It Takes A Village has established a “Self attesting” food bank model, in that we don’t require ID or documentation for someone to access food once a week. Community members and our community partners who support folks express gratitude for this intentional model because sometimes people do not have ID or appear on paper to be in a different financial circumstance than is the reality. A Food budget is becoming a discretionary expense for many working and non working people. The “give & Take stand” out front of the store is a food resource for anyone, at any time. We try to keep some food on it at all times.
Moneyless Second Hand Store
The Village store is stocked with every day items that are donated by the community. Each person who comes in to shop is given 20 points to shop with, and each items has a point ”price”. so a winter coat might be 10 points, boots 5 points, a cooking pot 3 points etc. Points are not earned or saved and cannot be given to someone else. When patrons check out, their points are tallied and items bagged up. People are free to come every day, as the social connection can be just as important as the items. Community partners often refer folks to The Village and when people require more than what 20 points can get, we are happy to help.
When items that are donated are of a higher retail value than we could reasonably put a “points” value on, and to inhibit the potential for goods freely given and acquired to be resold, we gather the merchandise up every month and put it in an online selling market. The intentional model for this is that people can “purchase” items in either cash or volunteer hours. For example, an expensive purse may be listed for $40 or 4 volunteer hours, Although this translates into 1 hour for every $10, we needed a system that was fairly simple to navigate and translate. This method is proving to be quite popular.
Out Of The Cold Supplies
When community members are faced with living unsheltered or “homelessness” and if the emergency shelter options provided by social services are not viable for that individual, we have a section of tents, sleeping bags, tarps, ground mats etc., that we can offer folks. Sometimes emergency options take people out of the community that has been home, is near their family and loved ones, support systems etc., and demand one make really difficult choices.
Navigating systems of information and access to technology for appointments
The supportive and open community environment here in The Village creates many opportunities for us to connect with folks who are looking for resources. This connection helps us to give people tools and support, so that they can advocate for their needs. We also have stations set up for people to connect with court, medical and other important appointments, via ZOOM video or telephone. We also have office space and our “Community Room” available for incoming agencies to meet with community members.