Homes for the Domeless

Press Release (PDF)

News Article (Fast Company)

BELONGING AND HOUSING FIRST

We’re launching a profit-for-all cooperative program to transcend homelessness across the USA, starting in Nevada. Our strategy combines regenerative architecture, village building, and a new work paradigm. We build transitional villages that embody powerful urban design principles—to strengthen the original agreements humans formed in the villages where we first came together — cooperation, community, and creativity. Homelessness, addiction, trauma, inequality, climate change, chronic disease, and loneliness are all woven into the fabric of modern society. Thus, our solution lies in a new and ancient paradigm. One based upon building strong healthy relationships with ourselves, our communities, and the natural world.


VILLAGE BUILDING

City Repair Project has developed a self-help village-building model rooted in participatory democracy, permaculture, and placemaking. Demonstrated results over 20 years have shown it to be one of the most cost-effective models for transcending homelessness in the nation. The transitional village is a place to unplug from the high-intensity city environment and reconnect with the community and the natural world. It’s a cultural place of self-stabilizing and self-regulating patterns. A place where a person can learn more about what it means to be a participant, engaged in a big picture that includes them.

Positive lasting change comes from within, it cannot be imposed from the outside. Thus we engage the homeless communities early in designing and building the village. Each transitional village includes 40-80 resident members. Transitional villages may be adjacent to one another enabling a combination of long-term supportive housing, short-term supportive housing, and permanent housing. Each village is self-managed by the members, with some outside assistance. It’s built outside the city grid system with community-centric design principles.

The village inspires and uplifts its members while contributing to broad societal dialogues on urbanity, democracy, social and ecological sustainability, trauma, addiction, healing, and homelessness. Transitional villages compliment the city as a whole, especially in providing places for homeless people to go who are left with so few choices. Each person who leaves the village will be stronger and able to contribute more to the families and communities they reclaim and build.

REGENERATIVE ARCHITECTURE

Geoship home building cooperative is using high-strength zero-carbon ceramics to pre-cast the world’s most efficient structures. (The American Institute of Architects calls the geodesic dome “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man.”) Today the construction industry uses four primary material families; wood, metal, concrete, and plastics. Now we have a fifth family: Chemically Bonded Ceramic Composites. Bioceramic building panels are produced rapidly with high quality and low cost. The all-ceramic composite homes have a design life of 500 years, integrate with local ecosystems, optimize health, maximize energy efficiency, and revolutionize housing affordability.

We construct a ceramic precast plant nearby the transitional village. As affordable regenerative homes are sold on the market, transitional homes are donated to the village. The transitional village can grow fast with an ecological action plan and community-based processes. Transitional residents become engaged in active participation, learning skills for jobs with evolutionary purpose in the regenerative economy.

MARKET-BASED DYNAMICS

Zappos is on a journey to a new work paradigm. One that fits jobs to humans, rather than fitting humans into jobs. This approach to management seeks to mimic existing complex adaptive systems such as cities, biological organisms, and free-market economies. The goal is to build organizations that become antifragile (inspired by the work of Nassim Taleb). Antifragile organizations benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors. They love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Resilient organizations resist shocks and stay the same, antifragile organizations get better.

Research shows that every time the size of a city doubles productivity per resident goes up, but the exact opposite thing happens in organizations. This is one data point that reinforces what we all know intuitively—top-down resource allocation and decision-making do not scale. The secret ingredient is communitas. In communitas we are all peers. This distribution of power creates enormous motivation and energy. Transitional villagers list the ‘menu of services they can provide. Jobs and micro-enterprises are created to utilize the skills and passions of people and connect them with market opportunities.

A NEW SOLUTION

Problems and opportunities are two sides of the same coin. Of course, we propose a self-help model to end homelessness because all solutions to all problems reside in participation and engagement in community with each other. We also propose a true village model and profit-for-all business model to integrate all functions of daily life at a local scale, because when numerous challenges are brought together they can be met together.

F.A.Q.

1 – How will the village address addiction and mental health? Through community-based processes, restorative practices (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Restorative_practices), and trauma-informed care (https://traumainformedoregon.org/wp-content/ uploads/2016/01/What-is-Trauma-Informed-Care.pdf).

2 – What is the policy around alcohol and drugs? What’s the policy around alcohol and drugs in your neighborhood?

3 – What are the selection criteria for membership? We view this through the lens of permaculture. The demographics of the village will change over time, and different villages will have different demographics. Certain types are needed to establish the community and plant roots. They condition the environment for people of other types and needs to live together and in mutual support.

4 – What is the village management structure? Autonomy and self-management are core principles. Outside facilitators will assist the village members in establishing self-stabilizing and self-regulating patterns. The physical design of the village is based upon the principles of place culture—facilitating communication and cooperation.

5 -How does this program support itself and scale? This is mass production housing technology. We replace all traditional building products with bioceramic-hemp composites, creating whole new supply chains. The projected profit margins are so high that we can donate a dome for every 1-3 we sell.

6 – What do you mean by profit-for-all? We mean Geoship is a multi-stakeholder cooperative. Ownership is distributed between investors, associates (employees), customers, and nature. Cities and homeless communities all profit too.

7 – How long is the typical transitional period? The villages will serve needs for short-term housing, long-term housing, and permanent housing.

8 – Do the transitional villagers have to pay to stay? Different levels of pay will be required for different types of housing. The payment required for short-term housing could be as little as $9/month. All villagers will be assisted in the process of discovering their gifts/passions, and applying them to serve the needs of the market, within and around the village.

9 – Do the long-term and permanent villagers have any special responsibilities? Yes. Long term and permanent villagers will have different responsibilities than short term villagers

10 – How is the initial capital being raised? The transitional village and ceramic precast plant is a profitable cooperative venture. The investment opportunity will be open to purpose-aligned investors of all types including: technology corporations, local governments, and social impact investors.

11 – What success metrics have been measured for transitional villages that have used this model? Dignity Village Stats after 20 years of operation (data collected by City Repair Project and the City of Portland): – The lowest rate of crime/violence in the whole city of Portland for a multi-block radius for years running. – Lowest carbon footprint per capita of all permitted communities. – Highest voting rate per capita of all zip codes in Portland. – The highest rate of community participation per capita in the city of Portland (and therefore the entire USA).

12 – Will there be job training or opportunities to be paid for work? Yes. All villagers will declare the menu of services they’d like to provide to the community. Services will be matched to the needs of the market.