Snohomish students build tiny houses to ease homeless problem

Students from around the state are helping shelter those out on the streets by quite literally putting a roof over their heads. They're learning a lesson in compassion by building hope for the homeless.

As far as high school projects go, building tiny homes to help the homeless is a pretty ambitious one.

There are no paper towel holders or bird houses being made in Matt Johnson's shop class at Snohomish High School right now. His students are building an actual house.

"It's really great to see the students getting so into it," Johnson said.

Seeing the epidemic of homelessness around them, students in Johnson's class are building what's called a "tiny house" to be given to someone living on the streets.

"We have a large homeless community," said senior Bryan Slavin. "Making these homes can help out quite a bit."

"They'll be able to get back on their feet, have a place to live," added senior Ray Destefano. "They can stay dry, get a job, and have a place to come back home to at night."

The tiny house is part of a much bigger picture that is partnering students in schools across the state with local businesses and social service agencies to bring a temporary fix to our homeless epidemic.

The students at Snohomish secured a $2,500 grant, donations from Cascade Lumber, and some guidance from local contractor Gordon Cole to make the project come together.

Students from across the state will converge in Olympia on Monday, March 27th to show off their work to lawmakers. The tiny houses will then be delivered to a sanctioned homeless camp in North Seattle.

By the time all of the schools participating are done, 26 people will have a place to live, and the students will get a window into a different world.

"The amount of engagement we have from our students is beyond just an assignment,” said Johnson. “It really does affect our community. It gives them a sense of purpose.”

Copyright 2017 KING


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