New Beginnings Community
(initiative under development)
Serve NWA is currently working with a group of community leaders, faith leaders, business owners, concerned citizens, educational institutions, and local elected leaders who are actively pursuing a solution to the growing homeless problem in Fayetteville. Specifically, we are seeking to improve conditions of unsheltered homeless living in Fayetteville. The conditions that the majority of homeless persons living outside experience are unsanitary, unsafe, unsupported, and uncontrolled – creating both public health and safety hazards. This working group believes we have a solution that could immediately improve their living conditions and enrich many lives in the process.
We are working to create the "New Beginnings Community," to be a self-managed community of low-cost micro-shelters for people in need of shelter. These communities, now sprouting up across the United States like SquareOne Villages in Eugene, Oregon, have been shown to have a lasting effect on addressing the complex emergency shelter needs of the homeless population. By providing shelter to our most vulnerable neighbors, we would be able to help them enter a pathway toward receiving comprehensive case management while addressing the root causes of their homeless circumstance.
This is a "Housing First" approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Once individuals are in safe, secure, and clean environments, we will work with community partners to provide the appropriate services to work toward permanent housing solutions.
Example of micro-Shelter Strategy
A growing number of towns and cities across the U.S. have found a practical solution to homelessness through the construction of micro-shelter communities. Today these solutions are being proven effective initiatives to provide a housing first solution that will transition persons into permanent, stable housing solutions.
Community First in Austin, Texas
The New Beginnings Community will seek to work with other service providers and the Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care to ensure there is no duplication of services and that residents are receiving the needed support through case management services, job training & opportunities, medical & dental care, and more.
For more information
For additional information on the current status of the New Beginnings Community and how you or your organization can support this initiative, please contact Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Community and Family Institute Director, University Professor and Jones Chair in Community, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on homelessness in Northwest Arkansas, please visit the University of Arkansas Community and Family Institute Website.