Phil 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Koinonia Communities is a non-profit volunteer organization which helps house, feed, clothe, train and minister to chronic and imminently homeless low income individuals and families. We have a BIG, long term vision to house the low income and the homeless in a community where they can work together and take care of one another. But that vision takes time, and money, and volunteers, and land and homes, so we have to start somewhere. Therefore, Koinonia is working in tiers to meet the needs of displaced people, with each tier generating enough income to move on to the next tier.
TIER 1: Create transitional residences where those in crisis can obtain a bed for themselves and their children until more permanent housing can be obtained. This requires:
- Locating existing houses that Koinonia can lease so we can rent bedrooms to displaced people referred to us by an associated agency. No deposit or security would be required for renters and utilities would be included, but they must pay for their bed so Koinonia can cover the rent and all associated costs. Those without any present income are eligible for short-term sponsorship as funds are available. However, residents must be actively involved in the process of becoming financially stable enough to find a permanent residence, as well as meet weekly with personal financial advisers regarding their progress.
- Assembling a team of volunteers who will offer services such as:
– make daily visits to the residences to ensure that the houses are well maintained by the residents
– monitor their progress toward becoming financially stable enough to obtain permanent housing
– help with transportation for work opportunities, medical appointments, and other required assistance
– help with crisis childcare for working parents until permanent childcare can be found
– help with personalized educational and vocational training
- Creating a network of organizations to locate and/or provide permanent, part-time or intermittent work opportunities for residents. Odd jobs, such as cleaning, painting, small repairs, tutoring, etc. can help a displaced person help make enough money to keep their family housed while they try to obtain permanent work that will sustain them in the long term.
- Creating an inter-agency database that can share resources (food, clothes, training, social services), and track the progress of our residents to make sure they are taking advantage of every available service. At present, one agency can refer a client to another agency, but there is no central knowledge base to see if the client has obtained the referred services.
- Creating an online store to allow residents to sell goods and services to help support their families.
The issue with this option is that most homeowners do not want to allow subletting of their rooms. It will take community members who are willing to assist us as we help the homeless.
TIER 2: Purchase recreational vehicles that can be used on a temporary, crisis basis at local campgrounds to house families in emergency situations. The families would have to pay for the campground rental, but we would provide the rv to house them.
TIER 3: Build a larger, commercial building for a Temporary Shelter to consolidate manpower and resources. The goal would be to accommodate more people in one location with housing, training and access to social services.
TIER 4: Build our long term vision of multiple individual housing units in a community setting. This would mainly consist of individual cabins and lodges in a campground setting for accommodations lasting up to 1 year. See the below video for this vision.
Koinonia Communities is a non-profit volunteer organization which helps house, feed, clothe, train and minister to chronic and imminently homeless low income individuals and families, as well as act as an animal rescue. Our clients join our volunteer organization and in return for volunteering on site as Permanent Staff in the Village and off site in the community, they receive room and board at a greatly reduced rate. Each volunteer is tasked with committing to the health and well-being of everyone else in the community, and helping wherever they are needed. This work ethic creates the possibility for a self-sustaining community.
Our primary source of clients/volunteers are those who will most likely not experience an increase of income in the future and require long term housing and service opportunities. Precedence is given to those who have served in the military and as first responders, followed by those with disabilities (both physical and cognitive) and seniors with dwindling incomes.
Our second tier of clients/volunteers are those in need of transitional housing, as well as life skills and job training. They are working toward obtaining sufficient finances to live on their own. This tier includes teens who age out of the foster system, individuals leaving jail (local County Jail inmates take precedence) and rehabilitation institutions. This also includes low income families that require a place to regroup after a financial setback so they can save enough money to obtain their own place.
First and second tier clients must be fingerprinted and have an FBI background check completed. With the exception of a future community set up specifically for individuals with this background, clients with a history of battery or sexual offenses may not apply for long term or transitional housing. Application preference is given to those who come from the county in which the Village is located.
Our third tier of clients/volunteers are chronic homeless individuals who need emergency shelter due to climate conditions, or individuals or families in crisis seeking overnight shelter. This is short term only, and provides an opportunity for the clients to see how the Village works and make a decision whether or not they would like to join us, or if they would prefer to return to their present accommodations. The emergency shelter would be in a separate, confined area, as these clients will not have time to have a background check completed on them, and they will not have free access to the main Village.
Each village strives to incorporate an on-site Clinic, Chapel, Community Building for cooking, eating and meeting, kennels for animal rescue and pets of Village residents, bath houses with laundry, outdoor cooking, and recreational areas. The accommodations will include refurbished recreational vehicles, cabins, a lodge and/or bunkhouse, and an emergency shelter. Housing will only include electricity – no running water or cooking facilities. The setting is that of a private campground, such as a KOA, with an extended permanent staff of volunteers.
Koinonia Communities strives to be as self-sufficient as possible, including farming/gardening, and chickens providing eggs for the community. Volunteer opportunities include farming, food preparation and storage, vehicle maintenance, RV renovation, building construction, grounds maintenance, cleaning, animal care, transportation, job and life skills training, counseling, and any other needs. Additional services include the opportunity for clients to start micro-businesses to supplement their income, and opportunities for them to volunteer with other organizations in exchange for room and board. (Rev 1.00 – 7/19/16)
Contact us for more information.