A homeless mom who is always volunteering her time to help others is about to move out of a public shelter and into the first solar-powered tiny home born of a plan to launch a pay-it-forward housing movement.
Especially around the holidays we have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives.
Last year Good News Network held a Christmas fundraiser for a family that was about to get evicted, after falling behind on rent. Peter Campillo, his wife, mother and son, were overwhelmed by the warmth, generosity and positive messages from our community. On Christmas Eve, we got his bills paid, allowing hope to be revived in Peter’s heart. And, six months later he found a job in his field.
“It feels wonderful, I feel like I am worthy of breathing the air and of being called dad and husband again. If not for your help I don’t think we would have made it.” He added, “The one thing I would like to do is take the same good will and generosity I received and pay it forward to some other family in need and it would feel real good.”
Help GNN Jumpstart a Pay-It-Forward Tiny House
Paying it forward does feel ”real good” and our Christmas fundraising choice for 2015 will make you feel extra powerful because it is the start of a unique venture that will allow the homeless to help the next in line, while building a transition to success, living in a tiny home.
Canadian Brice Royer, 31, who has been dealing with stomach cancer, wanted more loving kindness in his life so he started a “Gift Economy” from Vancouver in which members ask for, and give, goods and services to each other.
Recently, a woman, Francesca Murray, responded to Royer’s plea for someone to cook for him during his illness. When he found out she was homeless and yet so generous with all the women in her shelter, it inspired him to do something special for her, something big that would top all the giving that had come before.
This Mom is Proof That Homelessness Could Happen to Anyone
Francesca used to work as a business analyst for ICBC insurance. After leaving a difficult relationship while struggling with physical and mental health issues, she and her beautiful 4-year-old daughter, Charlotte, had to move into a shelter. Brice learned that their one-year shelter allowance expires in February and their stay would be terminated. He decided this was the time to start a unique “pay it forward” housing program–and build a tiny solar-powered house for Francesca and Charlotte.
“We envision the tiny home being owned and run by a local non-profit,” Royer told Good News Network. “Families could stay by donating part of their monthly government stipend, which would then be used to build more homes.”
Royer met with Heather Deal, who is on the Vancouver city council, and she loved the idea, and saw the community of tiny solar homes as a great way to transition people out of homelessness or prison, and even to assimilate refugees. Each resident would donate part of their government rental assistance, which would then be used toward building another house.
Help Reap a Giving Community By Sowing a Seed
“What they really love is the idea of paying it forward and the sense of belonging to a community that such a group of homes would offer,” Royer told us. “Part of creating a community comes from the giving… When they are giving to a fund that will create another home, it generates the feeling of belonging.”
Also on board with the project is Kayla Feenstra, a woman who builds the 300 square-foot solar-powered tiny homes, and knows at least five options of where they could park it; a husband-wife team of architects, Peter and Alex Smith, who are working to get supplies donated, and have already acquired windows and doors.
There are only 5 days left to raise the final $12,000. This will pay for first home to be built by February, the time Francesca and Charlotte need it.
Please join Good News Network in supporting and pushing Brice past his goal. You will not only be helping Francesca, but the next person to move in, once she has transitioned to permanent housing and a job, like Peter did this year. Donate now because the fundraiser ends on December 25. Here is the link. We can do this together!
Watch the videos below and meet these wonderful people who live by the golden rule of helping others.
PLEASE Share With Your Community, to Make This Vision Possible…