EUGENE, Ore. — People at Eugene’s Opportunity Village have little to call their own.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to offer.
There are more than 30 people living at Opportunity Village, and the villagers say they understand the mission of the place is to help them transition. So, they came up with an idea on their own to help further that goal.
“We’re just starting over, and it’s like getting back into the game plan again and feeling important,” said villager Ronald Dalton.
People living at the transitional community, like Dalton, say hard times led them there, where they’re allowed to dream again.
“We’re like what they call hungry. Big time. We really want to make it happen. It’s a place where they give you a chance,” Dalton said.
And now, they’re asking for the community to take a chance on them.
These villagers have a wide-variety of skills, from fixing a bicycle to doing yard work. And, to get ahold of them, it’s fairly simple-just a few clicks away.
“This is something the villagers themselves have initiated,” said Dan Bryant, Opportunity Village president.
They’ve set up a website for villagers looking for work. Anyone can go online, choose what kind of work they need done, and look at profiles of different people they’d be interested in hiring.
“Our hope is that once we kind of get this word out that people know they can come to our website to hire someone, that’ll just help make those connections to find someone who’s looking for work, who wants to work,” Bryant said.
Dalton says getting work is a good first step to transitioning out.
“It’d be a big time thing. I’d show them my 100 percent, and that’s what I’m out there to do. I mean, because I am very skilled and I can do lots of different things. I just want to make sure that I get back on track,” Dalton said.
When he leaves opportunity village, he won’t be dreaming anymore.
“Just get out there and have a car and stuff, an apartment. Live life again,” Dalton said.
Bryant says when it comes to aspects such as contracts, terms, and payment, the employers and employees can discuss that.
Not only can community members hire villagers, but there are also lists of ways you can help the villagers through donations on their website.