Less than a year after opening its doors, Hope Springs is celebrating its first graduations of two residents who’ve completed the program and will move into permanent housing. The two residents, who were both unsheltered before moving into the bridge housing community, were celebrated Tuesday at a private event at the facility.
“Through therapy, counseling, the support system, you are looking at a man that has turned his life around,” said one of the graduating residents.
Hope Springs opened in March 2021 as a solution to the area’s housing and homelessness crisis. The tiny homes village is operated by community health clinic Northern Nevada HOPES, which in addition to housing provides physical and behavioral health care and the stability and support to maintain employment and improve life skills.
HOPES CEO Sharon Chamberlain said the connection between housing and health care is undeniable.
“It’s difficult to focus on your health when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep,” Chamberlain said in 2020 when HOPES was nearing completion of the village. “Hope Springs is a safe and dignified place for our community’s most disenfranchised to live while they access support services to help them heal and also improve their quality of life.”
One of the graduating residents, who had been recently out of prison and homeless, agreed.
“When I got to Hope Springs I was amazed by the structure of the place, by the staff, by the food, the refrigerator, to be able to take a shower meant so much to me,” they said.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with 20 years’ experience working in communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife and stepmom.