Home sweet home in under 300-square-feet: Life-changing house takes shape in Vernon
By Charlotte Helston
Barry McDougall works on what is hoped to be the first of many tiny homes in Vernon.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
August 18, 2016 - 9:00 PM
VERNON - It’s a tiny prototype that could make a big difference with homelessness in the North Okanagan.
Construction is coming along on what housing workers hope will be the first of many tiny homes in Vernon. Led by the First Nations Friendship Centre, the idea is to build one tiny home, raffle it off, and use the proceeds to jump start the construction of a tiny home community for youths aged 19 to 29 at risk of homelessness.
The whole thing started when youth program manager Barry McDougall was talking to a friend about the frustrations of turning away roughly two young people per week at the subsidized Kekuli Apartments in Vernon due to lack of space.
“Often, these individuals (and) young families are couch-surfing or staying at the Vernon Transition House,” McDougall says.
His friend mentioned the growing popularity of tiny homes and an idea began to form.
The long-term vision is for a community of 20 tiny homes to be created in Vernon. But, first, they need to finish the prototype.
At roughly 280 square feet, the first tiny home is in production right now at the Allen Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon. Volunteers have been working tirelessly to complete the home, which has the ability to run completely off-grid with solar panels and a composting toilet.
“It’s really taking shape,” McDougall says.
Once completed, the tiny home will feature a loft, full kitchen and bathroom. With all the appliances included, and even a T.V., the home will truly be move in ready.
“You have to have the right mindset to live in it,” McDougall says of the small space. “But some people have no place to live at all.”
You can take a tour of the tiny home by stopping by the Allen Brooks Nature Centre, or by checking it out at the upcoming Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong where it will be on display.
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