“The Hope Village” will provide temporary, outdoor accommodations for unsheltered residents
Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) today announced it has selected an operating manager for the city’s Safe Outdoor Space, a pilot project where individuals experiencing homelessness can live temporarily outdoors, with access to food, showers and outreach services, located at 212. East College St. Local nonprofit The Hope Buss will oversee the $1.5 million project to outfit and operate the Safe Outdoor Space. The Hope Buss was founded by Stachelle Bussey to combat hopelessness by addressing community crisis and root causes, including homelessness.
Called “The Hope Village,” the Safe Outdoor Space will be equipped with tents, portable facilities, water and electricity access, and client-centered case management, which will link residents to community partners who provide supportive services. Services will include a Common Assessment, which identifies housing needs, substance abuse counseling, mental health, and housing navigation.
“As a compassionate city, our goal is to help those who are experiencing homelessness transition into more stable shelter and then put them onto a path to permanent, supportive housing,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Thank you to the teams at Resilience and Community Services, Louisville Forward, and The Hope Buss for working together to provide more shelter options for Louisvillians and setting us on a path to end homelessness.”
The Hope Village is an evolving part of a multipronged approach designed to create shelter and housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. In August 2021 after identifying a site for the space, the city issued a Notice of Funding Availability to solicit proposals from non-profit organizations to serve as operator of the site. Applications were reviewed by a panel made up of subject matter experts and stakeholders to determine the best fit. The city closed on the purchase of the East College Street property in November 2021.
“The Hope Buss is a perfect match for this role,” said Dr. Susan Buchino, Director of the Homeless Services Division at RCS. “Their team is well equipped and has a vision for The Hope Village that centers around the safety and wellbeing of the residents and the neighborhood, while focusing on delivering effective and efficient services that engage residents in creating a stability plan. We are excited to partner with them for this initiative.”
“The Hope Village is not a permanent solution, but it is a bridge toward more sustainable solutions around our housing crisis,” said Rev. Stachelle D. Bussey, Founder and Executive Director of The Hope Buss. “Our promise remains – to engage and empower the community and encourage our Village residents by offering equitable options. As a Black-led organization, we are ecstatic for this opportunity; this is just the beginning of a different Louisville. At the Hope Village, our motto is simple: Everyone Deserves Community.”
Ordering of supplies including tents, portable toilets and showers are currently underway for The Hope Village and prepping of the site will begin later this month. The anticipated opening date is by March 1, pending weather conditions, logistics and supply availability.
For placement of residents at The Hope Village, The Hope Buss will invite referrals from grassroots organizations that work closely with the community’s houseless population to identify individuals whose needs align with services provided at the site.
In addition, follow regular updates about progress at Hope Village on The Hope Buss’ Facebook and Instagram sites (@thehopebuss), and watch for the launch of new Hope Village social platforms on February 1.
“We know the only solution to houselessness is housing but until we close the 31,000+ gap of affordable units, we must meet people where they are. The Hope Village will help centralize essential services for Louisvillians on our streets. Our entire city should be proud of the monumental investments we’ve been able to make with the American Rescue Plan, especially the funding that will turn this space into permanent housing one day,” said Louisville Metro Council Member Jecorey Arthur.
For more information about The Hope Buss, visit https://thehopebuss.org
Residents in need of emergency shelter are encouraged to call the Coalition for the Homeless’ Single Point of Entry at (502) 637-BEDS (502-637-2337) between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.