Californian Artist Building Houses for the Homeless for $40

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( — February 23, 2015)  — California is a state of contrasts: The most beautiful and luxurious homes on one side, and an increasing number of homelessness people on the other. Fortunately, there are Californians who care about that problem. An artist from Oakland has figured out an ingenious way to build $40 houses out of scrap material found on the street.

Greg Kloehn builds homes from pallets, boards, washing mashine doors, and other scrap material that he finds lying around. He noticed homeless people are building shelters from what they can find on the street, and decided to do the same…. with an added touch of his artistic soul.

Kloehn builds several eye-catching houses that are no bigger than cardboard box houses homeless people usually build, but they are  much more resilient, with specially designed windows allowing the Californian sun to reach the interior. Of course, Kloehn’s houses are much better looking too.

Kloehn doesn’t have the city pemission to build housing units, so he jokes that he constructs “illegal homes out of illegal garbage.” The cost of one house is from “$30 to $40,” Kloehn said. Depending on the style, inspiration and material he finds, he needs about a week to finish a house.

“The real cost is just in the wheels: I buy large casters for the bottom, so that they are mobile, and then nails, and screws, and paintbrushes. But everything else I get for free,” he said.

The houses are much more comfortable than cardboard box ones. There are warmer and provide just enough room to lie down and make it through the night, Russia Today reported.

The houses are just comfortable enough to lie down in a warmer place than a cardboard box, and the homeless in Oakland are “so happy,” Kloehn told the Independent. “One cried and got on his knees to thank me. They think I should make them bigger and suggest improvements. They like to decorate the homes themselves.”

About 25 people currently use the Kloehn’s homes, out of 28 he built, Russia Today reported. One couple’s home burned down, another one was stolen, and a third was sold.

“One guy remodeled the house and made it twice as big!,” Kloehn said. “It is tough out there. So I keep making more,” he added.

 “There are some quick, easy homes in maybe two or three days. But some more elaborate ones, some more Victorian-style ones, some different dome shapes – it takes a little bit longer,” he told RT.

The creator chooses funny names for the homes: R2D2, The Settler, Romanian Farm House, Uni-bomber Shack, the Tank and The Chuck Wagon to name a few.

“They are not just homes but fast becoming a life style option,” Kohen said.