The cost of building a tiny house, $2500 in donations, had been tallied and spent. Materials for construction were delivered via six truckloads to safe storage. Tools were loaned and enthusiasm cooked to a boil. In response, a talented volunteer work crew assembled last Wednesday to complete the first four steps in building a tiny Home for the Homeless. In 3½ hours they completed a floor with insulation.
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) provides many supportive services for the homeless. Mark Friesen, a newcomer to the Maple Valley Four Corners area, is a member of LIHI. He first initiated the idea for building a Tiny House to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SVLC). LIHI partners with Puget Sound cities, businesses, non-profits, churches and schools to address the Puget Sound area homeless epidemic. They provide “very simple” 23-step tiny house assembly instructions that are often completed in five days by a small work crew.
To the homeless residents in the tiny homes, LIHI provides supportive services. They assist residents in maintaining their housing and teach self-sufficiency. The efforts include case management, life skills training, technology access and training, financial literacy training and savings programs, and activities for the 500 homeless children in LIHI housing.
Donations to Homes for the Homeless reached the $2500 goal within 10 days of the initial request. Building materials of significant value came with a corporate discount and local store coupons from Home Depot in Covington. Johnson’s Home and Garden at Four Corners donated, with no strings attached, all materials for the last major step in completing the tiny home.
Future dates to “arrive by 5:30, eat, and build” are Wednesdays – July 25, August 1st, 8th, and 15th. Thereafter, construction is complete. Transporting Maple Valley’s tiny home to Seattle is accomplished through LIHI.
Volunteers wishing to help construct the local tiny home, or community members curious about the progress, can visit the construction site the next four Wednesday evenings – SVLC, 23855 SE 216thSt, Maple Valley.