The Village exists because of who we are working together.
Phase One (2021-2022)
- Everyone Church: EveryOne Church is a unique spiritual collective, shaped by the values of Jesus of Nazareth, accepting everyone as they are and creating opportunities to thrive. The Church will provide the site stewardship, foster radical inclusion, and ensure the mission and values are carried out in all activities associated with Everyone Village.
- Rexius: Rexius President Arlen Rexius has donated the Dani Street property to host the project and is providing water and electrical services, along with on-site supervision.
- Carry it Forward: Carry It Forward created the microshelters that helped seed the Village and provided refurbished RVs through their Hope on Wheels program to shelter our community members.
- City of Eugene: The City of Eugene provided one-time infrastructure funding and will support partial staffing costs for 18-months of site operations.
- Landscape for Humanity: Landscape for Humanity (L4H), an initiative run by the faculty, students, and graduates from the University of Oregon Landscape Architecture program, is providing multifunctional landscape design and project consultation over the next 3-years.
- MAPLE Microdevelopment: MAPLE is helping us to design solutions that can contribute to generating sustainable revenue and savings plans for the villagers.
- Christians as Family Advocates: Faith-based therapists, staff and volunteers from many denominations, are dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of Villagers. All of CAFA’s Master’s level therapists are trained in working with anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse, self-esteem, relationships, PTSD, and other mental health issues. An art therapy program begain in January using mosaic.
- HIV Alliance: The Alliance for Community Wellness’s peer support services program is a proven method of fostering readiness for treatment while reducing the harm of ongoing substance use, thus increasing the likelihood of recovery and leading to better overall health outcomes. They have assigned a specialist to serve our community.
- White Bird Clinic NEST Program: The Navigation Empowerment Services Team will help people access benefits, direct express cards, phones, and OHP and provide targeted outreach to unhoused community members in the neighborhood.
Phase Two (2022)
- Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative: A partnership with OBRC will support our first villager-operated, independent bottle redemption service with wrap-around supports will target canners and gleaners who collect beverage containers for deposits as a primary income source.
- Ideal Option: Ideal Option‘s outpatient addiction medicine clinic in Eugene, OR provides evidence-based treatment for addiction to opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone, and stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. They also provide medication-assisted treatment for alcohol withdrawal and relapse prevention.
- Pacific Northwest Adult and Teen Challenge Recovery Program: This full spectrum, state-certified, Christ-centered behavioral health services in a residential treatment program will provide volunteers for our work parties and conduct outreach.
- ArtCity: Through their Creative Community Project, working artists will partner with sheltered residents to create hand-built clay garden pots for resale to help subsidize the project and create income opportunities for residents.`
- ReCyclized: Thomas Holden will pilot a customized workforce development program restoring and electrifying old bikes for resale in partnership with 360 Degree Cycles and Shift Community Cycles.
- Fungi for the People: Ja Schindler, the director of Fungi for the People has been a mushroom cultivator and student of fungi for over 20 years, in both research and production scales, and has facilitated hands-on mushroom workshops to over 5,500 individuals since 2009 as an act of social and environmental activism. Ja will help us to design our oyster mushroom shipping container farms to add a source of revenue and an interesting design element for hub and spoke communities.
- Homeless Garden Project: Now in its 30th year, this Santa Cruz, CA project will be providing training and mentorship for the agricultural program. Their workforce development project has a 90% success rate in getting individuals reconnected to socioeconomic opportunities and back into housing and we are working with them to adapt their jobs model for our community.