OM Flowers available Starting August 4th

FLOWER AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

These beautiful bouquets of flowers that you can pre-order here https://checkout.square.site/buy/GEF2DXW7CB4E4VCCEB474Q6G

Grown with the help of Moonflower  and our very treasured Chavva Isreal of Occupy Madison

FLOWER PICK UP

Pick up at either of the following locations August 4 – October

    • Troy Gardens – 502 Troy Drive, Madison, WI 53704
      • 3 pm to 6pm Thursday
    • Occupy Madison – 304 N 3rd St., Madison, WI 53704
      • 11am to 2pm Saturday

Pre-ordered $15.00 bouquets will be available for pick up starting August 4th thorough October.

POSSIBLE AVAILABILITY ON SATURDAY/STORE HOURS

Flowers (if not sold out) can be bought or picked up at our store at 304 North Third Street.  Our hours of operation of our store is the following. Keep in mind we only have flowers available on Saturday as to guarantee freshness.

    • Tuesday 6pm to 8pm
    • Thursday 6pm to 8pm
    • Saturday 11am to 2pm
    • Sunday 11am to 2pm

Occupy Madison is taking applications for new residents

Occupy Madison is currently taking applications for currently homeless individuals to join our two villages!

Occupy Madison is taking applications for the fall.  We currently have 8 – 10 openings at our properties located at 1901 Aberg Ave. and are hopeful that we may be able to obtain another property within the next year.  We are inviting people who are experiencing primarily unsheltered homelessness to apply to be a member and start earning sweat equity towards living in one of our current villages or a potential 3rd village.

About Occupy Madison

Living in our villages is a commitment!  Community living is not for everyone, it requires agreeing to our community agreement, participating in weekly meetings and contributing to the village you live in by doing chores and tasks.  Occupy Madison is a 100% volunteer run organization where the people who live in our villages run the villages, are board and committee members doing all functions of the organization.

Living at Occupy Madison has always been free to the people living there.  However, people have to become members, become active members by earning “sweat equity” towards their homes and remain active participants in the governance and decision making in the organization.  Membership is obtained by attending orientation, attending two General Membership Meetings and being voted in by the current membership.  Sweat equity is earned by participating in meetings, helping build items we sell in our store, participating in work days and helping us get our coffee cart up and running.  Our goal is for residents to earn enough money through village sales and fundraising to create sustainable villages.

Since 2014 Occupy Madison has housed 42 individuals.  We are happy to report that while we consider this a permanent housing option for folks, we have also had 11 people who have stayed with us get into housing.  4 people have gotten into treatment or are in the criminal justice system.  While we have asked some people to leave, to the best of our knowledge only 2 people are currently experiencing homelessness. And sadly, two of our community members have passed away.

Current waiting list folks need to re-apply so we know they are still interested, but will be prioritized.

Currently, we have about 180 people on our waiting list!  However since October 2020 when we started the waiting list, we know that some people have gotten into housing, some people have moved out of town and sadly some people have passed away.  Additionally, we are experiencing difficulties reaching the people on the waiting list due to phone numbers that have changed and emails that are no longer read.  In order to ensure we are reaching those who currently want to live in a tiny home in our cooperative villages, we are inviting people currently experiencing homelessness to re-apply for current openings at both 1901 Aberg and 304 N 3rd St.  People who have expressed interest in the past will be prioritized in the order that they were on our original waiting list.

How do I apply?

Our preferred way is to indicate interest by filling out this google form.  We understand not everyone has access to a computer or phone that can fill out the form, so you can also call or text 608-305-4707 and leave your name, best way to contact you (phone or email preferred but other ways accepted and you may use the phone or email of someone who can get a message to you quickly), your current living situation (street/tent, vehicle, shelter, staying with friends or family, expecting to be homeless soon, etc) and if you have previously expressed interest by emailing or leaving a voicemail.

