We use a venn diagram to refer to our transient community because the face of need is not always fixed. Since we serve individuals from diverse backgrounds, and we have adopted a participant-informed peer model to ensure that programs are culturally competent and evolve appropriately.With travel packs, dogs, dreadlocks, tattoos and piercings, the physical appearance of many members of our community separates them from the general population. This isolation makes them less likely to confidently access community resources and more likely to be targeted by law enforcement.We often find that some members of our community have stagnated in their current life situation because of incarceration, drug use, unplanned pregnancy, homelessness, unemployment, and gaps in formal education. All of these factors impact an individual’s holistic growth, which is often defined by our society as “age”. We want to break through age barriers and offer people resources that are not usually available to our community, which will hopefully allow individuals room to foster self-sustaining behavior and claim autonomy.
2. Radically welcoming people to a safe space.
A radically welcoming community accepts people who are marginalized by the greater society, and sincerely seeks to engage all who choose to take part in the community. We believe that if members of the transient community have a safe, positive, and conveniently located space, they can utilize services they may not have previously accessed and will be able to consider different possibilities for their lives.
3. Employ harm reduction as a safe, effective method of responding to HIV/AIDS and other public health concerns.
We embrace harm reduction and we offer people many safe alternatives to reduce potential harm to themselves and others. Harm reduction, in practice, takes many forms and one goal is to assist in reducing harm caused by drug use, but we also implement harm reduction by offering clean socks to reduce foot infections, sanitizing wet cloths to reduce the spread of germs, and tooth brushes for oral hygiene. We provide education to individuals we meet about harm reduction health care practices and we offer peer delivered syringe exchange (PDSE).
4. Mutual Aid
Mutual Aid is defined as the “voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit.” Examples of mutual aid include: working in the community garden in exchange for a meal; teaching a workshop on animal care in exchange for a recommendation and resume help for a job at an animal shelter. We are able to operate because of mutual aid in our partnerships, and we promote mutual aid through our facilitation of peer-run programs.
Many transient individuals rely on very few renewable resources to live their lives. We believes in adopting this simplistic principle to achieve a low ecological and financial footprint through sharing and saving resources.