A collaboration between the housed and unhoused that provides stable and safe places to be through cost-effective approaches for transitioning the unhoused to more sustainable living situations.
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Type: Transitional Tiny Homes
Size: 30 units on 1.0 acres
Status: Open since 2013
Program fee: $35/month
Target Population: 0-30% area median income
“Opportunity Village was the stepping stone of my transition into society. After only a few months of living there my girlfriend and I now are living a life where we are able to sustain a home on our own after being homeless for two years."
— Sam Johns,
Opportunity Village feature on PBS...
A 2015 survey conducted by the University of Oregon's Community Planning Workshop included the following key findings...
Residents indicated that staying at OVE helps them feel secure, safe in their neighborhood, and independent.
OVE provides a space in which individuals regularly interact with one another and establish community.
Residents indicate staff are helpful and site rules are effective.
Site rules directly impacted the neighboring residents and businesses level of support for Opportunity Village.
Residents view the operational structure and rules of Opportunity Village positively.
Staying at the village helps residents transition to permanent housing; some reported that they still face barriers to obtaining permanent housing.
While opinions vary on their current connection (some report strong connections, others, weaker connections) with Opportunity Village, many service providers see an opportunity for improvement.
Neighboring residents and businesses generally felt the neighborhood surrounding Opportunity Village was perceived as safe.
80% of neighboring residents and businesses indicated they were aware of OVE.
Survey results show that nearly 90% of neighboring residents and businesses were supportive of the OVE program.
Many neighboring residents and businesses reported that they had not noticed any changes since OVE’s inception.
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Words of Support...
“The city Council members and I have watched with interest and appreciation as Opportunity Village was built with donated labor and supplies and the residential community took shape. The City provided the land for the Village for a year as a pilot project. Because the work there has been so exceptional, the city council recently approved a two-year extension of the lease of the property. We consider it remarkably practical and productive to utilize this property for a self-managed village of people needing a safe place to shelter, store their possessions, and find community.”
—Mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy
“It has gone better than I thought it would. [The Village] has not been a burden to the neighborhood in terms of crime impact.”
—Eugene Police Lieutenant, Erik Klinko
“The City of Eugene has a long history of developing and managing services and policies to address homelessness in our community. The last few years have seen an increased emphasis on the need to address this issue, and this has challenged the City Council and staff to respond creatively. In 2011 we commissioned a Community Task Force on Homelessness, and it was following the work of this task force that Opportunity Village Eugene was formed. OVE set about to plan a village—a community of tiny houses supported by a shared kitchen, bathrooms, and meeting space, with self-management by residents through a resident council and community agreement. The City of Eugene provided on acre of land in West Eugene, and Opportunity Village was built.
By all counts, Opportunity Village has been successful as a pilot project. It has gained an immense amount of community support and goodwill—from citizens, from the Mayor and City Council, from the neighborhood group, and from the police department. There has also been interest and attention from people around the country—neighborhood and community leaders—who have come to visit and gain ideas and perhaps emulate the concept in their own communities.”
—Eugene City Councilor, Chris Pryor
“From everything that I have seen and heard regarding Opportunity Village Eugene, it seems to be a great success, in terms of their goals and the commitments they made to the residents of the village, the neighborhood and the City Council… I have received zero complaints regarding Opportunity Village.”
—Eugene City Councilor, Claire Syrett