The Basic Guiding Principles
Community: The most resounding opinion expressed by the Homeless community (through our community outreach) was that people desire to be a part of a community. To this end, we hope to build a community integrated into the midst of the City, with open pathways into the village and homes built by community members and volunteer labor. all Resurrection Village residents are encouraged to take active roles in their community, neighborhoods, and city and should participate in civic activities outside of the village, such as joining a Registered Neighborhood Association or community gardens.
Democracy: The best way to make sure a project is successful is to give ownership, responsibility and decision-making power to the people who have to live with the decisions being made. Communities that are characterized by a direct-democracy form of governance are best able to empower individuals to take responsibility for the community’s well-being and make sure that the community is held accountable. To this end, Resurrection Village will be a self-governed community, where each member has the responsibility to participate in a “Village Council” composed of village residents and long-term stakeholders within the greater community. All decisions concerning the village will be made by a “Consensus Minus One” model or some form of consensus-seeking, participatory decision-making process- meaning that all residents will have to work toward a full agreement when making decisions.
Choices: Resurrection Village will always remain a voluntary service to individuals and couples. All prospective members will have to be accepted into the community by the Village Council, after a trial period, and no person will be forced to stay within the village if they choose to leave. Furthermore, all assistance given to individuals will be consensual and voluntary.
Something to Contribute to: Everyone has something to contribute, whether that be physical labor, monetary contributions or creative and emotional support. As villagers enter the village, they will be asked to complete a skills inventory sheet and residents will be expected to work a minimum number of hours towards maintaining the village each week, according to their abilities. Furthermore, as Resurrection Village will be a village open to the community, villagers themselves will take on the management of events, community spaces, a public restroom and community garden. Villagers will also be encouraged to participate in activities within the greater community of Denver.
A Garden: Villagers will partner with other local gardeners to apprentice in gardening and maintain a community garden and grow their own food. Perhaps the village will host a farmer’s market.
Dignity: Resurrection Village will be a community characterized by upheld rights and mutual respect. All people are honored, and oppressive behavior and language will not be permitted. Everyone deserves a safe place to stay.
Who Is This Village For?
People who would otherwise be without a home. People who are willing to contribute to a community. People who want a be a part of something bigger than themselves.
While there are countless people living without access to safe decent housing of their own in Denver, we acknowledge a number of under-served populations (not an extensive list) have even less safe options than others,and we are mindful of including these folks in our plans:
- Couples without Children (married or
- People With Pets:
- The LGBTQ Community
- People with Mental and Physical Impairments/Disabilities and Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are two governances:
- The Village Council– composed of current residents of Resurrection City
- The Advisory Council– composed of long-term stakeholders and community members.
Both Village Council and Advisory Council make decisions based on a ‘Consensus Minus One’ Model (Modified Consensus). Neither council may make a decision without a 2/3rds quorum being present. Current Villagers may sit on both Councils, and the Advisory Council may participate in Village Council. Village Council meets weekly. Advisory Council meets as needed.
Village Council Responsibilities Include:
- Day to day operation of the village
- Short Term immediate decision-making
- Affirming, and Welcoming new villagers
- Security, Maintaining Peace Throughout the Village
- Managing Visitors and Press
- Assigning Roles for the day to day work of the village, projects and construction
- Conflict Resolution
Advisory Council Responsibilities include:
- Long-Term Visioning
- Food Support
- Legal Support (Maintaining relationships with lawyers and arranging bail money when needed)
- Medical Support
- Supply Support (tents, etc)
- Fundraising and Accounting
- Infrastructure (maintain documents such as skills inventory sheet, in case of arrest forms, etc, and other necessary tasks)
- Media and Press Releases
- Conflict Resolution when Village Council is unable to reach resolution
- Street Outreach
If any decision is meant to be permanent, there must be the consent of both the Village Council and the Advisory Council.
The Following are basic tenets which all prospective villagers agree to hold to while staying within the village:
- No Violence to Self or Others
- No Theft
- No Illegal Drugs or Paraphernalia in Common Areas
- No Persistent Disruptive Behavior of any kind that disturbed the general peace and welfare of the village.
- No Discriminatory or Oppressive Behavior or Language
- Everyone Must Contribute to the Operation and Maintenance of the Village (example: Security, Maintenance, etc.)
Base Group Guidelines
The first group of (5 to 25?) villagers will be the ‘base group’ for the village, deciding the initial ground rules and practices for the village so that our campaign will be successful. The following are expected from base group participants:
- They are down for the risks (possible arrest, etc.)
- They are down for the cause (right to exist, right to shelter, right to sleep, right to survive)
- Willing to meet regularly and work on village operation and future planning
- Currently without a home and in need of a home
- Base group will vote in each new member as they join (after trial period)