An Oakland based artist, Gregory Kloehn, was attempting to work on a homeless architecture book when he became nothing short of INSPIRED! In awe of the creativity and resourcefulness of the homeless community that he was studying, Gregory was moved to establish a bit of permanence to their methodology. Motivated by the survival instincts of the homeless, this man took to the trash cans and dumpsters to find building materials for these artistic tiny homes. “I wish that I could say that I set out to house the homeless, but my motivation was not so lofty,” writes Gregory. Intention or not… from this art project, the Homeless Homes Project was born.
Sifting through the garbage and illegally dumped waste, the materials are found to begin construction.
Home is where the heart is. If you ask any of the homeless in this area, I’m sure they’ll say their heart is with Gregory Kloehn.
Here are a couple of homes still in the production/ fabrication stage.
Gregory build these tiny homes, takes a few photos and gives them away.
This woman is very grateful that Gregory was able to build and give her a home.
Some paint schemes are artistically inspired, others are just decided upon by what happens to be on hand.
As you can see, all of the homes are as unique and individual as the people who receive them.
Ideas came from the ingenuity of the homeless to create shelters from the available resources… other people’s trash.
“I give them to the homeless that I know living right in my neighborhood. I make a home for each person or a couple. Some people live just down the block from me. They are my neighbors.” Gregory says.
With a background in construction and art, his talents are well utilized in the creation process.
Gregory Kloehn can kick out one of these homes in a week or so by himself! With more people like him, think of how much we could do to solve our homelessness problems.
Gregory says, “I want to challenge myself as to what I can make a home out of, and in the process be able to make a difference in someone’s life.” And make a difference he does!
You can see the coffee bags used to make the shingles on the home with the red door.
Look how nice the inside of this one is, looks like a nice rustic cabin.
Gregory Kloehn digs through garbage for supplies to build these amazing tiny homeless homes.
Paints are also found in some of the trash piles, but some materials are donated.
A door with a lock is something that many of Gregory’s homeless neighbors haven’t had in years.
Plenty of cubby space to keep their belongings safe.
Most of the homes are built with 200 lb rated caster wheels to allow for these homes to be easily transported.
Mobility is important as the city sometimes makes the homeless move every couple of weeks.
“There is a spontaneity and playfulness in making small homes that traditional houses do not offer. It reminds me of making forts as a kid, no city planners, no architects, no crews, no bank loans, just my ideas and my hands and the stuff I find in the streets.” says Gregory.
Pallets, camper shells, dog kennel, refrigerator door, shower caddy – it appears that nothing is going to waste.
Lights, sink and a cooler for food? Why not?
Having a 60″x80″ micro home could make all the difference in the world to a person who spent last week living in a box or sleeping on the sidewalk.
With this double-decker, it seems that the only limitation is imagination!
Gregory has hopes that everyone will start building the homeless homes. He is a minimalist of sorts, realizing that as far as a home goes, the smaller it is, the happier he seems. I don’t know if the small or tiny homes ideal is going to become a wildly accepted trend, but think about all the other options you would have to spend your money if it wasn’t tied up in your 30 year mortgage!
What are your thoughts?