Youth Dormitory and Housing
After our first year of operations, as part of phase 3, we plan to build our first dormitory building to provide housing to runaway and homeless youth who wish to attend WAIE. Young scholars will be supported by our residential staff, participate in the Hebrew lifestyle, while receive housing, meals, and education as a scholar. They will be able to live with the community through school and up to two years after graduation as they start a business, enter the workforce, or attend a higher education institution.
Dormitory for Youth who are Homeless, Runaways, and in Foster Care
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? One of the core principles of the Hebrew lifestyle is to care for children who are in need and provide for them so that they may grow and become who they are called to be. Phase 3 and the idea to provide housing for runaway youth, homeless youth, and youth in the foster care system is a part of this principle.
The focus on these populations, particularly youth of color, was birthed from two important events. The first was our founder, Duron Jones, reflecting on his time managing elements of the operations for Middle College High School (MCHS) at Seattle University and the needs of their students. The second was when our founder learned about the work of Malak Qibaa and Delivering a Difference and their work to provide food, clothing, and essentials to the homeless in King County, WA.
At MCHS, there were cases of very bright young students who weren’t able to succeed in a comprehensive high school because they were homeless and their basic necessities were a priority and not the class work. Or they lived in a very toxic home environment where if they were removed they could be more successful in a learning environment. Thus, phase 3 for the World Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (WAIE) was born in an effort to provide a supportive and understanding environment for young scholars who wish to continue their education and create generational wealth for themselves.
Phase 3 of the campaign is about more than providing an opportunity for shelter for youth. It is about providing a supportive community that allows a young scholar to reach their true potential. Homeless youth, runaway youth, and foster care youth will be invited to join our community and participate in academic learning but also build skills and receive compensation for helping out around their dormitory and community working space.
As part of their stay with the community, youth will cook meals, farm/garden, clean, help facilitate activities, and tutor younger peer residents. Also, youth of all ages will participate in a variety of social and familial activities throughout the year to support their social emotional growth as a young leader in a global community.
Ages 13 to 22
Youth can join the dormitory community at the ages of 13 through 16 years old. However, they will remain in the dorm with us until completion of their Diploma+ at age 20. They’ll have the option to stay in the youth dormitory until the age of 22.
September 1, 2024
Once we have completed phase 3 fundraising on July 1, 2023, construction of our first youth dormitory will begin in Washington State. The plan is for construction to complete within 12 months so it may open to students fall of 2024.
Each dormitory is planned and designed to house a total of 100 youth with dorm rooms included for adult staff to supervise. Youth will share a room with one other person of their same gender and the genders will be separated in the housing layout. Currently, we are looking at land in Renton and if we secure it then we will be able to serve 400 youth.
All youth will have access to an assigned mental wellness counselor and an assigned career and college readiness counselor as part of WAIE. However, in addition to this service youth who are working towards overcoming addiction will have additional resources to help them in accomplishing the goal of beating addiction.
The health of our youth is important to the leaders of WAIE. Thus, we provide full medical and dental benefits to the runaway and homeless youth who enrolled in our youth dormitory and with our school. Our residential staff will work with each youth to help them find medical and dental primaries that best fit their holistic needs.
Taking guidance from other innovative dorm layouts, our dormitories will have a bunkbed set up in the middle of each room. This allows for each youth to have the privacy they need when they need it while also maintaining a level of social engagement with their roommate when desired. Each room will come with lighting on either side as to not disturb their roommate if one is an earlier riser than the other. They will also each have their own desk, chair, seated bench, and closet for clothing and shoes.
Youth who reside in the dormitory will be expected to clean their room, make their beds, do their own laundry, and take out their own trash with the guidance of the residential staff who are on campus.
Taking guidance from the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy, our dormitory will be one with plant life to create for a positive atmosphere for our youth and provide the opportunity for them to be good stewards of the planet. The plant life will help moderate the temperature in both summer and winter but will also convert CO2 that is produced around campus. Additionally, it will filter out dust particles and protect our youth from noise pollution and create a microhabitat for insects and birds.
The youth dormitories will be built with a focus on being environmentally friendly so that we’re doing less harm to the planet while helping the community. The dorm will gain its primary source for power through solar powered panels. Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
Renewable energy also improves public health. Coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to human health. But replacing them with renewable energy sources, such as solar power, can reduce premature mortality as well as overall health care costs.
Farm and Garden
On campus at the youth dormitory will be a garden that will allow the youth to gain necessary skills in being self sufficient. Also, this will allow WAIE to reduce the cost of meals provided to the community. We will be able to grow most of our ingredients for a plant based lifestyle on campus in the garden with the help of the youth and staff.
This is also a very important skill for youth to have when it comes to survival if they are ever in a situation when they need to grow their own food. This will also help them learn skills for maintaining their own business if they ever decide to go down the path of green entrepreneurship or farm entrepreneurship.
In an effort to help our youth succeed, not only are they expected to contribute to cleaning, cooking, and other duties around the dormitory house, but they will also have opportunities to be compensated for their work on campus. This helps the youth to have spending money for social activities and other items as well as save for the future.
Also, the goal is that each dormitory will have a community working facility on campus too. This will provide employment opportunities for our residents who are age 16 and older. They’ll be able to work at the eateries, as catering staff, as event staff, and much more to earn additional funds for their financial wellness. Also, this will provide them with good resume skills as they prepare for their future career and college readiness outcomes and goals.
Also, with the environmentally friendly goals we will utilize greywater systems for the dormitory. Greywater is gently used water from your sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. The system will allow us to better utilize water for dorm functions. Water from bathroom and laundry can be reused for the toilets and other functions that don’t require clean water. Thus, cutting down on the usage of water by our youth and our community.
Another benefit of greywater is it can be used for watering of plants on the property and other earth based maitenance such as the window gardens and property flower gardens. However, the water should not be drank by humans.
What is the Hebrew lifestyle youth will be expected to follow?
All youth who join the community of the WAIE dormitory will be expected to partake and follow the Hebrew lifestyle. The lifestyle is built on the ancestral teachings of our people before we were dispersed across the greater world. However, we don’t expect youth to follow every single element of the lifestyle on their first day, but instead show constant growth and improvement towards living the lifestyle over the course of their first few years with our community. Some examples of the lifestyle that youth will be expected to follow are:
- Participate in a plant based dietary lifestyle (our campus will be a pork free zone but designated clean meats will be available at times).
- Honor their elders in the dormitory, greater WAIE, and greater Hebrew community.
- To not stand by idly when a human life is in danger.
- To not do wrong by anyone in statements you make (includes lying and gossip).
- When gardening, to leave an unreaped corner of the field or orchard for the poor.
- To give charity according to one’s means (includes donations of time, food, and money to support those in need).
- Do not to travel on Shabbat outside the limits of one’s place of residence.
- To rest and not work on the Shabbat.
- In lending practices, to not take part in any usurious transaction between borrower and lender, neither as a surety, nor as a witness, nor as a writer of the bond for them.
- To pay wages to the hired man/woman at the due time.
- To not muzzle a beast while it is working in produce which it can eat and enjoy.
- Do not steal personal property and do not pretend that you have not seen lost property so you can avoid the obligation of returning it.
- That those engaged in warfare shall not fear their enemies nor be panic-stricken by them during battle (includes fighting oppression).