Building hope with one tiny house at a time

When you talk to Barb Oliver, you can hear the passion in her voice about getting people off the streets.

“It’s February. It’s cold. It’s wet. People are unsafe on the streets. We want to keep people warm, safe and dry, no matter what time,” said Barb Oliver.

Oliver is the Director of Operations for Sound Foundations Northwest. She’s been building these tiny homes for the last few years.

The pandemic brought a new sense of urgency. Last October, her group partnered with the Low Income Housing Institute to build them in a SODO warehouse called “The Hope Factory.”

“The only real way to end homelessness is to give people homes. It sounds simple, but that’s really what we are all about,” Oliver added.

Barb gave KIRO 7 a tour and showed us how she uses a unique jig system to build the homes quickly in an assembly line style. They’re ramping up with a goal to make one a day.

Because each home means another person off the street - like Sonia Murphy.

“I was a person with a disability that needed time to sleep. If that was during the day, then I had that time. I mean, was lucky to get into these,” Murphy said.

Murphy lived in a tiny home while recovering from surgery for brain cancer. Now, she’s on her way to permanent housing.

“I’m just thankful for all the work they’ve done here,” Murphy said.

Oliver is calling on more people to help.

“We are always looking for volunteers to build the tiny homes. There’s no construction experience necessary. We say all you need is a willing heart,” said Oliver.

Follow this link to learn more about volunteering opportunities.