Community Real Estate Network
With your help, we are saving lives through real estate.
"The mission of this corporation is to alleviate the problem of homelessness through cash grants for community development, facilitating and providing affordable housing, and Real Estate related employment, training, and services."
Community Real Estate Network is an essential piece to supporting recovery from homelessness, mental illness, and addiction. CREN is a 501C3 whose purpose is to provide jobs and training in Real Estate while raising money through services.
CREN lists and sells property as a means of cash generation to support its own services and those of its partners. CREN also takes donations, provides employment and training in a wide range of activities, and competitively manages properties while supporting the mental health of the tenants. CREN can own, contract, build, and perform any other Real Estate related job.
CoLiving Network is an innovative community program that facilitates and supports the formation of household learning communities where residents struggling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness can learn the skills for sustainable and stable living.
WHAT IT IS
CoLiving Network currently coaches two homes. One for women and one for men. Residents come from homelessness, abuse, or addiction challenges. They become a part of a self-supporting, self-run community committed to living and learning a drug-free lifestyle together. Residents must vacate and make room for someone else if they don't follow agreed on rules or use drugs.
HOW IT WORKS
Screened program participants pay a very affordable monthly fee for a shared or private room. A CoLiving Coach regularly visits each home and attends house meetings. The coach advises residents on day-to-day living and assists them in developing a practical plan for how to move ahead in their lives. Those in need of work are supported to find job opportunities, and those that receive benefits are expected to contribute to the local community. In addition, each resident also contributes to the household by being either the organizer, the treasurer, the gardener, the house cleaner, the cook, a peer-counselor, or a good neighbor, then teaching it to the others. Residents graduate the program with a savings account, good habits, a support network, good references, and the skills to succeed.
WHY IT WORKS
The CoLiving Network method empowers participants by combining the factors required for success. The program is available to residents who have been turned down elsewhere and then connects affordable housing with a lifestyle that can sustain it. Residents learn by actively supporting each other to move in the direction of a sober and fulfilling way of life. CoLiving Network combines community support with a program based on drug-free healthy living, safe affordable housing, democratic responsibility, giving to others, life skills training, and job opportunity. These factors make it possible to achieve success. The CoLiving Method is a synthesis of behavioral science and shared housing solutions. It is modeled after the highly successful Oxford House www.oxfordhouse.org.
our neighborhood market
Our Neighborhood Market is a new type of neighborhood market that meets the healthy needs of the local area. The location is 551 Whiting Street in Grass Valley, CA and it is under architectural design for a tenant improvement plan to begin operation in early 2017.
Our Neighborhood Market is a nonprofit community hub and job creator. It will provide connection and support while selling local merchandise, beverages, simple whole prepared foods, baked goods, and vegetables. It will have a commercial kitchen. Locally grown vegetables, at reasonable prices, will be the priority and provisioned to allow the micro grower and other home occupation contributors.
The foothold house is a very simple and inexpensive CA Residential code compliant house. It can be placed on a property and rented either as a primary residence or a secondary residence. The Foothold 500 can be converted to a garage and the Foothold 250 can be built on a manufacturing site and transported on a trailer to its permanent location. We plan to build the latter at our Residency Training and Manufacturing site.
HOMEWARD BOUND UNIVERSITY
Our residents live in a productive community by acquiring jobs to pay a $200 monthly rent and receive volunteer case management, counseling, and other types of support. Residents are offered work opportunities at Our Neighborhood Market.
We have also developed a tiny housing model by placing six Cozy's (very small, private, insulated, dry, sleeping quarters with a desk, storage, and a bed) around an RV trailer that is used for classroom, cooking, sanitation, and learning activities. These can be placed on any vacant land. The location we are using now is zoned for this use under Senate Bill 2.
The two pictures (right) are of the original Cozy. The bottom photograph is the most recent version that is slightly larger and much more solid. They are composed of six panels that can be easily transported then quickly screwed together to form a building. The floor is a plastic tarp on the ground which helps to trap and even the heating. The first version cost about $100 and the current one is over two hundred because of the cost of a window, insulation, and door hardware. The roof is painted to save on cost and weight.
MOBILE OUTREACH OF NEVADA COUNTY
Mobile Outreach of Nevada County uses a motor home to visit homeless camping areas and offer a shower, to wash clothing, food, warmth and coaching/case management. It is used to attract the homeless into programs where they can receive services and build back their lives.
Mental health training is essential to ending homelessness. There are three interrelated factors that support each other: mental health, self-efficacy, and safety. At CoLiving Network, HOBO University, and the Mobile Outreach, we strive to address each factor. Mindfulness education appears to be the most important tool for gaining the skill to make the good decisions that result in mental health. In order to learn mindfulness, it is important to have self-efficacy (some kind of work to do that feels important), and a safe environment, both physical and psychological.