Hope Family Village: Proud Fairweather Supporter

When you see organizations, like the Coalition for Community Living, and committed people being successful, it’s inspirational and motivational. We can see all that is possible.
There is hope for people who endure serious mental illness. Living options exist. Hope Family Village not only believes that, we already see our village at Eastern State, serving our community. Before that happens, we keep moving forward.

Ed Dawson
Former Lodge Coordinator
Board Member, The Coalition of Community Living
Click Ed’s Picture to See Film

Drew Darby is a senior in film and marketing at the College of William and Mary.  NAMI Williamsburg, because of donor Van Black (W&M, ’75), was able to commission a short video about Fairweather Lodge. Drew and a colleague came to film the workshop on Fairweather Lodge.

We thought that by filming the entire two-hour event (here) and making a short film that we could reach more people here in Virginia and elsewhere.

Here’s a link to Drew’s short film.

We should have hundreds of lodges in America. We’re starting one in Williamsburg. We have four prospects who meet weekly. Hope Family Village is in search of a home for them to live in, where they will share rent for their space. We are reaching out to and working with many organizations in our town to make this happen. House of Mercy and the Greater Williamsburg United Way, as examples.

Hope Family Village – 25 families living in neighborhood, on 25 acres, supporting one another is our concept. The community will employ the principles and practices developed in the over 180 established cohousing communities in North America. Our first village will feature at least one Fairweather Lodge as a living option.

33rd Annual Fairweather Lodge Conference

Welcome to Hope Family Village. Now incorporated, we continue to move forward on many fronts.

Scott, Corey, and Matt

In late September, Matt, Scott and I attended the 33rd Annual Fairweather Lodge Conference in Erie, PA. There were 100 participants.

Organized and hosted by Stairways Behavioral Health, we were treated to discussions of veterans lodges; taught how to write a haiku; given ideas for finding a job; and learned the importance of being active and socially

Matt and Scott (left) @ Stairways Behavioral Health’s Training Lodge
Erie, PA

engaged for brain health.

These conferences are incredibly inspirational. We meet other agencies from around the country, lodge coordinators, and lodge residents.

As we seek to establish a lodge in the Williamsburg area, we visited a training lodge operated by Stairways.

In the meantime, we created a “virtual lodge” together. The Williamsburg Fairweather Lodge meets weekly on Saturday mornings at a coffee shop. Weekly meetings is one of the fidelity standards for having a certified program.

Aside from reviewing our weeks, setting and monitoring goals, and planning the next week, we are working on having a meal together. From recipe to shopping, budgeting, serving … we’re having a meal together. Exciting stuff.