Indigenous Cultures: How are they like Hope Family Village

Phil Borges: Storyteller and filmmaker

Phil has done several TedTalks about a documentary (Crazywize) he has been working on for over four years.

He has been exploring indigenous cultures to learn what they might tell us.

This one (15 minutes) discusses serious mental illness over the decades. He shares some of the interviews they have preformed. The insights he has developed. Some observations about people and their needs.

He examines America’s serious mental health crisis. He gives us both the historical context and the difficulty medial science has had making definitive proofs.

What can we learn about from Phil in creating Hope Family Village? What critical observation does he offer that cuts to the core of society’s investment in, or lack thereof, in care?

Could it be community? Hope Family Village.


Minimalism: The Documentary

You’re going to smile when you see Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. It’s on Netflix.


The main characters are compelling. They reach a point in their lives that it all comes together. What they do next just makes sense to them. They are not selling anything, except maybe a book.

Their first audiences mirror their own philosophy and they find the humor in it.

A couple of guys reflect on where they came from, where they thought they wanted to go, their arrival, and their subsequent complete change in direction. The movie treats us to similar observations made by others, including families and scholars.

In the end, it’s all about quality and our connections to each other. We are on a similar road.


Realizing Value at Hope Family Village

Home of Open Dialogue and Experiment in Basic Income

As we think through designing Hope Family Village, we know that the cohousing platform is ideal.

For a community to work requires everyone pitching in, in some way, to support their neighbors and their community.

What brings us together is the need for mutual support and desire for mutual acceptance.

We want to do more than survive. We want to thrive.

Countries like Finland and Denmark offer us practiced innovations that might help us in our design.

Here are two recent articles about a new Finnish experiment on basic income (1) and (2). Western Lapland is also the home of Open Dialogue, which has been very effective.

Quite naturally, we all want to realize personal value and satisfaction. How do you measure that? It’s different for each person. Certainly, we can realize satisfaction from producing something, creating something, or simply working together toward a common goal (e.g. growing a garden).

Maybe in the case of an extreme northern latitude, the conditions are so harsh, a need to innovate to realize the value from one’s life is bred.

In our case, Hope Family Village is an experiment. Our own invention.

We’re creating something new. We can be open to other ideas and approaches that may pragmatically fit our community.


Why Hope Family Village?

Paris Wiliams Experiencing FREE
Rethinking Madness, Author

If we ever pause to wonder why we are passionate about creating a “place” that we call Hope Family Village, this short documentary film (30 min) called Surviving Schizophrenia begins to explain why. 

Featured are Elyn Saks and Paris Williams, who are both well known to the survivor and NAMI communities. Varietal concepts are brought to bear by each actor.

Creating hope, that’s what we are doing: Something way different to a cookie-cutter approach to care.


Announcing Hope Family Village

It’s official!

Hope Family Village (HFV) was born at Nick’s Spaghetti and Steak House in Gloucester Point, Virginia on December 1, 2016.

You have been directed here from our web site address. Thank you Phil Trench for helping me do all of this so painlessly. Bear with me, it’s not an elaborate site. More important, we started.

HPV has five co-founding families. They came together from the NAMI Williamsburg and NAMI Mid-Tidewater affiliates of NAMI Virginia. We discovered a shared interest in permanent housing for ourselves and our loved ones. Together, we have explored the cohousing and Fairweather Lodge models, practices and histories. Since July of 2016, we have been holding monthly dinner meetings to develop our vision. Last week, we picked an identity.

People will be shocked at what a small number will accomplish on a problem that has been wrestled with for all of mankind. We will bring something new to real mental health care. Imagination. A blending of the best practices in the world. What it will ultimately cost, as well as achieve, will be thought not to be possible. Hope Village is something new.

We imagine a neighborhood that accepts mental health and its care as our principal priority. The College of William and Mary, MBA Field Consultancy Program, five second year students, two executive partners, and a faculty advisor have been conducting a study to help take an idea and turn it into a reality. They have done excellent work. It’s been a wonderful collaboration. The study will conclude in March of 2017. But, we plan to continue this relationship.

Currently, we believe, the first project will be constructed for 25 families.

More to follow.