Jan 16

Redwood Fencing

Sharifa showed up early to help Greg. I came a bit later along with the Nectar Village hot dog cart. A volunteer grant writer came by and we all discussed the best way to raise funds.

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Greg got a call from a nice woman who said she had a bunch of old redwood fencing she wanted to donate. Three of us piled into Tony’s truck, unloaded the cart at American Steel and headed out to Fruitvale to see what Pat had to offer. We arrived back with a pile of goodies and ideas for a new home.

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Jan 14

Pink Paint

I arrived before noon and Greg was busy laying a coat or two of paint on everything. I find the entire construction process to be real interesting. This is more of an all-weather structure than a fine home. We need it to last.

Greg is super concerned about the longevity of everything he builds. There are hundreds of decisions he makes and all of them lead to a stronger structure that can stand up to the elements and the physical forces involved in pushing these building from location to location.

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Dorian came by and let Greg know that he had an big pile of supplies for him. Nice.

After double painting all the wood and OSB, Greg and I jumped in the van for a scavenger run.

Sure enough, we passed a number of Greg’s donated homes and visited Dorian’s current address outside a glass shop. Greg tells me that Dorian keeps the place clean, sweeping up all the broken glass and making sure the pallets and broken wood are stacked neatly. Greg estimates that Dorian spends and hour or two every day making sure everything is cool out front. In exchange for that, the glass shop lets him park his “Vent-A-Hood” house in their driveway and probably donates some food daily. Woot!

Greg built this chill pad for him a few months back. He is enjoying it very much. Good Times™.

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Dorian wasn’t home when we first showed up (he came before we left) which gave Greg and and I time to pick through the pile. According to Greg, there was enough good wood for at least one house. We had the van so we couldn’t take it all, but Greg said he would come back later with his truck.

After just this one stop I can totally understand why Greg thinks each house costs him about $50 in supplies. There is just so much that you can find on the street!

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When we returned from our journey, Kelly stopped by to see her house construction in progress. She smiled and said that we made her whole week. Greg hopes to finish her shelter in the next day or two. Yeah!

Jan 13

Greg’s Motivation

Do you know what a piano is? This is not a piano.
– Greg’s friend on not overthinking the build

Everything Greg uses (with the exception of some screws and nails) is salvaged, scavanged or donated. He thinks that each of the 10 houses he has already given away cost him under $50.

Someone just donated $250. Looks like we can build another 5 houses 🙂

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Jan 13

Kelly’s Home

Greg, Nico, Isabella and I pitched in to build Kelly and her partner a new shelter. We hope to finish after another day of working.

This is GREAT fun!

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Taking off the sides for painting.

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Installing flashing.

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Jan 12

Greg Kloehn Introduction

Here is an email thread between Greg and I.

From: Greg Kloehn
Date: January 11, 2014 at 5:16:23 PM PST
Subject: Homeless Home Project
Hello Everyone,

Thanks again for all of the support and interest. It has been great and a bit overwhelming, forcing me to go where I don’t usually venture… becoming somewhat organized and making a plan. But, I definitely want to channel all this good will as soon as possible. As of now, I have a lot of eager volunteers, many offers for materials, a few leads for workshop spaces, a couple of donations and an abundance of kind words.

I would like to invite people to come by my studio in Oakland to help me finish the two homes I’m working on now. I think 3 to 5 people at a time would work perfectly for the size of my space. I’m generally available weekdays 9:00 -2:00 and weekends. For this step, it would be more of a drop-in format, where who ever comes will be assigned a task according to their skill level. Tools used to build the homes include circular saw, disc grinders, nail guns, drills, table saw, sanders, screw guns, chop saw, brooms, paints, rollers, brushes, glue guns…etc. Something for everyone! At a later date, in a different location, I would love to do a workshop with 10-15 people where we construct 2 homes in one day from start to finish and document the process.

Drivers with trucks are also needed to collect materials. Up until now I have relied on the waste I find in the streets and the goodwill of the those around me, but to take this to the next level, we will have to import some materials from elsewhere. I will need someone to coordinate the pick ups. A map and time table will have to be decided to coordinate between drivers and donors.

Materials most used in the building of the homes include; long pallets 8′ x 10′, short pallets 3′ x 4′, plywood, OSB board, futon frames, solid core doors, cabinets, glass refrigerator doors & shelves, tempered auto glass, heavy duty Casters 200 lbs.+ capacity, tar paper, plexi glass, flooring, paint, nails, screw1 1/2″ x 3″, nails for nail guns, hinges, glue, silicon, painters caulk and almost anything else for detail work. Keep your eyes out, if you see something good grab it.

A typical home consists of 5 large pallets, one small pallet, 4 casters, 4 sheets of ply ore OSB board, glass for windows and extras such as cup holders mirrors, BBQ… etc

A web site is being created at this very moment with links to twitter, instagram, Facebook and pay pal! People will be needed to help maintain and add to these media sites. I would also like to make a How-To book and video on the building process of the houses so people in other areas can participate as well. If someone is able to help process and maintain incoming inquiries and material donations that would be greatly appreciated. I think that’s enough to start with. Most importantly we should just start. So please let me know what you would like to do and when you can do it. If there is some other way you would like to help please let me know.

I look forward to meeting and working with all of you great people.

Sincerely,

Gregory Kloehn

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Dear Greg,

I am fascinated by what you have done. Congratulations and thank you for your efforts.

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I am part of a Burning Man crew funded by our non-profit Studio 1034 that is renting space at American Steel. I would like to talk with you about building tiny homes for the homeless.

Please feel free to contact me anytime.

PS: I have been reading up on Tumbleweed and love the options presented in Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.

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Your homes are cheaper and quicker to build. I would like to build and donate a number of spaces like the ones you have given away to learn the process. I am also part of a group that is working with the homeless on the Albany Bulb. I would like to present options to eviction if at all possible.