Our Own Backyard Porta-Homes
A 2016 study estimated that 1 in 10 Cal State college students are homeless. And 1 in 5 don't have steady access to life's essentials. In a city where 55,000+ homeless roam the streets and the affordable housing crisis is pushing more and more residents to the outskirts of town or into poverty, the future of our communities--our students--has been left behind.
But the homelessness housing crisis happening in our own backyard has a solution--in our own backyards. LA has tons of available residential space. Backyards. Empty lots. Transitional plots. Traditional development makes housing the homeless in these areas unrealistic. But what if someone provided affordable, portable, temporary housing to occupy these plots?
This campaign for Our Own Backyard Homes aims to do just that. But first, we need to raise awareness about the availability of residential land here. Our porta home is designed to do just that, getting attention for micro-housing solutions by building and touring a striking prototype around the city. We'll prove the lifestyle not only works, but that it's an attractive, sustainable, dignified community-oriented approach to solving our city's most pressing issue.
Funds raised through this campaign go first towards the completion of our prototype construction--already halfway done!--and implementation and publicization of the tour. Since we run an incredibly lean budget with little overhead, additional monies will be set aside for housing our first residents.
Your contribution makes a huge impact. Not just for the organization, but for the thousands of kids living in unstable circumstances while fighting for a brighter future. Together we can help end that fight.
TK Devine, Founder of Our Own Backyard Homes
WHO WE ARE:
TK Devine is a small-space-living enthusiast with a background in non-profit management and entertainment. His writing on homelessness and voluntary simplicity has been published in LA Weekly, Salon, Business Insider, and The Good Men Project and he's given interviews everywhere from CBS and FusionTV to WGN and The Penny Pincher. He was one of last year's Tiny House Jamboree keynote speakers and published in the 2016 anthology "Turning Tiny: The Small-Living Paradigm". TK has an churned out successful projects from campaigns like this, from books for needy children to ethnographic documentaries.
He has directed full-time and volunteered part-time for non-profits, supporting LA's underserved communities for over six years.
Our team is sharp, diverse, and passionate about its community. We include architects, urban planners, designers, carpenters, executives, gardeners, non-profiteers and creatives. And many of us have had our own personal experiences with what many people would call homelessness, living in our vehicles to put ourselves through college or sleeping at work to stave off rising rent. Including our founder, TK. We understand the issues surrounding the housing deprived and are well-positioned to help those in need.
THE PORTA HOME:
Why a convert porta potty into a tiny home? Because like solutions for LA's housing-deprived, we're proving dignified living can be found in the most unexpected of places.
Our porta home prototype is our answer to LA's desperate need for affordable housing. We're appealing to companies who build small structures, proving we can build a beautiful living space out of anything. Even a toilet. If companies like PolyJohn, Tuff Shed, and Star Waggons donated us structures, we'll make them into striking living spaces for those who need them most.
Here's a look at our raw design:
The first phase of construction is complete. That's 90% of the porta home interior. The unit still needs a ventilation, secure locking, electrical wiring, and lighting installed. Once that's complete, we'll need to secure a trailer and finish the rooftop trellis, including the addition of plant life and solar power components. The main level requires water tanks, a kitchen station, and the completion of a functioning restroom to add to the existing stand-alone shower structure.
Our goal is to forge company partnerships to cut costs on the most expensive elements, but our budget is designed to cover our most pressing needs. After all, this is a prototype and we will be piloting the unit. More specifically, I (TK) will be living in it. For a year. That's how strongly I feel about proving the viability of this housing solution and making the most out of a lean budget.
Most of the housing solutions put forth under the recently passed city and county homeless housing measures cost an average of $200,000+. We believe we can build our porta homes for a fraction of the cost. Namely 1/10.
Are you part of a company interested in partnering with Our Own Backyard Homes to provide materials donations for no or low cost? Send us a private message or visit us at www.ourownbackyardhomes.org . Thank you!
The CBS segment is up! Such wonderful coverage by Jennifer and CBS Los Angeles, thank you for giving us air time!!!
Just learning how to comment! First of all, Melissa, I contacted you by email. The short answer is yes--with lots of qualifiers. Carol, we've talked as well. Jae, I'm sorry to hear about your plight but thank you for the kind words. This project is about fighting perception as much as anything, so issues like cost and sewage will be weighed to determine just what is best for our mission. As of now, the per-unit cost is consistent with the cheapest among the other relatively similar, portable solutions. But cost aside, we need to ensure the public will accept the concept before we can start subtracting from the aesthetically pleasing and functional elements of the prototype. Excited to give this all a shot though. Thanks for the support.
Thank you for the kind words, Crystallee. I'm so sorry to hear about your family's plight. I hope you find a stable situation soon. And Sunny, thanks for your comment, too. I am best by email at the moment, what with the swell of responses coming in on many fronts (all while trying to fit in working, eating, and sleeping!) but I will contact you soon. Thank you.
Would be so fortunate if my family could get a small home to call our own my husband and two young kids lost everything in house fire and been homeless since it's great what your doing and people are fortunate for your help I know my family would
Hello sir can you give me a call 2482526000
1) do not reply to my FB. i did not give site permission to its access. 2)jamieleighkahn@rocketmail 3) what a super-awesome fabulous thing to do! great idea! 4) ive been homeless for 18 months after 45% rent increase in Santa Cruz, Ca. 5) i'd be totally down for something like this to live in! forever! 6) unbelievable so many homeless students! 7)municipalities should be given this as an option to care for homeless in their communities. 8) i wholeheartedly wish you the best of luck with this invention and thank you for providing reasonable accommodations for homeless. 9) composting toilets? 10) shave the price in half. i know you can. sincerely, Rev. Jamie K
I need to get a hold of TK Devine we have a homeless ministry and what he is doing is great would like to talk to you,please contact me carolws.384@ gmail.com i live in dayton,ohio but are homeless ministry is in Greene County,ohio,please i will only take up 5 minutes of your time