Students build a tiny house to help reduce homelessness

When it rains, it pours.

And it poured most of the weekend while students from Puget Sound’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity raced to build a tiny house for the homeless in two days—but they didn’t let a little “liquid sunshine” dampen their spirits.

Gathered in a corner of the Wheelock Student Center parking lot, the soaked students joined forces with dozens of volunteers from across campus who worked in two-hour shifts. Members of the Business Leadership Program helped raise the walls, Honors Program students tackled the roof, and Logger student-athletes secured floor studs and laid down shingles. President Isiaah Crawford picked up a hammer and went to work on a side wall.

Members of the build team with the completed tiny house

The project was supported by funding from the Associated Students of University of Puget Sound (ASUPS) and local construction company Gray Lumber, which subsidized building materials. Once complete, the house would be donated to the Low Income Housing Institute, a Seattle-based organization that provides these 96-square-feet unheated, unfurnished homes to area tiny house villages as a temporary solution to the city’s housing crisis.

“Tiny houses are one potential solution for helping people off the street and into a stable shelter with an address,” says Elise Phillips ’18, a microbiology major and co-president of the campus Habitat chapter. “We hope to contribute in a small way to the reduction of homelessness through the building of these tiny house communities.”

Though rain slowed construction, forcing organizers to postpone finishing touches until after the weekend, enthusiasm for the build was high. Neighbors walking through campus stopped to hear about the project and snap photos with the crew. By Monday, the house was painted a bright, cheerful blue with white trim, and one tiny house was ready to be a home.

See the Puget Sound tiny house come together in our photo gallery: