In celebration of National Pet Day on April 11, 2017, we wanted to share with you some information about one of our clients, The Milo Foundation. They purchased 2 Yurt Cabins last fall in order to house staff. In 1994, Director Lynne Tingle founded the 283-acre Milo Foundation in Willits, CA. Since then Milo has also opened an adoption center in the bay area, now located in Point Richmond. In 23 years the non-profit has saved over 28,000 animals from being euthanized in CA shelters! If you are looking for your new forever friend, please check them out!
We wanted to ask Lynne and her staff about their experience with Close to Home and their new Yurt Cabins.
1. How did you find the Close to Home website?
“We were researching staff housing options on-line, and a staff member found your site during his search and was impressed by a couple of the different options and shared it with management.”
2. Did the variety of homes offered impact your purchasing decision?
“The variety was very helpful with giving us the chance to think about what our needs would actually be and therefore allowed us to fine tune which things were most important to us, i.e., ease of construction vs. aesthetic preferences, pre-insulated vs. adding to the package, etc., etc.”
3. Did you come to the website looking for one product but end up purchasing another?
“Yes, we were initially looking at the Intershelter Polar Domes, which we all liked quite a bit but after much discussion we opted on going with the Freedom Yurt Cabins for now, but are not ruling out the Domes for future needs as we were very intrigued by them. We were all impressed with the responsiveness to our emails with our many questions while trying to make the decision, and beyond.”
4. We know that your organization purchased the Yurt Cabins for staff housing. How are they meeting that need?
“They are working out beautifully. Previously staff housing was all down in the main area of the valley, and having 283 beautiful acres, it was a shame to have everyone crowded into one area. We had much more desirable areas to live, but we needed the right housing in order to make the move a reality.”
“The yurts are spacious, well insulated and VERY easy on the eyes! We added wood stoves, kerosene heaters, solar panels and composting toilets and they are now fully functioning off the grid homes. We have had an exceptionally wet season here in northern CA, and have very heavy rains, strong winds and even snow, and the yurts have held up very well and remained warm and welcoming.”
5. We understand that your staff was living in trailers prior to the Yurt Cabins. How has their day-to-day life changed with this new housing?
“It has changed immensely, the trailers did not have proper insulation for our chilly winters and thus heating them was always a challenge. On the other hand, keeping them cool during the hot summers was a challenge as well. Needing to keep the trailers in one central location, it was difficult to have them off the grid so staff had to walk to our main kennel building for kitchen/bathroom use etc., so they were basically permanently dry camping.”
“Coming home after a long day of both physically and emotionally demanding work, and not feeling like you can truly just kick off your shoes and relax can be very taxing. The yurts that we purchased are quite large, and the staff can now stretch out and have been able to set up the different areas of their homes in a way that is the most relaxing and functional for their personal preferences.”
6. Do you see changes in staff productivity, quality of work, morale… other impacts?
“It makes a VERY big difference to feel that you have your own real home, where you like to be and where you feel cozy and able to really reset. Staff can now start their mornings looking out at rolling hills and mountain tops in the distance, and then come to work refreshed and ready to start their day as opposed to being in the center of the hub of the daily activity at all times. Being able to have the yurts be off the grid is also saving us on electricity or course, which as a non-profit is clearly very helpful!”
“We did have the couple that was living in one of the yurts have changes in their lives that required them moving out of the area, but having one of the yurts as a housing option to offer NEW employees will greatly impact being able to bring on new qualified staff members that will be great additions to the animals in our care, and the sanctuary as a whole. This is at times difficult, (yet ultimately rewarding) work, and with the Yurts as staff housing we anticipate that it will help us to lower our turn over rate and decrease burn out. All in all we are very pleased with the Yurts and look forward to having them as a permanent staple here at the sanctuary for many years to come!”
7. Comments on Close to Home’s service? Would you recommend us to friends and/or other organizations?
“The staff was always very friendly, accessible and helpful which was greatly appreciated by all. We have already recommended Close to Home to others, and will happily to do so in the future without reservation!”
Congratulations to everyone at the Milo Foundation for the excellent teamwork that you displayed as you shopped, purchased and assembled your Freedom Yurt Cabins! We enjoyed working with you and are so pleased that your new housing is working out so well. THANK YOU for your daily devotion to the animals & all of the good work that you do!