TIME U.S.

Artist Uses Trash to Make Houses for the Homeless

One of ten shelters on wheels built by Gregory Kloehn and the Homeless Homes Project in Oakland, California Brian J. Reynolds

A California artist is giving away stylish shelters on wheels so those in need can feel a little safer -- and warmer -- sleeping on the streets

Pint-sized shelters designed for people who could otherwise afford much larger abodes have captured the imagination of architects across the globe. Now one artist and builder, Gregory Kloehn of Oakland, Calif., is using his creative know-how to make cozy, colorful homes for people who would otherwise sleep on the street. Using salvaged materials he finds in the trash, Kloehn’s Homeless Homes Project has built 10 mobile shelters to date.

Each home is made from items found on the street, pallets, doors, refrigerator parts, paint, etc…. The only cost to me is screws, nails, glue and the gas it takes me to drive around Oakland and find the stuff on the street. I guesstimate each home to have $30-$50 US dollars in my cost,” Kloehn explains on his Facebook page. Built with a team of volunteers, the homes are then donated to those in need, sometimes with a bottle of champagne included.

Brian J. Reynolds

The micro homes’ floors are typically made of wooden pallets and some are insulated with pizza delivery bags. Each structure has enough room to sleep in, windows, shelves, a door and basic amenities like a mirror and cup holder. One even has a space for a pet carrier and small grill.

The results are anything but trashy. Painted vibrant yellows, greens, oranges and pinks, the shelters on wheels — which have no electrical outlets or running water — are made to be easily transportable in case an owner decides to relocate.

See more of Kloehn’s ingenious mobile homes here.

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