A number of cities in the US are turning to a ‘housing first’ model to address the affordable housing crisis.
Gregory Kloehn likes to challenge people’s ideas of home.
Since 2010 the Oakland Californian artist whose ‘dumpster house’ was featured on the Rachel Ray show in 2012 has been photographing and studying all different kinds of homes.
Kloehn is particularly fascinated by structures made out of simple tarps and cardboard boxes.
So a few years ago he decided to try his hand at building a home out of other people’s trash.
‘I wanted to go shopping on the street – pick up illegally dumped items that I see every day and see what I could build with them’ Kloehn says.
‘I really wanted to make a home for one day for no money’.
The first home Kloehn built was more of an experiment.
He slept in it for a few nights and then it sat in his studio – unused.
And then one day a homeless woman he had befriended came by and asked if she could borrow a tarp for the night.
Kloehn gave her and her husband the home he had built instead.
Today, through the Homeless Homes Project, Kloehn has given away over 50 tiny homes in Oakland California.
All of the homes that Kloehn builds are constructed out of discarded household items that he finds on the sidewalks and alleys of Oakland – trash – old appliances – broken furniture – and they’re all on wheels (one of the few building materials Kloehn purchases) so that they can be moved as needed.
While it might seem radical to build houses out of bed frames and windows out of washing machine doors – Kloehn isn’t the only visionary working on turning trash into homes.