Heart Village is homeless
The Heart Village project — 12 tiny housing units with access to drug treatment and recovery services spearheaded by Rogue Retreat and Addiction Recovery Center — is being relocated after a virtual meeting with the neighborhood.
“It's a great idea, but in the wrong place,” said ARC President and CEO Lori Paris.
The proposed location was on an ARC-owned lot on Eighth Street near West Main and Peach streets. However, after a meeting with neighbors, ARC and Rogue Retreat decided to look for a different location.
“What we heard from the neighbors was that they didn’t feel like they were consulted or listened to and that they're kind of overburdened with services already in the neighborhood,” Paris said. “We empathize with what they're saying, and we're part of that neighborhood, too.”
Chad McComas, the Executive Director at Rogue Retreat, said that although it’s unfortunate Heart village will have to be relocated, it will allow ARC and Rogue Retreat to find a location that can accommodate more units.
McComas and Rogue Retreat were in a similar situation five years ago with Hope Village, where the neighbors complained and Rogue Retreat had to change locations, which allowed them to have 34 housing units instead of ten.
“Something we’ve learned is that every time a door shuts a barn door opens,” McComas said.
Paris said decisions are still being made about other potential locations, but she intends for a decision to be made sooner than later.
“This concept could be done in another location that does not impact a neighborhood that already has so many facilities,” she said.
ARC provides treatment and support for people struggling with addiction, and Rogue Retreat provides affordable housing and shelter for homeless people, including Hope Village and an urban campground.
Heart Village was supposed to have 12 shipping containers modified to look like cottages, with windows, a door and insulation. They would be roughly 10-by-10-feet, and each unit would cost an estimated $10,500.
There was also supposed to be a kitchen trailer, a food pantry shed, restrooms, showers, a laundry facility and a community building.
Paris hopes that Addiction Recovery Center and Rogue Retreat can continue to work together, as both organizations often work to help the same people.
“That’s the desire of both organizations,” Paris said. “We’re partners now. What I mean by that is we do treatment, and a lot of our clients end up being housed by Rogue Retreat.”
Reach Mail Tribune news intern William Seekamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.