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High school students help improve Norcal housing crisis by building tiny homes for homeless

More than 400 students from 27 high school and youth build programs across Northern California are taking over the Cosumnes River College parking lot for the 33rd Annual Design Build Competition.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hundreds of high school students in Northern California are building tiny homes to make a big difference for a good cause. 

More than 400 students from 27 high school and youth build programs across Northern California are taking over the Cosumnes River College parking lot for the 33rd Annual Design Build Competition. Teams will build tiny houses, sheds, playhouses and agricultural structures for the homeless. After the competition, schools will either donate their structures to regional nonprofits or sell their structures to help fund future school projects or Career Technical Education classes.

“We are excited about this, we are giving back to our community,” Ian Smith, a senior at Laguna Creek High School, said.

Students have been working on designing their structures since December. According to Jordan Blair, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange [SRBX] Education Foundation, the designs have also been reviewed by industry professionals and will take shape over the two-day competition. Once the competition is over, 26 tiny homes will be built and six will be donated to homeless veterans.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us, mostly the students that get to invest time in careers they’re interested in,” Rob Haywarth, a Laguna Creek High School teacher, said.

Schedule of events:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 – Student Construction Takes Place
8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Thursday, May 2 – Student Construction Takes Place

The Design Build program was started by the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange in 1986. Blair said the program provides an opportunity for high school students to gain firsthand knowledge of the construction industry while providing real, hands on experience.

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