304 N 3rd St Occupy Village

 

 

1901 Aberg Occupy Village

 

 

If you are interested in the 3202 Dairy Drive City run campground run by MACH OneHealth/Kabba Recovery Services, speak to an outreach worker, Beacon or shelter staff to take the VISPDAT as they use Coordinated Entry to accept residents.

Open House/Block Party

 

The residents of Occupy Madison’s Aberg Ave Village would like to invite you to an open house/block party on Saturday, June 5th, from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

There will be music, games, tours will be given, and art will be for sale as well as items made by Occupy Madison’s members and volunteers.  This event is child and pet friendly, so feel free to bring the whole family and get to know your neighbors!

 

Spring Plans for 304 N 3rd St.

The day is finally coming.  304 N 3rd Street, the original Occupy Madison Tiny House Village, will finally be getting a community room, laundry and  . . . wait for it . . . a real kitchen!!!!  And when the renovations are done, the population at the village will go from 5 to 9 residents.

A lot has to happen between then (mid April) and now.  We are awaiting CSM approval from the city and our architect (Ed Kuharski, Green Design Studio) and contractor (Bachmann Construction) are working out the final details from the Planned Development we got approved in 2015.  We finally have the funds ($200,000) to finish phase 2.

Plus, we’ll be doing our annual plant sale as well the first weekend in May!  Tomatoes, peppers, kale and all your garden favorites.  The sale will be on-line again this year – watch for details soon.

Here’s the latest drafts of the plans!  Er, I did say draft, some of the details may change, but this is the basic gist of it!

304_N3rdStPh2_A1_ExFloorPlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_T1_Index_ProjectScope_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A2_PrFloorPlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A3_Ftg-FdnPlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A4_PrRoofPlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A5_RoofFramePlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A6_ExElevations_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A7_PrElevations_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A7a_PrElev’s-Porch_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A8_LatSection_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A9_Section_Details_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A10_ElectricalPlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_S1_ExSitePlan_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_A11_Cabinetry_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_S3_PrSitePlanPh2_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_S6_SiteDetails_02_26_21 304_N3rdStPh2_S6a_PavingDetails_02_26_21

 

 

 

How to Support the Tiny House Villages in 2021

This week we are putting the final touches on phase one (temporary) of the new tiny house village at 1901 Aberg Ave.  We are very excited to be reaching the conclusion of interior construction!  We finished our last house in early January, about 2 months after purchasing the 1901 property.  We ended up building 34 houses.

At this point, honestly, we have to turn our attention to raising the money.  Our next plans include:

    • Renovations at 304 N 3rd St. starting in April.  We are adding a kitchen and community room to the building and adding 4 more houses. The new kitchen and community room will free up woodshop space so we can build the permanent tiny houses there. ($200,000)
    • Permanent status at 1901.  By June we need to go through the planning process and get permanent zoning for 1901 Aberg Ave.  Permanent zoning includes reducing the number of houses from 28 – 20, building our permanent larger houses, landscaping and building raised bed gardens.  It also means we have to determine a permanent use for the building. Should it be a sandwich shop?  A retail store? Or something else. ($200,000)
    • We need more land.  As the larger houses cycle in and we reduce the number of houses at 1901 Aberg Ave for our permanent use, we need to find a new place to put our houses. ($????)
    • We also need a new pick up truck to tow the houses and a passenger van. ($???)

We also know that many people want to continue to volunteer with us.  At the moment, we are looking for the following help:

    • Fundraising Committee – help us determine how to continue to raise funds, write grants and continue to grow our villages.
    • OM Store – help with our on-line store that sells products produced by our residents.
    • OM Grow – help with our greenhouse and spring plant sale.
    • Accounting – we are looking for a bookkeeper
    • OM Shop Managers – lead a shift in our woodworking shop.  Currently shifts are limited to our residents.
    • Resident meeting and services facilitator assistants (meetings are in person, not zoom)
    • Check back for more opportunities soon.

If you are interested in volunteering, email occupymadisoninc@gmail.com.

