Texan city to open residential community for homeless individuals
A working, livable community in Texas won’t turn away any homeless resident.
By October 2018, a new residential community for the homeless sector will open in Victoria, Texas.
Victoria Advocate reported that the community, called Promise Pointe, is a 12-acre property along the outskirts of Raisin and is expected to be a new home for the city’s marginalized group.
Modeled after a similar community in Austin, Texas called Community First! Village, Promise Pointe is being constructed by the nonprofit group of the same name, which works to address the chronic homelessness in Victoria. The counties of Calhoun and Victoria have over 455 homeless individuals to date.
The property will be located off US 59, a few miles outside the city of Victoria. Executives and community volunteers often spend the weekends working on completing the community. Apart from the home structures, the volunteers also work on preparing a flower garden and other amenities.
Promise Pointe Board President Jim Cole said, “There’s a tremendous need here that’s not being met[,] and we hope to fill that need.”
The new community for the homeless will be the location of several tiny homes and will feature a community bathroom, a kitchen and a chicken coop, which can help the community start a small farm to both feed residents and serve as an additional income through selling eggs. An approximation of 20 residents can live in the residential area.
Currently, two homes are now good for residence, and three more houses are expected to be finished soon.
More than just the dole out, the new residential community will encourage the homeless to help themselves and even the community. Additionally, taking up residence in the community will require the occupants to pay rental fees. However, if they are concerned about getting full-time jobs, they will receive training with the help of other nonprofit groups such as the Homeless Coalition, Perpetual Help Home and Mid-Coast Family Services.
Promise Pointe ensures that there will be no timeline for the residents to move out. “This is permanent housing, not transitional housing. They’re welcome to stay as long as they like,” said Cole.
Not the typical homeless shelter
This kind of setup distinguishes Promise Pointe from other community shelters where people have to leave to make way for other occupants. The nonprofit group plans to keep the community sustainable via micro-enterprises that would encourage residents to grow a vegetable garden and raise a small farm to sell the products.
Funds from this cottage business are expected to be used in helping out other homeless individuals. The nonprofit organization is now in search of local businesses offering to teach their skills to the residents.
To date, the community receives support through cash donations and tools to build the community. “It’s going to take the involvement of the community,” said Promise Pointe Board Vice President Randy Mahoney.
The group is hoping that Victoria County will continue to address the growing problem of homelessness in Texas. Apart from the number of the homeless population, there are only about 60 livable areas available for this sector.
The Promise Pointe board hopes that the residential community will help remove the stigma associated with homeless individuals like being lazy or drug-addicted. According to Promise Pointe Board Interim Volunteer Executive Director Susannah Porr, many of them “are just a paycheck away from being hopeless.”
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