Tiny houses to help the homeless

BOISE -- A local group has a new and unique take on a way to help the homeless population -- building tiny houses.

A non-profit called Idaho Tiny Houses is hoping to provide the funds needed so that families in need can help build their own 200 square foot house.

The group just got started in March.

They're hoping to sell tiny homes to customers, then use the profits to donate tiny homes to the homeless.

The homes look just like yours -- with windows and doors, and appliances and plumbing, but they are much smaller.

Matthew Scott is the president and says he just wanted a way to provide a fresh start for those in need.

"The houses I've seen and floor plans I've seen it just feels like a real house," said Scott.

The houses are less than 200 square feet and are built on a flat bed trailer. They are about 8 feet wide by about 20 feet long, with all amenities you would need.

"There can be a bathroom sink or a kitchen sink with a divider for the bedroom," said Scott.

The homes would cost $5,000 to $20,000. The group would sell the homes to customers, then use the profit to build more tiny homes for the homeless.

"We plan to build tiny houses for the general public and take the profits and plow them into materials for the homeless," said Scott.

Homeless families would then go through a screening process and help complete the work to build the home they would live in.

Scott says they're still in the early stages of figuring out how the program would work and where the homes would go.

But, the group says providing a roof and for those without could make a big difference.

"The same bed every night, a place to shower, lock the door, accept mail, come and go as you please, I think it's critical that we have that foundation," said Harley Parson, a volunteer with Idaho Tiny Houses.

We took the plan to Jean Lockhart with the Boise Rescue Mission, who says she supports it.

"I think it's a great opportunity, I'm really excited about it, I think it's going to be a perfect fit for many people," said Lockhart.

She says a big key to the program success would be educating families on how to take care of their new home.

Lockhart says while it won't fix everything, it could definitely help.

"I definitely think it could work in Boise, I think with the right screening and the right training, this definitely could be something that's a benefit to the homeless," said Lockhart.

For more information on the organization, click here.


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