  1. Donate to our GoFundMe page here.  You can also venmo, send a check to 304 N 3rd St. Madison WI 53704 or donate through paypal.  Yes, we have 501(c)(3) status.
  2. Share our GoFundMe page on-line.
  3. Sign up to become a sustainer – donating a monthly amount of money to help us with ongoing costs.
  4. Buy products from our on-line store. (check back, more items will be posted.)
  5. Donated items for the new village.   Items can be dropped off 1901 Aberg Ave.  Items we currently are accepting include:
    1. Laundry Soap
    2. Dish washing liquid, dishwasher soap
    3. Cleaning sprays, vinegar, bleach and cleaning supplies for bathrooms and showers
    4. Toilet paper
    5. Coffee
    6. Office supplies – paper (printer and notepad), pens, tape
    7. Arts and craft supplies
    8. Small curtains and curtain rods. (32w x 14 H)
    9. Shower shoes
  6. Supplies for our woodshop can be dropped off at any time at 304 N 3rd Street.  Items we are looking for include:
    1. Untreated Dimensional Lumber (minimum length 6’) 1×4; 1×6; 2×4 ; 2×6; 2×8; 2×10; 2×12; 4×4
    2. Plywood (minimum size 4’x4’; please no OSB or Particle Board) 3/8”CDX; ½” CDX; ½” MDO
    3. Bulls Eye or Kilz Paint Primer
    4. Hardwoods: Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, Hackberry, Elm, Locust, Ash
    5. Other (please confirm we can use it before dropping off, we have a small space to store it in!)

Upcoming things to watch for:

  1. An on-line auction for larger and unique items from Wiggies Bar
  2. A grand opening as soon as COVID-19 is over!
  3. Many smaller fundraisers over the next year as we continue to try to raise an additional $275,000 or more.

How can I support the new tiny house village?

At this point, honestly, we have to turn our attention to raising the money to finish the two villages.  The renovations and houses are proceeding as quickly as possible.  The northsiders have generously donated most of the items that people need to move in.  Volunteers have been able to nearly complete 15 houses and can produce 4 houses a week.  We hope to have 28 people off the streets by the end of the year, just 3 months after we put in the offer to purchase the property.  People keep asking how they can help – these are our preferred methods.We can use help with the following things.

  1.  Sign up to volunteer here. (shifts are added regularly, check back often)
  2. Donate to our GoFundMe page here.  You can also venmo, send a check to 304 N 3rd St. Madison WI 53704 or donate through paypal.  Yes, we have 501(c)(3) status.
  3. Share our GoFundMe page on-line.
  4. Sign up to become a sustainer – donating a monthly amount of money to help us with ongoing costs.
  5. Buy products from our on-line store/holiday sale. (check back, more items will be posted.)
  6. Donated items for the new village can be dropped off Saturday and Sunday 10 – noon at 1901 Aberg Ave.  Items we currently are accepting include:
    1. Bath Towels
    2. Laundry Soap
    3. Dish washing liquid, dishwasher soap
    4. Cleaning sprays, vinegar, bleach and cleaning supplies for bathrooms and showers
    5. Toilet paper
    6. Small lamps for in houses
    7. Small curtains and curtain rods. (32w x 14 H)
    8. Shower shoes
  7. Supplies for our woodshop can be dropped off at any time at 304 N 3rd Street.  Items we are looking for include:
    1. Untreated Dimensional Lumber (minimum length 6’) 1×4; 1×6; 2×4 ; 2×6; 2×8; 2×10; 2×12; 4×4
    2. Plywood (minimum size 4’x4’; please no OSB or Particle Board) 3/8”CDX; ½” CDX; ½” MDO
    3. Bulls Eye or Kilz Paint Primer
    4. Hardwoods: Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, Hackberry, Elm, Locust, Ash
    5. Other (please confirm we can use it before dropping off, we have a small space tp store it in!)
  8. Volunteer support items can be dropped off at 931 E Main Street (enter on Brearly side of the building, #17 to get in) during scheduled workshifts.  Items we need include:
    1. Bottled water and drinks for the volunteers
    2. Snacks/food for the volunteers

Upcoming things to watch for:

  1. A (chilly) garage sale for some items from Wiggies Bar and an opportunity to view the village once the houses are (mostly) in place.
  2. An on-line auction for larger and unique items from Wiggies Bar
  3. A grand opening as soon as COVID-19 is over!
  4. Many smaller fundraisers over the next year as we continue to try to raise an additional $400,000.

