I.V. HOPE Village plans go out to bid

Living Solutions announced that I.V. HOPE Village building plans have been

finalized as of April 12

A 3-D graphic of the I.V. HOPE Village community building front entrance designed by Gerlitz Engineering.

I.V. HOPE Village is a transitional housing facility project that was awarded state funding through House Bill 5019 in 2023 to complete its construction costs. The project includes a community building with bathrooms, showers, laundry room, living area, community kitchen and case management offices, along with 16 small housing units that only include a bed, dresser and electrical outlet.
“Many people have asked me if we still plan to build I.V. HOPE Village because there hasn’t been any construction started at the property off Schumacher St,” said IVLS Executive Director Laura Mancuso. “I am happy to say that very soon the property will start to look different.”
The property she is referring to is at 204 S. Kerby Ave., situated between Watkins and Schumacher streets. The facility will be built closest to the Taylor’s Sausage Processing Plant.
If you are wondering what the holdup was, Mancuso explained that there were lots of different moving parts to the project that needed to be secured. “One issue that our steering committee and board faced was a change in the fire safety plans. Since I.V. HOPE Village will have an overnight host, it was determined by fire marshal codes that the community building will have to have an overhead sprinkler system. Another setback was that since our committee requested on-demand hot water due to the heavy usage we were planning for, the engineers needed to change the building plans to include propane at the building.”
Mancuso said that once construction starts in early June, the Village steering committee will focus on facility operations that include staff training protocol, policies and procedures, participant application process and much more.
One issue that Mancuso wanted the community to know is that I.V. HOPE Village will NOT be a shelter. “I.V. HOPE is a program that participants must apply for and follow the rules, just like at an apartment complex. Plus, at this interim housing facility, participants will have chores, curfew and will not be allowed to have drugs or alcohol on the property.
“Our goal is to help unhoused Valley residents get off the streets or out of dry camping and move into stable housing after going through our program.”
Some of the special features that the Village will have include a community garden and a dog run with kennels available. “We plan to have life skills training at the Village, such as food preparation and gardening for starters,” said Mancuso.

It is fitting that the project goes out to bid for a general contractor the same week that the lawsuit Johnson v. Grants Pass goes to the Supreme Court. This case, starting April 22, sets the stage for the most significant Supreme Court case regarding the rights of homeless people in decades. At its core, this case will decide whether cities are allowed to punish people for activities like sleeping outside with a pillow or blanket, even when there are no safe shelter options.
In next week’s Illinois Valley News there will be a public notice for general contractors interested in bidding on this project. If you have a skill to share that you would like IVLS to know about or to volunteer at I.V. HOPE Village, please look at the website and sign up to be a volunteer, donate or be on the newsletter email list; visit https://ivlivingsolutions.org. The next newsletter should come out at the end of April. If you have questions about I.V. HOPE Village you can call 971-415-0281.