Homes for the Homeless 1


Nowadays you find green and innovative technology around almost every corner. Projects based on improving the environment and making healthier living conditions for everyone are on the rise in today’s society. Let’s not forget documentaries like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and the annual Earth Day, matters that are meant to encourage people to recycle more and also to try to make use of objects and other viable sources that would otherwise be regarded as trash. The internet is filled with do it yourself projects that transform everyday household items to various useful ideas. Yes, you can turn plastic spoons into a beautiful modern looking ceiling lamp, but did you also know houses could be recycled as well?

Counting on to nearly five years the California based artist Gregory Kloehn has been building miniature mobile homes which he gives out completely free of charge to those in need. Junk yards, dumpsters and illegally dumped waste lying on the streets of his hometown in Oakland are his main source for material (and also frequent visits to the hardware store to stock up on paint and tools.)

DIY – How to build your second-home

The first home Gregory built was initially meant for himself as sort of second-home for the artist, until one day a homeless woman appeared in search of a tarpaulin. Under the circumstances of not having a tarpaulin at hand he decided to gift his second-home to her. As the Dailymail reported “[…]The next day, she and her husband Oscar came round, I handed them the keys and a bottle of champagne and watched them push it down the street. It felt so good that I started making another one that same day.”

Ever since that encounter with the two very grateful strangers, Gregory Kloehn has been working on helping out the less fortunate people around his area. Seeing how the DIY houses are environmental friendly and also fairly cheap to build Kloehn aims to lessen future housing problems by building these compact and mobile homes for them to reside in.

It is surprising what a few parts of a dumped washing machine and some old wooden pallets can create. Along with other thrown away scraps and pieces Kloehn is able to put these to use by installing outdoor stoves for cooking, windows, cupboards and even toilets. These tiny homes do not only offer shelter, security and happiness for the new owners, but they also represent hope that future architectural developments and projects do not have to solely rely on financial means to get the job done.

The Homeless Homes Project

As a continuation of his work Kloehn created the website the “Homeless Homes Project”, a platform that gives volunteers and donors from across the country a chance to communicate with each other and to actively help spread the idea behind the innovative project. The “Homeless Homes Project” allows these people to be a part and also take part in creating more homes for others. The most noteworthy and most important part of the construction, is the fact that the homes can be carried around, which makes living conditions for homeless wanderers much more convenient. As Gregory explains “

I think their mobility is one of the most revolutionary aspects of the tiny home movement as your customized home could follow you wherever you needed to be. […] If you built a home that followed you throughout your life, I bet you would be a bit more thoughtful in your choices.” Although these homes are thoughtfully built by Kloehn the future of them is entirely up to their new owners. Among the ten he has given away some have already been sold, stolen and even burnt.

The artist is currently continuing his architectural work in Brooklyn, New York, where he now financially supports himself by making homes for others out of shipping containers.

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