Occupy Madison receives Progressive Dane David Austin Award

We have been very busy with construction and getting 28 people off the streets by the end of the year.  We’ve had over 400 people volunteer to build tinier homes and over 400 people donate to Occupy Madison during this time.  All told, there have been about 1,000 people who are making this project happen.  This award goes to them!

Here’s a video of us getting the award presented to us at the village.

IMG_0384

Here is the video from the Snowball where it was presented during the Snowball – the presentation is about a half hour into the video

Here is the introduction Dane County Board Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner did for the presentation of the award.

“Since 2011, Occupy Madison has been challenging local elected officials to end the criminalization of homelessness, address the unmet needs of people experiencing homelessness, and facilitate their creative and cooperative tiny housing solution.  OM is truly a housing policy innovator– it’s 3rd Street Village is the first tiny house village of formerly homeless people integrated into a residential neighborhood. In addition to the tiny houses, the village includes a greenhouse, raised bed gardens, a woodworking shop, and a store where OM goods are sold to support operations of the village.

Now, at a time when we are witnessing severe economic inequality, housing injustice, and a pandemic ravage our community, OM is harnessing volunteer power and member sweat equity to build more homes.  OM stepped up to respond to the urgent needs of people living outside by creating a 2nd tiny house village at the former site of Wiggie’s Bar on the northside of Madison.  It will be the home to 28 tinier houses as part of a temporary emergency housing program to keep people safe in the coming months.  In an incredibly short period of time in the last two months, OM launched this project, obtained temporary zoning, purchased the Wiggie’s site, obtained county support, and built 11 conestoga style tinier homes.

Cooperation is the culture of Occupy Madison.  Whether they’re crafting their vision, adopting rules, building houses, growing food, making goods, or operating the store, or lobbying elected officials, OM is committed to working together to get things done.  OM members are housed and unhoused. They are activists, organizers, developers, gardeners, and builders. They’ve changed laws, they’ve changed minds, and they’ve changed neighborhoods (including mine)… for the better.   Thank you, OM for challenging us and leading us.  You’ve inspired us and given us hope. You’ve shown us how we can take care of one another even in the most difficult times.”

We very much appreciate Supervisor Wegleitner’s kind words and are proud to have her a neighbor and our representative on the County Board!

Occupy Madison Wishlist

We are so grateful for the donations that have been pouring in to Occupy Madison!  We are overwhelmed with the generosity of the community.  Cash is always welcome so we can use it where needed, but we know that people like to give tangible items as well, so here’s our wishlist!

At this point, our major donations wishlist items are can be dropped off at 931 E Main #17 during the work shifts for the volunteers and people who are building homes to live in include:

    • KN95 Masks
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Work Gloves
    • Bottled Water
    • Snacks
    • Sharpies
    • Large pieces of cardboard

We are still in need of some tools, at the moment we need:

    • Cordless Jigsaw
    • Cordless Circular Saw
    • Cordless Screwguns
    • Squares, tape measures, staple guns, box cutters, blades, carpenters pencils, etc.

We are assessing what we still need in terms of welcome items for the people who will be living in the homes.  Those items and others can be dropped off at 1901 Aberg Ave on Saturday Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov 15 (10 – 4), but we know we will need:

    • Laundry Soap & Dryer Sheets
    • Dish washing liquid, kitchen towels and sponges/scrubbies
    • Cleaning sprays, vinegar, bleach (for showers and bathrooms)
    • Toilet paper, paper towels
    • KN95 or equivalent masks

Updates for the Week of 10/26/20

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered or offered donations during the past month!  And thank you for being patient while we get things organized.

