November 13, 2021 -
Promise Pointe is currently home to 9 lucky individuals. As soon as I get out of my car I feel it - the peace. This place is enveloped in a calm that one wouldn't expect given its proximity to Highway 59 and the trauma its residents have come from. After a long week of work and family - and a relatively privileged existence - it feels like being on vacation.
The land is dotted with mature trees, creating pools of shade over the outdoor sitting areas and walkways. Tiny houses painted cheery coastal colors and surrounded by flowers are spaced out along several equally tiny roadways with names like Serenity Circle and Tranquil Trail. We can hear one resident inside her home singing, and another is playing music softly from a radio on his porch. Even the breeze is gentle.
This is exactly the healing space people who have experienced chronic homelessness need. One resident told me that "it's like being on a retreat and I never have to leave". Trauma is often the catalyst that causes chronic homelessness, and homelessness is a trauma. Many need time to decompress from the living in survival mode, to trust their safety, and to re-learn how to live and communicate with others. At Promise Pointe, they're given the space and support to recover while still being encouraged to contribute to their community.
The property has a garden, chickens, craft spaces, and a library. The space feels like an Air BNB campground with cute touches like the little PVC pipe mailboxes and themes for each home. In order to keep costs down and encourage community, the homes are not equipped with kitchens or bathrooms. Instead, there are two community kitchens and 2 blocks of bathrooms. These well appointed and decorated spaces are clean and inviting. Outdoor sitting spaces abound, and include fire pits, porch swings, a gazebo and even a tree house! One particularly handy resident has built some of the features and helps with upkeep.
Promise Pointe is building more houses and will have 22 residents when it reaches its capacity. They are currently raising funds to create a micro-enterprise space where residents can learn skills and sell their wares. They expect to have fabric crafts, art, fresh produce, and wood working. They would love to someday host other vendors for market days as well. I'll be the first in line for a locally made porch swing, some fresh kale, and some peaceful time around one of the fire pits with my new friends.