EUGENE, Ore. — The public was invited to see the inner workings of Opportunity Village as part of its grand opening on Saturday.
There’s already 15 residents who were once homeless living there and three more on the way.
“This is us putting our face forward to the Eugene community,” said Diane Ciacca, an Opportunity Village resident.
“It’s just exciting. We’ve been working a long time, well over a year to year and a half,” said Dan Bryant, president of Opportunity Village.
Now the villagers can show everyone how this opportunity has impacted them, from creating relationships to providing some security for the homeless.
“My friends, they tolerate me to an extreme,” said Mark Hubbell, another Opportunity Village resident.
“This has given me stability. It’s given me a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and it’s given me something to do. It keeps my mind off how rough life can be,” said Ciacca.
A big crowd came out to show their support for Opportunity Village. They toured the huts, ate with residents, and listened to Mayor Kitty Piercy speak.
Villagers and board members say they’re thankful for everyone who showed up because they want others to know how Opportunity Village is providing homes for those without one.
“If you’re not worrying about where you have to sleep tonight, you can spend your energy on doing other things like job searching and doing the things you need to do to get your life back on track,” said Bryant.
“It’s had a great impact. My children both know that dad’s safe, that he’s in his own shelter and that he’s not going to be out in the weather or in a tent,” said Hubbell.