The vision for Circle City Village began with conversations just over three years ago between board members, staff, and volunteers with Food 4 Souls, a faith-based outreach ministry to friends experiencing homelessness. That summer the outreach director for Food 4 Souls visited multiple locations, including Madison, WI, and the Pacific Northwest to tour tiny house villages for those experiencing homelessness and learn from others who were already doing it what was working and what they would do differently. The goal was to take the best practices from these various villages and create a model for a tiny house village for our friends experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis. What started as a suggestion and idea was slowly turning into a mission, one that would require us to create a separate team and organization to support for the long-haul.
What we have learned along the way is that projects like this take patience and a lot of time to do it in the right way. When we first started, we naively thought it would be a two-year process. With the early momentum we had, our team didn’t realize how challenging finding a location and building the political will for this project would be.
Three years later, though, the momentum is picking up again. In April and May, we officially incorporated Circle City Villages and appointed our first board to be the administrative backbone for this project. We are working with a local church to build our village on a vacant property they own. We have professionals from various fields and volunteers from three churches now working with us to help us fine-tune our plans. Currently, a design team and policy team are working on the material we need to have ready to begin the zoning process for this land to be turned into a place where people experiencing homelessness can begin the journey of healing in their lives. Things are definitely moving quickly again.
Along the way, we have met many people wanting to do their own tiny house village. Some have joined with us. Others have made a big stir for a short time only to fade away when things became challenging. Doing anything worthwhile will take time and meet resistance. Learning to have the patience and tenacity is what keeps us going and will lead us to success.
An official announcement of our location and plan is coming soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog for updates on our progress toward this goal.