Living in a Dumpster

The Homeless Homes Project, which features tiny structures built out of illegally dumped garbage and industrial waste, is becoming more than an environmental stance or garbage art. These little hoHomeless Homemes are fast becoming a collaborative project between different groups wanting to help shelter people who live on the streets. This simple and beautiful idea is the work of Gregory Kloehn, an artist out of Oakland, CA.

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The Homeless Homes Project did not start out of a desire to actually help the homeless, but happened by way of researching the “architecture” that results when people living on the streets have to create their own shelter from surrounding resources.  After realizing someone could actually live in what he had built, Kloehn gave one away. Helping meet someone’s basic need for shelter made him feel so good he decided to build more.

The cost is minimal, usually between $30 and $40 because Kloehn only buys items like screws, glue and paint.  The rest of the “home” is literally made from garbage and unwanted items. When he completes a home he takes it to the street and gives it away. “From that point on, I have no more say in it,” Kloehn said.  “The homes take on a life of their own.  One was stolen, one was sold, one was firebombed, one is in a neighbor’s backyard with dogs living in it, the rest are still on the streets with people living in them."