Hope Village residents making progress

Medford, Ore. — $366,000 dollars donated from the community helped to make Hope Village a reality a little more than a month ago.

“They’re actually pretty nice little units and it’s a lot warmer than being outside,” Elizabeth Kramer said.

Elizabeth Kramer has lived at Hope Village for two weeks.

She says she’s had to get accustomed to many different personalities, but she tries to be an active listener with a big heart.

“We’re a village family is what we like to call ourselves,” Kramer said.

Cathy Marcoux is the case manager for the women at Hope Village.

Since its grand opening in late October she says Hope Village already has six people working who didn’t have a job prior to moving into the tiny homes.

She says many have also been progressing through the levels quickly.

“Getting health insurance, having a primary doctor, going to the dentist, signing up for HUD… all the things that they really couldn’t do when they were homeless,” Marcoux said.

As we get closer to the cold, winter months, the residents are starting to think of ways to stay warm without electricity.

But according to Marcoux, anyone can go into the common room throughout the night which stays heated at 70 degrees.

“A lot of them are being very resourceful though. They’re making rice bags and you heat them up in the microwave and they act like a heating pad,” Marcoux said.

Kramer and her husband have their own unique method.

“We use two-liter soda bottles and we fill them with very hot water. And then we microwave them for like three minutes each. Then we put them underneath our blankets and they keep us warm all night,” Kramer said.

Marcoux says during their time at Hope Village, residents are learning to get out of their survival-thinking mode and into a more positive mind set.

“When we’re here we’re talking about what can we do for our community… what can we do as a group,” Marcoux said.

And according to Kramer, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

“We get to enjoy each other’s company and work together for the common good of the village as well as working on our own individual goals and aspirations so that we can become successful and find a permanent place,”

Hope Village is made up of 14 tiny homes.

In order to remain affordable, they don’t have plumbing or electricity, but provide a roof over people’s heads while they try to find jobs and permanent housing.

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