Shelter for Homeless

Shelter or Aid for Homelessness

7

Steps to create an intentional community serving homeless

  1. Live or work at one if you have the opportunity. Alternately, having someone on your team who has worked closely with homelessness could save you from a lot of mistakes.
  2. You will likely be most effective if you identify a specific subgroup whose unique needs you can address, such as mildly mentally ill, veterans with PTSD, victims of trafficking with substance abuse issues that disqualify them from domestic violence shelters, or former foster care children who have aged out. Add to your leadership team or advisory board someone who has worked in a related non-profit and is familiar with the challenges of those serving and served.
  3. Use ICmatch.org to build up your core leadership team and other values-aligned volunteers who might work on site in exchange for room and board. Some of these might be former members of your served population.
  4. Create your business plan and grant proposals. To be eligible for more grants, you might team up with a university and non-profits that work with the population or issues you are interested in.
  5. Plan for the physical location of the intentional community to be close to existing services related to or needed by the population served. Consider unconventional options such as repurposing a motel property that’s up for sale.
  6. See the resources section below for suggestions related to funding for underserved populations.
  7. Meet regularly as a team to make sure each member feels supported with their responsibilities. As those you serve are helped to level up, some of them may become your best team members or advocates.

Examples

Opportunity Village in Eugene Oregon is a transitional tiny home village that includes 30 units for those who would otherwise be homeless.

The Delancey Street Foundation is a residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, and that trains and employs people without homes.

Consultants

Members

Resources

See our online guide to creating shelter and treatment-based intentional communities of many types.

Recent mental health care reforms in the U.S. promise to provide funding for treatment facilities. By using the clubhouse model, small facilities targeting select groups could successfully begin treating vulnerable populations as daytime and/or residential care.