Livermore’s Goodness Village (GV) is the first permanent, supportive tiny home community in California. The nonprofit’s mission is to “improve the lives of the unsheltered population by providing a supportive living community in the greater Tri-Valley community with permanent housing in partnership with local businesses, cities, community members, and partner service agencies,” according to officials, who are working to grow GV with the help of local businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies.
GV was established as a nonprofit in 2020, opened its doors for operation in June 2021, and reached its full capacity of 28 residents in September 2021. Village residents have developed a garden for onsite cooking and vocational training, which includes selling goods at the Village’s Sunday morning market. This year, plans include constructing a large community center, laundry room, and up to 12 more tiny homes for a total of 40 residences.
“We desire to impart basic life skills, education, counseling, apprenticeships, life experience, peer support, and resources to empower our residents to improve the quality of their lives on every level,” says Executive Director Kim Curtis, who is a licensed clinical social worker. “We help the chronically homeless discover and rediscover their gifts and talents to do purposeful work.”
Goodness Village is an example of a leading edge approach in creatively solving the homeless challenge that most communities are facing today, according to Curtis. As the needs of residents vary, GV case management professionals work with them individually to address their needs. GV residents also have access to recovery specialists and registered nurses on site, and participate in a vocational program to develop or enhance employment skills.
“All of our residents contribute to the Village by paying a monthly program fee, participating in the vocational program, and volunteering at the Village,” notes Curtis. “We are seeing tremendous improvement in the lives of our residents. As an example, three people have already successfully moved on from the Village. Three are now sober after years of addiction. Five residents are employed off site and twenty are engaged in our on-site vocational program.”
“We have established a subcommittee of business professionals within the Board of Directors to work with local business leadership on behalf of the Village," says Richard Lysaght, Board of Directors Vice President. “Our goal is to partner with local business organizations that want to support the nonprofit’s approach to the challenge of unsheltered populations.” GV also offers ongoing volunteer opportunities for both business employees and individuals who want to help Village residents.
“Maybe you see yourself as a mentor or would you like to bring a group out for volunteer day? If so, we need you,” notes Lysaght. “Community dinners happen on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is a great team-building experience and a way to get to know the neighbors at the Village. We also have a wishlist on our website for those who would prefer to give tangible items. We always appreciate a contribution through a monetary donation that helps us provide the twenty-four hour supportive program that enables our neighbors to successfully transition out of chronic homelessness.”
GV was founded thanks to land provided by the Crosswinds Church and funding from Alameda County and the City of Livermore. The nonprofit is an independent organization that has no religious affiliation nor religious requirements for staff, volunteers, or program participants.
For more information about Goodness Village, please visit www.gvlivermore.org, www.facebook.com/gvlivermore, or www.instagram.com/gvlivermore.