From Homeless to Hopeful: It Takes a Village

Consider this: approximately 175 homeless children live in Oshkosh according to the Department of Public Instruction. Homelessness involves more than just not having a place to live; it’s a complex web of challenges. And for children, it can lead to disruptions in schooling, physical health problems, emotional stress, social isolation, and an increased risk of trauma.

Prior to 2022, there were few options for families experiencing homelessness locally. That’s when the Oshkosh Kids Foundation stepped up to fill the gap. After helping nearly 500 children through motel stays, rent assistance and security deposit support during COVID, they were determined to provide a more stable housing solution for families – The Tiny House Village.

The Tiny House Village (THV) comprises 32 fully furnished, 400 square foot units, complete with everything a family would need to move right in. There are currently 32 adults and 46 children living in the village.

A four-year $100,000 grant from the Community Impact Fund helped to support its construction, and another $20,000 grant from the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs helped to hire an on-site coach and case manager for residents. A position currently filled by Cori Laux.

Cori assists families in accessing resources needed to find a well-paying job, reliable transportation, and a more permanent housing situation. Cori shared, “If the Tiny Homes Village didn’t exist these families would be on the streets, living out of their vehicle, or staying in a motel. THV provides them with a home of their own—a secure place to rest their heads at night.”

Kyla and her 16-month-old son, Nyaire, moved into the THV in September 2023. “I came here with nothing, just a suitcase with some clothes, mostly his clothes. The staff and volunteers helped me figure it out. Everyone is here to help each other,” shares Kyla.

Beyond providing shelter, THV offers a range of classes and programs, including Rent Smart, mental health workshops, cooking demonstrations, and budgeting assistance. Plus, a community organization comes in once a month to bring all residents together for a delicious meal.

Kyla’s words capture the essence of THV’s impact:

“I moved in with a lot of hope and faith that it was going to work out for me and my baby. He is so happy here. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders to have this community and this support.”

From homelessness to hopefulness, the Tiny House Village is transforming lives one family at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *