A collaborative effort to give homeless Oshkosh families a safe shelter and fresh start will open its doors to 8 families in the New Year.
The Oshkosh Kids Foundation (OKF) has teamed up with 17 local community partners to introduce the Tiny House Village - Jake’s Network of Hope is thrilled to be one of these community partners!
The Tiny House Village provides affordable, short-term housing for families while they learn life, financial, and home management skills. Jake’s is providing goods to furnish each home - such as bedding, small kitchen equipment, dining ware, bathroom needs, and so forth - a partnership that has greatly helped reduce the project’s growing budget - according to Julie D., Co-Founder, and Executive Director of OKF.
“We love Jakes, we’re super excited about the group staging our houses - all the items that Jake’s is providing are going to make it a home,” she said.
As of early December, the village’s community center is complete and ready for the organization to start furnishing and “moving in.” The first couple of houses are expected to be move-in ready in the next couple weeks, with doors opening to 8 families just after the New Year, Julie said.
Families are referred by school social workers, Winnebago County social workers and the Christine Anne Center. The families who are ultimately selected for the program are those who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness and are also working hard to overcome their situation. The Tiny Homes village goal is to give these families time to get back on their feet and re-establish financial security while offering a fresh start.
There are 100 families on a waitlist for programs that could ultimately refer to the Tiny Homes, showcasing just how desperate the need in the area is; Jule said the group hopes to have 16 homes available by the end of January and 32 by the end of June. The homes use solar power panels to reduce tenant costs, and the village will provide internet; the only utility residents will pay is water.
“These people, we’re getting them stabilized and then giving them hope and dignity and excitement about a brand new house with brand new stuff - and they can start over,” Julie said. The organization will provide each family a picture frame with a family photo upon move in.