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

Assembling our first conestoga hut

27 more to go!

This could not have happened without the following people:

    • Bruce Wallbaum and Jesse Ransom – finding the model, finding the materials to order, problem solving on the design and logistics
    • Brenda Konkel, general coordination, logistics
    • The Bodgery and its many volunteers with Jesse Ransom as lead
    • Rob Bloch and Gene Cox – OM Shop Managers with support from key volunteers Tim Jones and Dennis Harrison-Noonan
    • People living at OM village – Chris, Gene, Sofia and Larry
    • And we couldn’t have done it without the design and book of instructions from Community Supported Solutions!

Want to help . . . see how here!

How can I get a tiny home?

Occupy Madison tiny house village is a cooperatively run, self-governing organization.  While the stewardship of the house is free, we expect active participation in our cooperative village, including helping us make money to pay for the costs of the village.

We regret to inform you that at this point we are no longer accepting new residents for our houses, we have more people than houses available.  You can still request to be put on the waiting list at occupymadisoninc@gmail.com

If you are interested in a tiny home, email (or have someone email on your behalf) occupymadisoninc@gmail.com.  The process will be as follows:

    1. Attend an orientation (Saturday at 4:00 at 1901 Aberg Ave.)
    2. Attend two General Membership meetings (Sunday at 6:00 at 1901 Aberg Ave.)
    3. Become a member, agree to the community agreement
    4. Continue attending General Membership meetings (Sunday at 6:00 at 1901 Aberg  Ave.)
    5. When your time comes, you will live in the village at 304 N 3rd St for a week (if allowed by the city).
    6. While living at the village help build your tiny home or help us with our holiday sale, store sales or other activities
    7. Once you move to the new site, continue actively participating in the community and following community rules

How People are Chosen for the Huts

Residence at 1901 Aberg Ave is decided by the membership as follows:

    1. Members: Attended orientation and become a member, people are considered in the order they have attended orientation and attended meetings to become qualified.
    2. Level of participation: People who are actively participating in meetings and volunteering will get preference over those who are not.
    3. Need:
      1. People who are sleeping outside or in cars
      2. People in shelters
      3. People in hotels
      4. People living with family or friends
    4. Are you a pioneer: Are you a good fit for the community, willing to take risks with this project, be a leader, volunteer and have you shown you can abide by the community agreement and city rules.

(Posted on October 12, revised Dec 5)