HomesNOW! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by Jim Peterson and Doug Gustafson in June 2017. HomesNOW! is made entirely of volunteers; no one gets paid. We are funded through private donations. We support the Housing First model.
From January to April 2019, HomesNOW! managed Winter Haven, Bellingham’s first temporary tent community located behind City Hall in the Lettered Streets neighborhood. During that time, we provided 35 homeless people with a safe place to live. Five people found permanent housing, 18 people moved with us to our next tent community, 10 people were evicted for breaking our code of conduct, and one person chose to move out.
From April to August 2019, HomesNOW! managed Safe Haven, our second temporary tent community located in the What-Comm 911 Call Center parking lot in the Sunnyland neighborhood. During that time, we provided 32 homeless people with a safe place to live. Nine people found permanent housing, four people were evicted for breaking our code of conduct, and six people chose to move out.
In September 2019, HomesNOW! opened Unity Village, Bellingham’s first tiny home village for the homeless. Unity Village has 20 tiny homes and will provide temporary housing for 20 to 24 people at a time.
HomesNOW! has also coordinated with the Opportunity Council to place a family with children into more appropriate housing. We’ve also coordinated with DVSAS to help women who were victims of domestic violence. We also helped one person get help at a local detox facility. Winter Haven and Safe Haven have been successful at helping people find stability and connecting them to needed services.
In February 2019, during extreme winter weather conditions, HomesNOW! coordinated with a local church to manage an emergency shelter providing for up to 40 people.
In the summer of 2017, HomesNOW! worked with Lummi Nation to build/purchase three tiny homes. So far, the three tiny homes have temporarily housed 8 people move into permanent housing.
In 2017, HomesNOW! assisted 25 people into housing by eliminating barriers. HomesNOW provided: telephone access, avenues for reconnecting family members, assistance with rental applications for those having difficulty reading and/or writing, direction for people entering detox programs, and the stability of an organized permitted camp site at City Hall for 18 days.
What We Do
How We Are Different
Why It’s Important
- HomesNOW! helps people transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
- Using only private donations and volunteers, with no taxpayer dollars.
- We develop extremely low-cost, low impact places to live and stabilize.
- We create fully-managed solutions that provide secure housing, sanitation, and personal development.
- HomesNOW! focuses on housing for homeless individuals who are willing to work hard to get off the streets and become self-sufficient.
- Only qualified applicants are accepted. Applicants are screened and must agree to a set of common rules – including no drugs or alcohol.
- We are not funded by government agencies. All of our funding and support services come from private donors and volunteers like you.
- Once a person is homeless, whatever the cause, it is very difficult to find a path back into normal life.
- A home is extremely important. Without a safe place to stay and the ability to have a decent standard of living, it is extremely difficult to stabilize
- A place to sleep is not enough. A homeless person has often lost confidence and needs help to re-establish their self-esteem and contribute to the community.
Advantages of the HomesNOW approach:
- Reduces the problems traditionally associated with homeless encampments such as drug/alcohol use, garbage and crime.
- It saves tax dollars by reducing the load on police, fire departments, medical, and social services.
- It helps people who want to get back to a normal and stable life.
We have multiple ways to donate. To donate to our campaign, please visit our Donation Page. Your donations are tax deductible.