Opportunity Village continues to operate as designed. Leadership on the Village Council changes every few months giving many of the residents the opportunity to serve. These leaders take their responsibilities seriously and have done a good job managing village life. Both our Program Director and our Executive Director spent a week living in the village over the summer, using the new trailer donated by the Berkley trade school as a guest house. Several of our villagers are veterans and have received considerable assistance transitioning out of the village through the 365 initiative. One of our villagers was approved for the new Bascom Village but is having difficulty raising the $1000 she will need for the move in costs, including a debt to EWEB. Hurdles of this type are very common and prevent many of our villagers from transitioning out.
Significant progress is being made on our affordable housing project, Emerald Village Eugene. After a presentation to the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, five additional architects offered their services to bring us to a total of 12. Each have been asked to design and contract at tiny house to be donated to the non-profit. Those firms that do not have a build capacity will be paired with construction partners. An additional 10 tiny homes will be constructed by the non-profit with the aid of volunteers. One prototype has been completed and a second, larger prototype is under construction. Two project managers with significant experience in our community, Carole Knapel and Mark Miksis, are assisting with the pro forma and project charter for the project.
We held a very successful fund raiser at Sweet Cheeks Winery on Sept 20 with Congressman Peter DeFazio and 15 paella chefs who prepared the food. Residents from Opportunity Village provided much of the labor. Nearly $50,000 was raised at the event and over $100,000 was received in the weeks following from those who attended. To date we have raised over $600,000 in gifts and pledges to build EVE with approximately another $250,000 to go. We anticipate breaking ground next spring with construction completed over the summer. Residents for this innovative affordable housing project will be selected early next year by a vetting committee with representation from the neighborhood. Residents will be required to participate in the building process, contributing at least 50 hours of their own time. We hope to receive waivers from the city of appropriate System Development Charges to keep our construction costs at a minimum.
We have displayed plans for EVE at the Lane County Fair, the BRING Home and Garden tour, the TEDx conference in Salem where our Executive Director was one of the presenters and the Neighborhood Partnership conference in Salem. We have received a number of inquiries about starting similar projects in other communities and are exploring the possibility of starting an affiliate program to aid communities who want to replicate either Opportunity Village or Emerald Village in their area. We continue to receive delegations from other cities who come to visit Opportunity Village, including most recently the mayor of Ashland and Saving Grace, a non- profit for victims of domestic violence in Bend.