Beyond Belief Network Guides: SquareOne Villages

BBNSquareOne Villages is Foundation Beyond Belief’s (FBB) Quarter 1 2016 Human Rights beneficiary for the Humanist Giving program. SquareOne Villages was chosen based on compatibility with the FBB mission, program effectiveness, financial responsibility, and an innovative approach to solving a problem. SquareOne Villages is focused on creating self-governing communities of low-cost tiny houses for people in need of  transitional housing. This guide serves as a resource event ideas that are complementary SquareOne Villages’ goals.

SquareOne Villages’ Work

SquareOne Villages, based in Eugene, OR, is focused on providing individuals and couples transitioning from homelessness with stable, safe and sustainable places to live through alternative, cost-effective approaches as they move to different  living solutions. The tiny houses are constructed by volunteers. In order to lower costs, facilities, such as restrooms and laundry, and utilities are communal. SquareOne Villages created, built and runs: Opportunity Village Eugene, its first transitional housing community. Opportunity Village’s pilot project was extended by a unanimous vote of the Eugene City Council. Emerald Village Eugene is designed to be another stepping stone, providing residents larger spaces, more stability, and earned equity through rents paid.    

Event Ideas

These suggested ideas are intended to inspire Beyond Belief Network teams looking for potential events.

  1. Volunteer. If your volunteer group is interested in a hands-on approach, consider volunteering with a local shelter. Some shelters provide temporary housing until individuals or families find permanent housing. These shelters often rely on volunteers to maintain the units. This includes painting, cleaning, building, or repairing their facilities; activities that a small group can complete in half a day or even a couple hours. As an additional project, run a collection drive. Local shelters are often in need of supplies. Consider collecting new or gently worn winter gear (coats, hats, gloves, etc.) and donating them to a local shelter. Coordinate with your local organization and only collect what is on their wishlist.   

  2. Assist. For those in transitional housing situations, a temporary residence provides an address and phone number to include on their resumes to that prospective employers have a way to contact individuals to schedule interviews. Consider volunteering at a temporary housing program in your area. Offer to assist individuals with their job search process (ex. filling out a resume, how to prepare for an interview, etc.). Perfect for individual volunteers or small volunteer groups.

  3. Collect. As an additional project, collect monetary donations at your volunteer group’s meetings. Opportunity Village housing is between 60 and 80 sq ft each.What does it cost you to maintain your housing per square foot? Consider this if making a donation. If your volunteer group is part of Beyond Belief Network and donates the proceeds to SquareOne Villages through Foundation Beyond Belief, the event would be considered as a Foundation Partners Program event, which means it will count as two events. BBN teams supporting our current and past Humanist Giving Program beneficiaries financially connects FBB programs in a new way and is a perfect for teams looking to quickly raise their BBN team level!

Our beneficiaries want FBB to connect their organization with our Beyond Belief Network and supporters. Submit your report so we can tell our beneficiaries about your work.  Furthermore, becoming a regular monthly donor will enable the Humanist Giving Program to give larger grants in the future. Find more out about Q1 2016 beneficiaries.

Follow SquareOne Villages and their work through their website and Facebook.