Spearheaded by the Economic Justice Committee, which sought and received Board and Rabbinic approval, Kehilla is now a Participating Congregation in the Tiny House Village Project designed to provide housing for homeless youth.
There are 1,700 homeless youth (age 14-24) in Alameda county, and only 36 youth-designated shelter beds. The vast majority of these young people are neurodivergent, experience physical and mental health obstacles,or have experienced abuse and neglect. They need security, support, and resources to achieve their personal and vocational goals. This housing-first program was initiated by youth, and will integrate social services and job training through Youth Spirit Artworks. (YSA)
The Village will be located in Oakland, and consist of 24 Tiny Houses as well as communal bathrooms, kitchen, and a community yurt. The religious community, including Congregation Beth El, Kehilla, and Congregation Beth Israel from the Jewish community, is working together to make the youth’s big dreams a reality.
Kehilla has committed to recruiting volunteers for the builds, as well as supporting advocacy and community outreach. If possible, Kehilla would like to take on responsibility for building one Tiny House. That would involve a volunteer Build Leader and volunteer construction workers. If building our own house is not possible, Kehilla members can volunteer for fall build days, and for planning and coordinating in the lead-up for other congregations building houses.
Volunteers are needed at all ability levels for building, organizing, and supporting! If you are interested and able to participate in the April Build Construction training, please contact Hannah immediately (email below) and please also email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This visionary project will be the first youth tiny house project in the country, and the youth leaders and their advocates need our support. Visit youthtinyhousevillage.org to learn more or donate, or contact Interfaith Organizer Hannah Trumbull at email@example.com. No gift is too small, and all forms of generosity are greatly appreciated.
Here is info about the trainings:
The build leader trainings will be at YSA headquarters (1740 Alcatraz in Berkeley) April 6-7, 13-14, and 27-28. Each day of build leader training corresponds with one day of blitz build leading in the fall (explanation in sign-up form). Sign-up for that is here.
A model tiny house will be brought to the Kehilla parking lot for all to see as part of an educational and soliciting help event, probably in May. Please check the Kehilla weekly emails, Kol Kehilla, and the calendar for more information about this upcoming event.
Let’s help house youth!