OSD students help build micro homes for homeless

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OSD students help build micro homes for homeless
Students in front of microhomeFive Olympia School District students are helping keep our city’s residents warmer and safer at night thanks to a micro home project in partnership with the City of Olympia and numerous other local organizations.

OSD students Jorden Bevens, Bryan Loarca, David Hill and Daylan Stevenson of Capital High School, and Dairic Hunt of Olympia High School, helped build many of these micro homes. They worked in tandem with students from various other schools in the YouthBuild program at the New Market Skills Center. New Market is a consortium of local school districts that provide essential technical educational training.

Micro homes are being placed in Olympia at the sanctioned camping area known as the Downtown Mitigation Site. Installation began this spring, and there will eventually be 60 micro homes in total.

Each micro home is 10 feet by 10 feet, taking up about as much space as a tent while allowing the occupant increased safety and protection from the elements. Every unit has a locking door, insulated walls, floor, roof and window. The construction deters pests and smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are installed in each unit.

“I am supportive of this program and knowing that those students have contributed to alleviate some of the social barriers that we have in our community is really a positive,” said Pat Cusack, OSD Director of College and Career Readiness.

“The micro homes project allowed me to practice basic construction skills that I will need in my future construction career,” said Hill, one of the students who participated. “I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that I am doing something to help solve the homeless issues in Olympia.”

The students were involved in every aspect of the construction, including framing, siding, painting, flooring, roofing, hanging the windows, doors and trim.

“I can tell you from my perspective, they have been developing great entry level construction and employability skills,” said New Market teacher Matt Newton. “They have also become a part of something bigger than themselves. I hope that they can build off the positive community involvement and continue working to help be the solution for a serious and real problem in our town.”