As volunteers and HACAP staff readied the first of Linn Counties Transitional housing buildings for occupancy, many neighbors came by to express their delight that the “big old barn” was going to be fixed up and again house families instead of sitting idle or torn down.
Since that first building, HACAP has been able to add several more multi and single family units by donation or purchase. Individuals from churches, businesses and civic groups have continued to volunteer talents and time to help make each unit as comfortable as possible.
Families have made good use of this program to gain the skills necessary to be independent and on their own. Many have even gone the extra mile and become community volunteers to help others have the same opportunities.
Services and counseling which can help family members develop skills self sufficiency and long term independence is of course, the primary function of the Transitional Housing Rural America Program (THRA).
There is however a secondary aim which is to preserve existing housing and help to stabilize the neighborhood.
As the THRA program has progressed and the families have become stronger, and more independent so have many of the neighborhood families. Many have taken the initiative to paint and fix up their own properties because as one neighbor said “Now it will be worth the effort. Everyone around will know we respect our house too.”