“I started thinking about homeless shelters as an artist looking for a solution to a problem. The more sketches I made the more clear it became what I wanted to achieve. I wanted a safe, secure shelter for a person and their possessions, one that is mobile, and allows a person to maintain their dignity. The shelter would, by necessity, be lockable while away and securable from within. So the design criteria became: functional, lightweight, portable, easily built, and inexpensive. There had to be room to sleep comfortably, with a place to sit, and full standing headroom.” ~ Harold Wallin, artist and HUTS designer
Then Harold met Adrienne Lauby of Homeless Action!, who already knew the Task Force for the Homeless. Together, in just a few weeks, we funded and began to build 10 HUTS for the homeless. What an outstanding collaborative effort and success!!! Funds were raised at our annual event, October in Paradise. Task Force supporters gave above and beyond our expectations. Additional funding was raised through the fundraising website generosity.com.
The construction process was long, at times difficult, and it took lots of helping hands. Harold and volunteers from Homeless Action!, CalServes Americorps, Habitat for Humanity, and First United Methodist Church worked steadily to complete all ten HUTS at a site graciously provided by First United Methodist Church on their Stony Point campus. The final cost of construction and setup was only $800 per shelter.
Seven of the ten HUTS are presently placed in Santa Rosa. Two are at The Living Room, a nonprofit day center for homeless and at-risk women and children. The HUTS will provide sleeping space and privacy to two of the women they serve. Four have been placed on a commercial property owned by a compassionate supporter. The seventh is on a residential lot sponsored by the homeowner. We are always looking for more locations for our HUTS. Please contact us if you can help.
Each HUTS interior measures approximately 4′x7′ with 6’2″ of standing room. The door is lockable and there are storage bins, a window with a curtain, and solar lighting. A roll-up mattress and bedding are included.
With recent changes in the City of Santa Rosa’s regulations to accommodate our homeless state of emergency, we’re hoping to find additional locations to place more HUTS. We are seeking to partner with private parties, faith-based communities or public land holders that have a commitment to this vulnerable community. We welcome your support for this and all our projects, not simply through donations, but through volunteerism and community building achieved through word of mouth and grassroots organizing.
Contact Homeless Action!