On today’s show Johnny Punish speaks with Sherry Rubel of Revival Village about building strong communities and empower the un-housed. He also shares his (4) just released new songs and provides free downloads.
2015 copyright – Johnny Punish
THE REVIVAL VILLAGE STORY
After spending nearly 5 years photographing a community of homeless individuals living in tents in the middle of the woods, she is determined more so than ever to bring her vision to fruition.
She has named and founded the nonprofit “Revival Village”. A self-sustaining, holistic, economically efficient, community-based, living environment utilizing “Tiny Homes”. A village that would provide for a sense of belonging, dignity, and respect by creating daily activities that combine a community life filled with job training opportunities, tiny home building, the arts and work on the land.
The concept is part of the ongoing architectural and social movement that promotes a minimalist lifestyle, focusing on sustainable, small homes. To create self-managed communities of low-cost tiny homes for those in need of housing while connecting individuals to activities, programs and services that assist in their ability to become self-sufficient.
Creating jobs and working within the community itself, the community sustains itself as well as gives back to the broader community. Creating jobs building sustainable tiny homes, working within the village environment in the kitchen, the gardens, the clothing donation and food bank stores etc…as well as offering housing.
In September of 2014, Rubel reached out with a proposal to state Senate President Sweeney’s office’, about homelessness and the need to build ”Tiny Home” communities. The meeting led to the introduction of a bill, which has now been referred to committee in both the state Senate and Assembly. State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) sponsored the Senate version, S2571, which would create a Tiny Home Pilot Program in three regions in New Jersey.
As written, the bill would allow for one or two municipalities in south, central and north Jersey to participate in the pilot program.” The Senator is currently looking at finding funding options as well as building code and zoning issues and is not sure the bill will come to pass.
According to Rubel, if the bill were adopted into law, it would only represent one small piece in her larger vision. This is not about subsidized, affordable rental housing. It’s about filling a gap for an enormous need and building a community for one of our most vulnerable populations.
We must provide dignity, respect and a sense of belonging and purpose for individuals that have no place to call home. We need to rebuild our communities from the inside out to support the emotional, spiritual and physical needs we all have.
We need to begin to address underlying issues that have limited an individuals ability to maintain self-sufficiency while providing them with an environment that heals, strengthens and empowers. “Revival Village” seeks to lift people up and provide opportunities for developing work and life skills that ultimately lead to employment and home ownership, while at the same time, demonstrates a truly affordable, innovative, economically effective, sustainable housing unit and community.
Two companies, Micro Community Concepts and Eco Building Products have already collaborated with Rubel on the idea. The only thing missing is funding and the land to build on. We have started a fundraising campaign and are hoping to reach 200,000 people asking each of them to donate only $5.00.
For a little more than a cup of coffee, everyone can help in alleviating homelessness.
We have an incredible team and lawyers willing to work with us pro bono on any of the zoning and building code issues that might arise. We plan to move forward with at least phase II with or without the proposal being passed into law and Rubel seems determined to make this happen one way or another. She has decided to devote the first Pilot Program for our unhoused Veterans.
Veterans will work hard and they are strong leaders that know what it means to lift up and give back. She believes after one successful model has been created, many more will want to follow.
We must develop “Revival Village”, if we don’t, we will be in more serious trouble in the future than we are right now. Our economy and the divide between the rich and the poor is growing at an accelerated speed. We are much to dependent on unsustainable sources that can come crashing in around us at any time by a natural disaster, baby boomers are turning into senior citizens, our prisons are way too overcrowded, our streets are filling up with the working poor young and old.
We don’t have too much more we can loose. We need to start to care for our most vulnerable and prove that we can turn things around. We don’t have too many options left and we must begin to think outside the box and turn to new innovative creative ideas.
Rubel believes we cant just create housing, we must recreate communities, as Rudolph Steiner says. “A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.” Rubel believes where there is a will there is a way, and she is determined to find it.
- Eco-Building Products
- Revival Village on Facebook
- New Jersey State Legislature Bill Number S2571