GOSHEN, Ore. — A newly established nonprofit works to get people into stable, affordable housing. The Forward Foundation looks to purchase and renovate mobile homes to donate to people in need.
It’s taken a year to get the foundation up and running and they’re now working to purchase its first mobile home. Once one is found, the organization will, with the help of the local shelter-care program, choose a family or individual in need. That family or person is then given the mobile home and only expected to donate some of their time to help to pay it forward to others like them.
“Forward Foundation is a locally based, nonprofit organization designed to help individuals and families grow forward in their lives,” said Carolyn Hodge, Forward Foundation Founder.
These days, Hodge works from her house, but that wasn’t always the case. About a year ago, she was living in a mobile home not too far away, when an opportunity to help others presented itself to her.
“This house came up for rent sooner than I had expected and I was renting a trailer in the Oaks Mobile Homes Park and then I was stuck in between what to do,” Hodge said.
With the help of a friend, she found a working couple living in a campground, cut them a deal and got them into her mobile home.
“It’s not the best place to live but it’s better than living on the streets and I think they really appreciate it too,” said former neighbor Henry Moore.
Helping those who help themselves is just one of group’s many mottos.
While there are several social welfare programs offering help, Hodge and her partners say their program seeks out people struggling to find a sense of stability.
“I really believe in this program because they will not only have housing to live in, but they’ll become home owners. So they’ll get to own their own homes, which I think is important. I think it instills a sense of pride and room to grow forward,” Hodge said.
The nonprofit says it believes that sense of ownership will motivate people to better help themselves and their loved ones. It hopes the community agrees.
“It doesn’t matter how much time we put into this program and we really believe in it, but it will not succeed without the help of the community,” Hodge said.
The organization is still fund-raising to buy its first mobile home. Their next event is a masquerade ball at Cozmic Pizza on October 27.