This Man Is Turning Trash Into Treasure For The Homeless Population In His Neighborhood
What started as an art project morphed into a way to help those living on the street.
We’ve probably all heard the idiom, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Gregory Kloehn has taken that sentence literally by making miniature homes for the homeless using discarded materials from around Oakland, California.
Kloehn is an artist and construction manager who challenged himself to building a tiny home in one day. One rainy night, a homeless woman from his neighborhood rang the bell to ask if he had a tarp. He gave her the tiny home instead, and he has been building homes for the homeless every since.
“Our goal is to bring together imaginative people and discarded material to make sturdy, innovative, mobile shelters for the homeless people,” Kloehn states on his website. “By sourcing our materials from illegal street dumping, commercial waste, and excess household items, we strive to diminish money’s influence over the building process. Instead we want people’s creativity and ingenuity to drive the building process.”
Okay, how much more can we love this man?!
Here’s an example of one of the homes.
And here’s Kloehn inside of one.
“Each structure is unique and all homes are mobile so that they can accommodate the nomadic lifestyle of our homeless residents while avoiding the complexities of permanent structures,” Kloehn writes on his site. “The Homeless Home Project is an asymmetrical approach to modern living where collective ideas, good will, and basic construction skills unite to repurpose the abundance of everyday garbage into viable living space.”
Take a look at another home, which even has an umbrella up top to provide some shade.
One day, Kloehn thought, “Hey, I want to make my own home. And I want to source material from the street. Could I build a home in one day for no money?” he said in NationSwell’s YouTube video about the project.
The answer? Yes.
He’s built 35 mini homes himself, and volunteers have built dozens more, according to NationSwell.
Plus, in so doing, Kloehn not only gets to know homeless people, he said, but also their lifestyles.
And his clientele, area homeless people, seem to appreciate his efforts.
Sheila, the woman who received Kloehn’s first tiny home, said, “We don’t have to worry about drying our blankets out and drying our clothes out, you know?”
And as a homeless man in NationSwell’s video said, “If it wasn’t for Greg, we’d be still sleeping on the ground. He has a big heart.”
You can check out a NationSwell’s YouTube video about the Homeless Home Project here.