Sound Foundations NW Move and Improve

Sound Foundations NW ( )  is proud to announce a new partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute ( ). This new partnership will help meet this demand of building several more tiny homes while getting homeless residents who are transiting to permanent housing the essential services that have made this model a success.

As you know, LIHI provides the necessary infrastructure, leadership and case management that will help continue to grow the capacity to build more villages.  Additionally, LIHI facilitates essential social services, employment, and educational opportunities for the tiny home residents.  LIHI also focuses on building the structures for permanent affordable housing.  Sound Foundations NW’s role has always been to provide LIHI with quality tiny homes designed and built to last over 20 years.  This will not change.


In the past three years, we have built a system to end homelessness.  Here are the results so far:

1.  No one living in a tiny house has tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately, 440 people living in emergency shelters (50 locations), homeless housing (37 locations), and camping outdoors have tested positive in King County.

2.  Last year, working with LIHI’s dedicated case managers, 52% of the tiny home village residents who exited moved into long term housing: 36% moved into permanent housing.

3.  Also last year, 16% of tiny home village residents moved into transitional housing (many with Section 8 subsidies). In contrast, only 4% of people who exited emergency shelters and 23% who exited enhanced shelters obtained permanent housing.  


Sound Foundations NW wants to improve our part of the solution in two ways:  1) by moving to a larger, more permanent space and 2) redesigning the building system to make more of the same quality tiny homes faster. 


Beginning on November 1, 2020, Sound Foundations NW will move its operations from the “Big Tent” at Camp Second Chance to a warehouse space in SODO provided by LIHI.  The new space doubles our build footprint to 6,000 square feet, with the option to add additional space as needed. LIHI will also use some of the additional separate space this warehouse provides for like-minded programs. 

IMPORTANT: SFNW tiny home production will cease in November as we gear up at our new facility.  

After the move is complete, we are pleased to donate the Big Tent to Camp Second Chance to use as their new community center.


We are redesigning the building model to increase production speed.  We will continue to use Tomasz Biernacki’s jig system.  However, instead of building one tiny home at a time (i.e., two homes every three weeks) we will reconfigure our current platform to an assembly line system.  When fully operational, we estimate that we can build between 1-2 tiny homes PER DAY!  We hope to start our new build system in December.



YES!  Seattle City Council has approved funding for establishing the infrastructure for three additional tiny home villages (for a total of 105-150 homes) within the next six months.  Seattle City Council has also passed an ordinance (without funding) to develop up to 40 more tiny home villages.  That is between 1400-2000 new tiny homes!



YOUR TIME: During the month of November, just as we always have for weekly volunteer needs in the Big Tent, we will e-mail our newsletter and post on Facebook  our move progress and what hands-on help we need for the upcoming week.  This will be your opportunity to help us transition into our new space. 

DONATIONS: We estimate our November moving costs to be around $6,800.  This will support the work listed above and some new equipment including electrical and pneumatic lines, a pallet jack, another air compressor, etc.  

You have always given generously in the past. With the onset of Covid, our mission has never been more vital.   If we should raise more than the amount needed for this move, we will use 100% of the excess donations toward building materials for the next tiny homes.  Every dollar helps us move closer to getting folks off the streets and into a space that is warm, safe, dry and with Covid, healthy.  THANK YOU for supporting us as we move and improve!


In the long run, funding of this project will be a combination of private and public monies.  It will be all of us, coming together for a cause we hold so dear:  to get everyone off the streets.

Based on our research, we believe we are the only ones in the United States who will build tiny transitional homes assembly-line style.  That means that not only are you part of the solution, you are a part of a group of pioneers who will end homelessness better and faster.

Thank you again for being a part of Sound Foundations NW.  Thank you for being a part of the solution to end homelessness.  We truly do have the best volunteers (and donors!) in the world.


Barb Oliver
Director of Operations / Volunteer Coordinator
Sound Foundations NW


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Barb Oliver 
Seattle, WA
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