A Studio 804 and Lawrence Community Shelter partnership
WHAT IS MONARCH VILLAGE?
Monarch Village is an innovative joint project of LCS and KU’s Studio 804 based on a vision of shelter that uplifts and empowers people experiencing homelessness. The twelve “tiny home” dwellings sit alongside a community vegetable garden and flowering butterfly trail. In 2021, MonarchWatch awarded LCS with a certification as a Monarch Waystation. Like the Monarch Waystation, the Shelter is a waystation for many members of the community—a stop along a long and difficult journey, a place that sustains you before you move on, and a possibility for new things to come to life. Thus, the vision for Monarch Village was born.
The “village” style layout with private, shared, and common spaces empowers individuals to develop both independence and a sense of community as they connect with others in similar circumstances. These dwellings afford people staying at the Shelter a commodity that typically evades people experiencing homelessness: privacy. A lack of private space can feel unsafe and triggering and is a frequent reason unsheltered individuals and families cite for avoiding emergency shelters in their time of need. Each tiny home unit comes with a private shower, toilet, and a small kitchenette. Monarch Village embodies the vision and values of LCS by providing dignified, healing-focused sheltering options that make it possible to meet a wider variety of guests’ needs safely in a changing world.
WHO CAN BE SERVED IN MONARCH VILLAGE?
Monarch Village is reserved for individuals with complex needs combined with high barriers to housing or who face difficulties living in a congregate setting. This may include individuals with disabilities, specialized medical needs, pregnancy, or people who commonly experience chronic homelessness. Qualifying individuals may be referred to Monarch Village by their case manager. At a minimum, a quarter of the units will be reserved for quarantine and isolation in accordance with guidelines relating to COVID-19.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
Monarch Village provides a 90-day stay during which we will work hard to connect people to all the supportive services they need to succeed in our amazing community. Our vision is for these temporary shelters to be a launching pad to permanent housing. Like other guests at LCS, Monarch Village residents are assigned an Inreach Manager who will coordinate care by connecting them to any and all services and documentation they may need to progress toward housing. Next, a Housing Navigator assists them in applying for and securing permanent housing. Once housed, each household will benefit from working and meeting with their assigned Housing Stabilization Case Manager to support them in remaining successfully housed.
HOW DOES MONARCH VILLAGE IMPACT OUR COMMUNITY?
For individuals with special needs or medical requirements, Monarch Village offers much needed relief. The private space enables individuals to focus wholly on healing and recovery without the countless distractions and stressors commonly found in congregate environments. Additionally, for individuals that have experienced chronic homelessness, moving into a new home after years of instability can feel like a major lifestyle adjustment. Chronic homelessness creates gaps in an individual’s housing history which lead to increasingly large barriers to future housing. Monarch Village helps to bridge this gap. Services provided at Monarch Village are less extensive than a formal transitional housing program, but these dwellings serve a similar purpose as in being a temporary living accommodation that helps individuals transition out of homelessness and into permanent, affording housing solutions within the community.
Thank you to everyone who made Monarch Village possible. We couldn’t have done it without the awesome support of the community!
MONARCH VILLAGE AT A GLANCE
- 12 tiny dwelling units (160 sq ft each), including one ADA-compliant unit, located onsite
- The units are surrounded by a working vegetable garden and butterfly waystation on an existing half acre of green space on the south side of LCS
- Provides access to quarantine and isolation for up to 12 households experiencing homelessness