With a focus on community building, the team members at Goodness Village are not simply removing homeless people from the creek encampment. They are helping those who were previously unhoused for many decades as they process their past traumas, learn healthier coping mechanisms and learn to trust again. Through this work, the “neighbors” — as the residents are called — will learn to become part of a safe community, while learning to live in the present without turning to substances that once helped them cope with mental health disorders or trauma.

Seeing the community come out to support this mission has set to rest initial concerns officials expressed over whether Goodness Village would be welcomed. Throughout the Tri-Valley, organizations and individuals have held chili cook offs and Taco Tuesdays aimed at raising funds. They’ve also volunteered their time to help with upkeep at the site.

As the organization moves forward with work on its community center and the addition of more tiny homes for homeless veterans, locals can further help by participating in fundraising events, such as the “Two Village Fundraiser” set for Dec. 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Cellar Door in Pleasanton. Or consider becoming a Club88 member, which entails one-time or recurring payments to the organization to help shelter the neighbors. Between the facilities and services, it costs $88 for one night for one neighbor at Goodness Village. But as Goodness Village notes, “a night in an Alameda County Jail is $223, and a night in a psychiatric ER can run up to $2,000.”

We should do our best to support Goodness Village as it's making big changes in the lives of those who once experienced chronic homelessness.

For more information, visit https://gvlivermore.org/donate.