Parkrose Community Village Has Officially Opened!
The volunteer team has completed all the sleeping pods, and a temporary community kitchen and gathering space have been set up. With the power turned on, Phase I of the village is now complete! Six guests (plus watchdog Coco and kitten Luna) have currently moved in, with 1-2 guests joining each week until we reach full capacity at 12 guests.
The Building of a Communityby deeDee Turner, WeShine Program Manager
The first few weeks after opening were exceptionally busy and exciting! We are fully staffed, the village has officially opened, and the village community has truly blossomed. We have had 4 Village Council Meetings, which is where announcements, opportunities, and village “shout outs” are discussed and celebrated. The Villagers are doing well with governing themselves. They are working through conflict, making tough decisions, and creating processes for them all to feel comfortable and safe in the village. Over the next few weeks, we are offering trainings focused on group facilitation, conflict resolution, accountability processes, consensus voting, and de-escalation.
A few successes:
The perimeter fence has been painted a solid blue-turquoise, making a pallet on which our villagers, in collaboration with Gather-Make-Shelter, will in the spring create a beautiful mural – both an artistic endeavor and a community building, place-making activity.
We have beautiful raised garden beds thanks to generous donations of materials and labor from the Friends of Portland Community Gardens. The villagers have already planted their winter veggies and herbs.
Most villagers are employed! The level of ambition and eagerness each villager has shown is beautiful and inspiring. They are one step closer to breaking down the barriers that have stood in their way in the past to obtain housing.
Little Sunshine: Solar Kiosk Resiliency Hub
Little Sunshine (“Sunny”/She/Her) has arrived in her new home! Over the next few months the Sunny will get solar panels and batteries, information displays, lighting, and phone charging ports for village residents. This kiosk is a pilot project for a series of community kiosks proposed for Portland as mini-resiliency hubs. Sunny was also experiencing houselessness when we fell in love with her at the Rebuilding Center and is finding new life and purpose as a solar charging bench that will be totally off-grid. She’ll have a new paint job (to minimize glare), but even when she is no longer yellow, with solar on the roof, she will always remain sunshiny bright.
For safety, the City is requiring a concrete foundation so we’ll need help from a contractor to build it and install her securely before she’s ready for prime time. Donations appreciated! This project is a partnership with WeShine, PDX Main Streets, and Forage Design + Planning made possible with funding through a Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) small grant, and through volunteers and donations.
Questions? Contact Heather: firstname.lastname@example.org