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Tiny homes travel from SF to Chico for Paradise fire evacuees

December 20, 2018

By Amy Farah Weiss – linkedin

One of the 5x8x8 tiny homes headed to Chico provided transitional shelter for 6 months to a Mission Bay encampment resident.
One of the 5x8x8 tiny homes headed to Chico provided transitional shelter for 6 months to a Mission Bay encampment resident.

Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge (SFHC) is partnering with Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) and SF’s Dykes with Drills  to bring two of our “Mobile SRO” tiny home shelters to Chico this Saturday (12/22). The tiny homes will provide transitional shelter for two people displaced by the recent fires in Paradise.

#SOS Chico. CHAT began their efforts to provide safe organized spaces for Chico’s unsheltered residents over five years ago and have proudly provided over 20 tiny homes and transition support to those in need. Bob and Leslie, two of CHAT’s lead organizers, estimated that prior to the Paradise fires there were over 1,000 people in need of shelter in Chico, and that since the fire the number of unsheltered residents has increased by thousands more.

From Mission Bay encampment to Chico. One of SFHC’s 5x8x8 mobile tiny homes was designed and constructed by SFHC partner Moksha Osgood, and was used as transitional shelter for 6 months by “DL” at a Mission Bay encampment in San Francisco in 2017. DL had been living in a tent in San Francisco for over a decade when he was given the key for the locking mobile shelter (built to meet NFPA standards for small RVs). In the photo above, you can see DL pushing his mobile tiny home on King Street in Mission Bay for a scheduled DPW cleaning.

DL said “Staying in the shelter, knowing there was a lock, made me feel safe while I slept for the first time in years. I could actually have a safe space to think instead of having to be alert in case someone tried to break into my tent while I slept.” When DL was able to get into a Navigation Center in 2017, SFHC picked up the shelter from the encampment and put it in storage; now it will be getting a second life to provide safe, locking transitional shelter to someone displaced from the fires in Paradise.

The second 5x8x8 tiny home we are bringing to Chico on Saturday was designed and constructed by SFHC volunteer Marcus Rosenthal and built at Asian Neighborhood Design in San Francisco. Marcus designed his model based on a version of Moksha’s design that would be easy to mass produce. It is already constructed in 6 pieces and will take approximately 1-2 hours to assemble by the Dykes with Drills team once we arrive to Chico on Saturday morning. The cost of materials for both of the tiny home shelters are approximately $1,000 each.



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