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Housing the Homeless

My contribution is one that will build tiny houses for the homeless population in the Bay Area to provide housing, a shower, and a bathroom.

Photo of Olivia Tyler18

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

My project idea is to build tiny houses for the homeless population in the Bay Area. The challenge that my idea and its bridge help to solve is homeless people not having anywhere to have a good night’s rest, a bathroom, a place to shower, and a place for privacy. The way this works is that the tiny houses will be placed in lots of the homeless shelters and soup kitchens or on land that was donated to this project. These tiny houses will be the average size of a tiny house (about 500 sq/ft) and will contain a bed with sheets, a comforter and a pillow, a bathroom with a toilet, shower, and all toiletries needed, and windows with curtains for privacy. These houses will be placed in bunches so that people are able to have their own community if they want to be able to talk to others. The homeless will be able to spend up to a full week in the same tiny house and this will be regulated by volunteers so that each person is able to get the proper rest, privacy, and cleanliness they deserve. These people can come back and live in these houses again, but will need to wait in line or pay a fee to be able to stay longer. Plumbing systems will have to be put in so that the toilets flush properly and the showers drain correctly. This program will be a nonprofit and the funding will come from the government funding that is set aside for programs for the homeless and from donations of those who are willing and able. The people working on and with these tiny houses will be volunteers who are passionate about helping others and being able to establish community among those they are serving.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries are the homeless population in the Bay Area. This can include those who have a job but cannot afford an apartment or a house, those who are trying to find a job, or those who are begging on the streets and can’t find work. These people will benefit from my idea because they will be able to stay in a heated or cooled place which has a bed, shower, and toilet. They will receive privacy and a sense of community with those housing around them. This idea will also benefit people if they are trying to find a job or maintain a job so that they can stay clean and look presentable when they go to work. Looking presentable and having somewhere to sleep at night is also very reassuring and improves mental health as people feel more confident and happy with themselves.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

What is different about my idea from other similar initiatives because I want to place my tiny houses in places with very large populations of homeless people, more specifically in the Bay Area. Most of the places where these tiny houses are already implemented are not in the bay area. The unique advantage my organization has to implement my idea is how many people in the Bay Area are willing to help and donate to causes like this. There are lots of schools as well that donate time to homeless projects. My approach to this will be successful because I would base my idea off of funding from the public and volunteers to build these tiny houses along with donations of materials. My idea will also be successful due to the immense need for housing for the homeless population in the Bay Area.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

As a whole, my organization aims to provide housing and stability for the homeless population in the bay area through the use of tiny houses which will include a bed, sheets, pillows, a shower, a toilet, and all toiletries needed.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Other

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

My inspiration for this project was in my religion classes in high school where we would always go to soup kitchens or shelters and volunteer our day to prepping meals for those who can’t afford it. I thought about how we were providing meals for people, better never any place for these people to stay, have any privacy, or shower. Because of this, I wanted to start an organization that works with soup kitchens and shelters so that people will be able to find a job and restore their dignity.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

My topic areas for this project are Peace, Prosperity, and Planet. For my idea, Peace is influenced by the tension between different homeless people or groups and even the anger one may feel toward themselves or others for being homeless. Providing a place that has privacy and lets those who are homeless have a their own space allows them to find peace with themselves or others around them as they’ll be less aggravated and feel like things will work out with further confidence. Prosperity in my project in influenced by the amount of those who are homeless and unable to find work or cannot find the motivation to work. Through providing housing and a place to stay clean, people will be more willing to find work as they look more presentable and feel better about themselves. Plant is impacted by those who are unable to use a functions bathroom and have to deficate on the street which is washed down into sewage before being properly treated and released into the Bay.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Various organizations are building tiny houses for the homeless, but none of them are based in the Bay Area, so I believe I will be able to partner up with these existing organizations to build in the Bay. They can be involved in the building of houses, supply of materials, or finding areas to build. From this process of engagement, I will be able to make new connections and have partners which will benefit both us and the homeless population. A previous example of a project that demonstrates how I work alongside the community served was a project I did with a classmate that involved creating various media platforms. We posted healthy, simple food that can be made in dorms. To get the best insight, we asked people with siblings in college about the materials they were allowed to have in their dorm and we asked parents of college kids about what they would like to see on the menu. We received feedback from our classmates, other groups, and teachers to improve our project.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Some of the competitive advantages my community has are the many schools that do volunteer work for the homeless, many organizations that are centered around helping the homeless, and many young people in Catholic schools who are required to finish community service hours where this would be able to apply. I have also met many people who are extremely passionate about helping the homeless and who feel that everyone deserves a place to live and thrive which is what my project is based on.

Geographic Focus

This idea targets the San Francisco Bay Area community and will hopefully expand past this.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

There will be 12 months for planning, getting permits, finding the funds, and finding areas where these tiny houses can be built. 2 months will be alloted for coming up with the materials and volunteers needed, and then another 12 months to build the houses, and implement the heating, cooling, and sewage systems in places all around the bay. This allows for 26 months total for the project to be put in place with 10 months of possible wiggle room if needed.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Morgan C

Olivia, we need more people like you working on homelessness in the Bay Area! Have you seen this article about the tiny houses that Gregory Kloehn builds for homeless people in West Oakland?

Unfortunately, the city tears down these shelters (in much the same way they get rid of tents). Now, Oakland is housing homeless people in Tuff Sheds, but there aren't enough of those.

I would love to see you take this idea to some mayors in the Bay Area and get their buy-in and commitment. And perhaps you could design the interior of their Tuff Sheds!

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Morgan, I am so shocked - profoundly - to hear these stories by Olivia, you and others. America has painted itself into a beautifully looking corner with pancakes, roses, milk and honey, which is "marketed" via Hollywood where everything is so glossy, so nobody, simply nobody, will believe a word of what you are trying to say...

Only one thing really supports this terrible news about the deplorable state of USA, namely the election of Donald Tumor, which puts a focus on, that the majority of the electorate apparently is under educated, because its proven that there is a direct connection betwewn low education, low living, and populist voting pattern.

The terrible part of this is, that poverty comes with low education, so the evil circle proves, that when a president like Donsld Tumor can be elected, it is a sign of abject poverty, striking the major part of USA's population.

So, maybe USA does not need a wall to Mexico, but collaboration. Maybe they do not need trade war, but collaboration. Etc etc. But with someone like Donald Dump, it shows that the problem is rotted much deeper, and this is very worrying.

I believe in that we sort out problems by creating scalable solutions which can be carried out by the very people, and where the sum of actions creates a new path, a new habit, a new possibility.

Therefore, I strongly strongly believe in solutions which can be scaled like this, and I see yours as a part of this pattern, so I just wanted to give you a substantiated thumbs up, doing what is right to do, creating awareness about this problem.

What do we do about this perception that everybody in USA are rich, beautiful and well functioning when facts is that more than half of the electorate is indeed in the shambles, over weight, disease strickenly obese, or outright sick from "The American way" ?

Surely we do not sort this out by "America First", because, frankly, they now need the world much more than we need them, and no further sick military action in the world can give them their health back, leave alone their livelihood, the worlds respect for them.

So. Your project is good, and must be published, as recognition, honesty, integrity, are buildingstones of building societies. Humanity, charity, humbleness, helpfulness too...

What can we maybe do for you?

David / Thomas
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator

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