“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 H.U.T.S. designer
Then Harold met Adrienne of Homeless Action!, who already knew the Task Force for the Homeless. In just a few weeks, we funded and began to build 10 H.U.T.S. (Harold’s Utilitarian Transitional Shelters) for the homeless. What an outstanding collaborative effort and success!!! Funds were raised at our annual event, October in Paradise, and through generosity.com, a fundraising website. Task Force supporters gave above and beyond our expectations.
The process was long and took lots of helping hands. Harold Wallin, artist and H.U.T.S. designer, along with volunteers from Homeless Action!, CalServes Americorps, Habitat for Humanity and First United Methodist Church, who also provided us with the location to build ten H.U.T.S., gave their all.
Six of the ten are presently being placed in Santa Rosa. Two are going to The Living Room, a nonprofit agency, and will provide space and privacy to two of the women they serve. Four have been placed on a commercial property owned by a generous supporter. We have four more H.U.T.S. to place and are seeking new partners in Healdsburg and West County.
Each H.U.T.S. interior measures approximately 4′ x7′ with 6’2″ in standing room. The door is lockable and there are storage bins, a paned 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 H.U.T.S. through private parties, public lands or faith-based communities 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.