Where we started.
The involvement of Alki United Church of Christ (Alki UCC) with Camp Second Chance started with good intentions and virtually no planning. We raised $21,000 at our annual fundraiser specifically to build tiny homes for the homeless. After taking some time to figure it out, we learned that Camp Second Chance, a local City of Seattle sanctioned encampment for people experiencing homelessness, needed tiny homes and we were ready to build. We recruited a group of core volunteers and began our first tiny home on March 16, 2018. Some of our volunteers had excellent skills; some none at all. We all wanted to help and were ready to roll up our sleeves to get the job done.
We realized we needed to be more efficient in our building process, so we set out to fine tune each step. We improved some design elements to make the tiny houses more like real homes. We started to built the next homes assembly-line style April 7th and finished August 25th. We worked. Every. Single. Saturday.
When we finished the last tiny home, we experienced the joy as the residents received the keys to their new homes! For five months we helped build a community of not only physical structures but also community connections. We shared work, meals and laughter with our neighbors at Camp Second Chance. We learned to be efficient in time and material costs, and in the process created a system that other volunteers who share our passion can follow. But most importantly, friendships were sparked between the Camp Second Chance residents and Alki UCC volunteers.
Who we are now.
After the first homes were built, we started Sound Foundations NW, a network of volunteers from all over Seattle who have a deep commitment to the tiny home movement for the homeless. Still an important outreach project of Alki UCC, Sound Foundations NW unites the broader volunteer community with the church’s mission of helping others in need.
Recently we have “retooled” and included an all-weather construction tent with templates for the walls and the roof. This significantly shortens the construction process for the tiny homes.
We have so much more to do!
Where we’re going.
There are currently 10 tents like these at Camp Second Chance which are not completely weatherproof, insulated or secure. In 2019 we intend to replace all of these tents with tiny homes. While we build these homes, we will continue to teach new teams of volunteer builders construction and organizing skills. Just as important, we will teach volunteers how to build communities within their respective groups as well as within the greater Camp Second Chance community – in other words, we mentor friendships!
Our long-term goal is to provide instruction, guidance and support to as many volunteers and groups of volunteers who wish to dedicate themselves to the mission of getting homeless persons off the ground and out of tents.