We have lots of exciting news!!!
WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED IN 3.5 WEEKS
On September 30th we learned from our realtor Clint Otto (eXp Realty) that our offer to purchase Wiggies Bar at 1901 Aberg Avenue was accepted.  In the past 3.5 weeks we have:
    • Raised over $50,000 (over 450 donors)
    • Over 50 people have indicated they want to volunteer
    • Over 60 people have volunteered to help with donations of goods (Thanks to Chris Odt for organizing!)
    • Received Temporary Zoning (through June 1) approval through the City Council
    • Built a tiny house and had Fire Department, Building Inspection and Zoning inspect it.  Ordered supplies for 4 more houses (will be here on Thursday)
    • Have a resolution going through the county board for a $200,000 grant
    • Worked with Bachman Construction and their subs (Hill Electric, Perzborn Plumbing and Harker Heating and Cooling), the architect Ed Kuharski and surveyer (Isthmus Surveying) to be able to start construction the week of November 9th.
    • Worked with One Community Bank and the appraiser (Masters-Hall) to get a bank loan to close between November 6th and the 10th
    • Are entering into a lease with Common Wealth Development ($1/mo!!! Thank you!!!) for space to build the tinier houses
    • Had 12 people go through orientation (limited to 6 per week) for the tiny houses and have added 6 people as members who qualify to apply for a tiny house.
It seems nothing short of a miracle that everyone has come together to make this project happen and we couldn’t be more grateful for this community cooperation and support!
NEXT STEPS
 
The next steps for the project are:
    • Get the leased shop set up and ready for volunteers (Volunteers start Monday Nov. 2nd – watch for an email Friday or Saturday)
    • Closing on the property (November 6 – 10), prep the building for construction
    • Construction starts by Wednesday, November 10th
    • Build the fence (Weekend of November 14th and 15th)
    • Build a communications/admin team
    • Continued fundraising
      • Go Fund Me
      • On-line store set up
      • On-line auction set up
      • Sales of items from Wiggies Bar
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO GET INVOLVED?
If you are received an email that means that we have you on our radar screen and we are thankful for your patience with us!  If you did not receive an email but want to volunteer, email us at occupymadisoninc@gmail.com
Administrative Assistance (Fundraising, Admin, Communications, Donation Coordination)
We have lots of people who have volunteered to do administrative things, which we need!  I will be contacting them this week to set up administrative assistance so you all will be getting more regular updates.
Building the Houses
    • Our goal is to have the people who will be living in the houses help build the houses.  So they will be signing up first.
    • Our second shift of people to sign up is for people who might want to be a shift manager or people with special construction skills.  (This week)
    • And then we will start getting everyone else (Mid-week next week)
Donations of Items
 
Right now we have no space for donations, however, we will by next week.  Please continue to be patient while we work things out!
THANK YOU!!!
 
Thank you for your continued interest in this exciting project and for your continued patience.  We are excited that with so many volunteers and supporters we may be able to complete this project by the end of the year.  We will be in touch shortly!  In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact us at occupymadisoninc@gmail.com.
The Occupy Family!

When is the neighborhood meeting?

From Alder Syed Abbas’ Blog

Occupy Madison proposes two uses for the 1901 Aberg Avenue site (Wiggie’s). The first is a temporary use for the winter to allow 25-30 people to live in conestoga style huts on the property. The building will provide a kitchen, bathrooms, showers, laundry, Internet, common space, etc. The permanent use is a tiny house village similar to the one at 304 N. 3rd Street and that will go through a full planned development process.

Please join me and Occupy Madison Representative, City staff from Zoning, Planning, Community Services, Traffic Engineering and MPD for a virtual neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, October 28, at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about this proposal. You can join the virtual meeting using your computer, smartphone or tablet, or you can listen in via telephone. You will receive login information after registering at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcudumrpzMsHtIKVuqHVEeQ649cwFAeBn8x