Northern Nevada HOPES on Tuesday said its Hopes Springs bridge housing community has welcomed its first cohort of residents. After completing a rigorous screening process, eight men and women have moved into the tiny house community—and out of homelessness—and are working to regain their health and stability before moving on to more permanent housing.
Before being accepted to live at Hope Springs, potential residents undergo screening, including interviews with case managers, to determine their readiness for program participation. Once accepted, they work with onsite HOPES staff to develop individual care plans and participate in therapy and group meetings. They also have chores, gardening and cooking responsibilities.
This is the first program and facility of its type in northern Nevada, so there’s no roadmap for the Hope Springs team to follow in accepting and moving in clients. A spokesperson for Northern Nevada HOPES said the organization is taking a measured and focused approach to accepting individuals into the program to ensure things run smoothly.
Over the next few weeks they said they’ll continue to welcome new residents, gradually increasing from one or two each week until all of the units are filled.
The village was completed in late January with 30 individual sleeping units, a community center, small dog park, restrooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Key to the community, however, is access to comprehensive medical and wellness services provided by Northern Nevada HOPES.
Residents say the sense of safety and security that they feel at the facility has led them to get medical care they’ve been putting off.
“We have been, and remain, committed to working with the community we’re serving to bring them the safety and resources they’ll need to thrive,” said Sharon Chamberlain, chief executive officer at Northern Nevada HOPES. “We’re very intentional about ensuring we take our time to bring new residents into the program, that we’re listening and learning. We want to do this right.”
Local advocates for people who are homeless say the model used at Hope Springs is more effective than the emergency shelter format of the Nevada Cares Campus. In an op-ed this week, sociologist Jeff Mitchell noted that studies show long-term housing assistance, such as that offered at Hope Springs, is more effective at reducing homelessness.
HOPES staff said they expect residents to stay at the village for six to eight months before “graduating” from the program and transitioning to more permanent housing.
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