Schools And Community Working Together To Combat Homelessness

Join The Sawhorse Revolution!

What is the Sawhorse Revolution?

It’s a group of youths, that through their school has come together to form a construction program. This program is mainly focused on building tiny houses creating an eco-village at Nickelsville.

Nickelsville is located in Seattle, WA and is their largest homeless encampment.  Encampments are where a group of people come together for security, safety and a sense of community.

The coordinator of the project Sarah Smith, along with a group of high school students approached the residence of the encampment for the possible construction of customized tiny houses, build by hand.

These houses are being built by students, who will have the opportunity to learn how to construct a building from the ground floor to the roof.

Feedback from the youths has been very positive as they are learning a new skill, how to use tools, and also how to read blueprints. Materials used in the home are often donated, reused or come from salvage stores.

The premise behind building the small houses is to help people go from homelessness onto the next phase of the occupant’s life

This is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Students are loving working with their hands and being able to give back to the community in a way they never thought of before.

The recipients of the houses are very grateful and appreciative to have a place to call their own and it’s a  stopping off place to save some money.

Imagine loosing your home to the bank because you had some medical issues that landed you in the hospital . Unable to pay the high cost of medical bills, your home is repossessed and you are left living on the street, in a tent city or going to a shelter each evening.

This not only is a demoralizing situation, but there doesn’t seem any way to stop the cycle.

This is where the Sawhorse Revolution goes into action.

By creating an eco-village they are giving people back their lives, self-respect, and their dignity. People have a place to call home, even if it is a tiny house, with a lock on the door.

In order to live in the village, there are some requirements. You must do a certain amount of community service and no substance abuse is allowed.

Also called the Impossible City, Nickelsville is incorporating composting toilets and solar panels for lighting, heating water, and charging devices. Having a communal kitchen is also a plus for those living there.

Here is an excerpt from the Othello Community:

Nickelsville, like other sanctioned Seattle Encampments, is self managed. Day to day operations are the responsibility of the residents. They will provide security around the clock, ensure the place is clean and tidy, elect their own leaders, and make sure there is no loitering or neighborhood disturbances. Litter Busters from Camp will help keep the neighborhood clean.

There are strict rules of conduct for the residents including no alcohol, no drugs, and no violence. A maximum of 100 residents will live there. A phone number will be posted for neighbors if there are complaints or concerns. LIHI employs social workers to help people find jobs, enroll the children in school, and quickly transition families into stable housing. The purpose of the encampment is to keep people save and to provide a crisis response to homelessness.

 For more information, watch the video below to see how it’s all coming together.