It all started for me in early 2014, with an article I read about local artist Greg Kloehn. He was building micro shelters out of found and donated recycled materials and giving the shelters away to the homeless near his West Oakland studio. I knew instantly that I wanted to be involved and we began a close friendship.
After many iterations and build locations, as of 2016, Greg and his team of hundreds of volunteers have donated over 50 homes to the homeless.
I have been taking a Tiny Home building class at Laney College with the end goal of presenting our finished Tiny Home on October 15, 2016 at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Net-Zero Competition.
Greg and I want to begin the next phase of this journey. We now want to build a dozen or more legal tiny homes on road-worthy trailers. Our first 5 or 6 will be used to hone our skills and test the market. Bellow is a partial list of goals we want to achieve:
1) Grow a local community of tiny home builders and advocates
2) Create homes that last
3) Build safely and efficiently
4) Create works of art that the owners love to live in
5) Train a new workforce in home building skills
6) House homeless in legal dwellings
We will be running everything through the non-profit Building Sound Community. We are designing a program to address homelessness head-on – albeit in a small way.
Forward thinking cities like Oakland are adopting “Housing First” strategies to address homelessness. The idea is to get people off the street into stable housing and then bring required additional services to them. Our Tiny Homes are designed as a direct response to this need for secure and stable legal housing.
We have found an enclosed and secure build site and plan to begin construction on our first home in October, 2016. We are currently seeking interested partners to join the conversation.