The issue of homelessness is a complex one. The view of Sierra Roots is to pursue a holistic approach which includes housing, healthy food, self-governance, re-skilling and community support.

In 2005, the State of Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.

The Sierra Roots' Micro-Village Proposed Plan


  • Obtain a site that has minimal impact on residences or businesses in the area close enough to be accessible to homeless
  • Prepare site by clearing and building infrastructure (water, sewer power)
  • Involve Law Enforcement, Fire, Government and Homeless Citizens to ensure safety and well being of entire community
  • Provide space for temporary tent or car camping
  • Build an essential unit which would include both a men’s and women’s shower, bathroom and laundry facilities
  • Provide shelter and safety from inclement weather
  • Provide lockers, storage
  • Accommodate short-term emergency needs

Stage #1 – Preliminary Estimated Budget:

  • Land Acquisition/Purchase:           $800,000
  • Site Preparation:                              $50,000
  • Project Manager:                             $40,000
  • Essential Hygiene Unit:                    $30,000
  • Community Center:                          $30,000
  • Lockers/Storage:                               $5,000

      STAGE #1 PRELIMINARY TOTAL:    $955,000


  • Develop intake and assessment process for volunteers and potential residents.
  • Involve potential residents in cleaning and working the land.
  • Set up governing council. Sierra Roots leaders and residents to address admission criteria, governance, safety, security, maintenance, garden development etc.
  • Set up sustainable food production. Sierra Roots will work to develop cottage industries (i.e.: firewood sale, growing hops, flax, mushrooms, sale of aquaponic farmed veggies and bee products) and an economic model for sustaining the micro-village.

Stage #3:

  • Residents become formally invested through financial contributions and sweat equity.
  • Engage community in helping construct shelters for residents.
  • Develop peer training from community and village residents in essential mechanical skills, building and farming skills, food producing and computing skills.
  • Have county agencies meet and service residents and those who visit the Village regularly.


Sierra Roots will work to develop all three stages with a dynamic and multi-tiered funding approach. This will include funding and donations for individuals, private foundations, and local/state/federal grants. We are presently working with local groups who provide in-kind donations, such as: Gold Country Gleaners, The Nevada County Food Bank, United Way, local churches and generous individuals who donate clothes and supplies.

We are working hard to create an environment that supports micro-businesses and workshops. We are working with The Streicher House to provide health meals and plant vegetable/fruit gardens. This day center will also provide a centralized location for service providers to help those less fortunate in our community. Our future plans include healthcare and mobile dental services, drug treatment programs, employment placement, and veterinarian services.


Sierra Roots has a number of committees that you can join to help our micro-village project. These committees are structured around volunteering to fund the project, find/secure land, clear/prepare land, and build tiny houses. You can sign up to volunteer here or you can call us at (530) 264-5113. 


We accept donations in a variety of ways. You can donate on this website either one-time or monthly. You can also send a check made out to Sierra Roots to P.O. Box 2086, Nevada City, CA 95959. Looking to make a long-term impact, please consider putting Sierra Roots in your will as Planned Giving. 



We deeply appreciate any way you can support us…Thank You!

Existing National Micro-Villages for the Homeless