Following a recent article in the ‘Tribune,’ “Work Begins at L&M Village for the Unsheltered” (Sept. 8, 2022), the executive director of Reach for Home contacted the editor to clarify some issues the article raised, to assist community members in understanding the project.
Thank you for the awareness you raised with your story about the L & M Village last week.
The L & M Village will be an interim shelter to help chronically homeless individuals as they journey towards permanent housing. As of our last survey, there were approximately 120 unsheltered people living in North County, including over 60 in Healdsburg.
Reach for Home will operate the L & M Village with trauma-informed care always in the forefront—meaning that staff and volunteers will consider the pervasive nature of trauma and strive to promote an environment of healing and recovery, rather than practices and services that may inadvertently re-traumatize individuals.
The five guiding principles of this approach are: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment. It is in this context that the resident council should be understood. All residents will need to follow behavior-based rules. The resident council will provide feedback to staff in order to help residents be successful. This could include additional rules that will be self-governed.
We understand that this project is new for the community and that people have concerns. We will have 24-hour security for at least the first three months. Ongoing security will be on site from 10pm to 6am each day.
A focus of the L & M Village is community involvement. We want L & M Village residents to feel like they are welcomed and valued members of the community. Aside from their own efforts to attain permanent housing (with the help of Reach for Home’s caring case managers), this will best be accomplished by ensuring that community members are able to interact with residents and recognize the commonalities we all share as human beings.
A number of volunteer opportunities will be available, including providing and sharing dinner with residents. When the L & M Village opens in late November, we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration. We hope to see you all there.
Margaret Sluyk, CEO, Reach for Home