Take some time to visually experience each of the three beautiful Windhorse locations and communities.
Northampton, once known as “Norwottuck” meaning “the midst of the river” by original Pocumtuc inhabitants, is situated on the banks of the Connecticut River in the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts.
Our small city is known for being a socially conscious and social justice minded community, dating back to 1842 when a community of abolitionists declared Northampton to be a community where “the rights of all people should be equal without distinction of sex, color or condition, sect or religion”.
Along with being social justice oriented, our area supports a local food movement with 5 weekly farmers’ markets, 3 food co-ops, a growing boom of CSAs (community supported agriculture), and several restaurants serving locally-sourced ingredients. Our restaurants also boast a wide variety of ethnic foods from Mediterranean to Indian, Italian, and Thai. We even have a garden group with 2 plots in the Northampton Community Gardens to grow several different types of vegetables including snap peas, spinach, lettuce, kale and broccoli.
Our area is home to the “Five Colleges” – Smith College, Amherst College, Mt. Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, and Hampshire College – with four more community colleges nearby. Our local transportation system, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA), not only provides free transportation for students to and from the colleges, but also provides transportation to 24 surrounding communities in the Pioneer Valley.
There is plenty to do in the Pioneer Valley, from hiking up beautiful Mt. Tom State Reservation to bike riding over 20 miles of local bike paths, to enjoying a vibrant arts and music scene.
San Luis Obispo, known locally as San Luis, or SLO (pronounced “ slow”), is situated on the Central Coast of California, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is one of California’s oldest communities and features an original Spanish mission built in 1772.
San Luis Obispo is a beautiful, easy to live in town, nestled in a valley surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains, a range including the picturesque Seven Sisters peaks, the remnants of ancient volcanoes. San Luis experiences a Mediterranean climate. Morning mists give way to warm, sunny days that lift people’s spirits, leading Oprah to designate it the “Happiest City in America”. Flowers blossom in all seasons – trees, bushes and gardens display an extraordinary beauty. Our Windhorse community garden produces vegetables all year round.
The small geographic area of the town brings a feeling of livable ease. Clients rent an apartment usually a 10 minute walk from downtown, which hosts a large variety of local shops, restaurants, cafes and a large weekly farmer’s market event. The Windhorse office is also centrally located, making it unnecessary to own a car.
Recently, San Luis was one of only 3 cities in California designated as a Gold Level bicycle friendly community, providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. There is a local bus line, a stop for the coastal Amtrak train, and a regional airport with private and commercial air service to several major cities.
The Pacific Ocean and the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, are just 15 minutes away. The local beaches offer everything from body boarding to sunbathing and eating ice cream on the strand! Community members frequently take advantage of the wide variety of hiking trails in the area.
Cuesta Community College and the nationally recognized California Polytechnic State University provide educational options and opportunities for a wider community.
Portland offers the incredible marriage of the metropolitan flair with natural surroundings. Portland is the recipient of national and international awards for it’s intimate and thriving urban villages. Our Still Point house is in the heart of Portland’s premium Nob Hill neighborhood.
Portland is in the forefront of urban planning & green initiatives, making it a tremendously simple city to navigate and a city ripe with transportation options. Downtown, near the Windhorse Portland headquarters, the city blocks are small and unassuming, the pedestrians and cyclists are plentiful, and the community is tremendously accepting of individuals of all walks of life. Portland boasts a higher number of literate individuals per capita than any city in the United States, and these individuals are inquisitive, community-minded and forward-thinking. This city provides clients with a unique opportunity to fully connect in a respectful, healing way with a community that is both grounding and incredibly supportive.
The Portland Streetcar has three main loops that service the east and west sides of the city, with stops spread conveniently throughout the city and easy access to educational avenues, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Portland State University. The Trimet light rail is another option for individuals residing in Portland. The light rail easily connects the city center to the farther reaches of the metro area. Despite its size as a city, Portland is both navigable & unintimidating.
Apart from offering a robust urban environment, Portland is also home to America’s Premier urban forest which offer 5,157 acres (30 miles!) of wooded hiking trails. Clients can connect with the beauty of the northwest forest climate without leaving the confines of the city. The opportunities for escape, however, do not end there. Portland’s Washington Park borders Forest Park & is home to museums, an amazing rose garden, an authentic Japanese garden and the Hoyt Arboretum. These additional green spaces are, like the Willamette River waterfront, just a short streetcar, light rail or bike ride away from any given location within the city.
Home to Portland State University, George Fox University, the University of Portland, Concordia University, Lewis and Clark College, and a wide array of community colleges, technical schools and artistic institutes, the staff at Windhorse Portland have the unique advantage of being able to connect their clients with educational institutions that foster client independence. The immersion in the academic community, whether enrolled for credit or attending for exposure, also supplies clients with many cultural and artistic experiences that provide a venue for expression and release.
The incredible balance of elements available in Portland, Oregon, provide valuable and meaningful engagement for true healing and tremendous growth.
“Windhorse has given my son the gift of reclaiming his life, and it has given me the same gift.”
– A Former Parent