“Micro-home” project in Grass Valley a success

(credit: Douglas Keachie)
Last week I wrote about plans to build micro-homes for the homeless in Grass Valley.

The project this past weekend was a big success. The needed $7,500 was raised in just one week and a group of volunteers showed up to build them.

It was documented on Facebook, in words, photos and video — once again showing the power of social media in reshaping how we communicate in our small towns.

It’s also an example of what I like to call the emerging “new guard” getting it done in our town, jumping into action with some out of the box thinking. This group has been a real agent of change, whether it’s founding a new Farmers Market or building mobile shelters for the homeless. It’s refreshing.

“In one day, 100 volunteers got together to make 40 micro-houses for the homeless (though we need another 1/2 day to put the roofs on). Wow, what an amazing community we live in!” wrote Nevada City council member Reinette Senum on her Facebook page.

Added Nevada City resident Alli Rallixsee: “It was so incredible to walk up today and see such a diverse, huge group of volunteers working busily away. Thanks for being such a powerful spark, Reinette.”

The shelters will be provided “wherever the homeless land,” though the long-term goal would be to create a more permanent location, or “village,” Reinette said.

This is a real meaningful shift from last winter, when people at a Nevada City Council meeting were arguing with one another about the homeless problem. Some of them were shouted down and mocked, including one suggestion that homeless people live in a sailboat parked in one resident’s driveway.

Douglas Keachie offered a link to his photos here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

48 thoughts on ““Micro-home” project in Grass Valley a success”

  1. I am humbled by your photographs Douglas. What a righteous remembrance for Memorial Day 2011! They created a “village” like this in a high end section of Seattle. It’s been good for all. It makes me think what God looks like as a “creative entrepreneur”. Thanks for the photos and spiritual “heads up” this morning Jeff.:)

  2. It was an impressive volunteer turnout. We live in a great community. Reinette was awesome and Chuck Durrett was a big part of the project, for those who know Chuck give him a big thanks. Every cut made and every piece mounted was important, everybody made this happen.
    “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”
    Gestalt Theory

  3. Why no discussion about the negative reality and impacts of this? Is it OK to discuss the impacts and the legal issues?

    The shelters will be provided “wherever the homeless land”…

    So would that be for the transients that refuse to use HH and continue to tresspass onto private property and set up illigal transient camps, without owners permisison, without sanitation at the illiigal camps, where they turn the land into trash heaps, where a lot of crime takes place? Most these folks spend their days doing what???

    Just check put the reality, look at what has been going on in the illigal camps in Auburn as the same takes place here too. The follow was posted as a comment under a Auburn Joural story days ago about a transient at one of the illegal camps setting a fellow transient on fire. The same incidents have and do happen here too:

    Lets keep track: 6 months ago, transient attacks elderly man in garage in Luther area; 3 months ago transient rapes a 14 year old, 2 months ago we get the transient pair who carjacked two different cars from Auburn then proceed to drive up to past Grass Valley beat an elderly man into serious condition then go on high speed chase to Marysville, then more recently we get the house fire in Newcastle that is suspected to be transient activity. Now this piece of work.

    City Counsel, Mayor, whoever…Where the hell are you on this???? I am tired of this and would like action now. 1. Start enforcing anything possible around being drunk in public and panhandling. 2. Get Mental Health involved and start trying to provide services for the truly mentally ill (those wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants) 3) Get those truly down on their luck into temporary housing and temp work 4) Get the transients who are now walking in packs of 2-4 with open beers at 10AM OUT OF HERE, please.

    Why is it if someone dares to raise the negatives one gets attacked and called names?

  4. “The shelters will be provided “wherever the homeless land”… so where are these shelters going to be delivered to and set up? Was this part of the thought process?

  5. Wow Steve buddy…take a chill pill. I love ya man, and I think you are raising a number of completely valid and necessary questions. if you raised them in a slightly less confrontational tone and provided (yes I know) yet another opportunity to answer them rationally perhaps people would feel empowered to discuss them here.

    This is a very complex issue.

    Here are the questions I heard raised:

    1) How will locations be determined where use of the shelters are legal?

    2) Have any provisions been made for sanitation?

    3) Will on-going mental health and shelter be provided to the users?

    4) Is there an on-going effort for transitional housing?

    Steve, do you have an alternative to propose?

  6. Steve,

    Get use to GOP Tea Party America. Rather obviously the transients who did the car jacking in Auburn had no connection to this area.

    Transients are not a temporary minor aberration. They are the new face of America, unless we can do something to change our economy, and drastically. I have no illusions that 40 mini-hutches is going to solve anything by themselves, except for the 40 individuals who will now have a vastly improved night’s sleep.

    What these do do, is to put a face on the problem, which is the positioning of the bulk of the USA populous in precarious financial positions, such that a $200 house is all they can afford, UNLESS WE RECOGNIZE the problem in advance and do a lot of thinking and then acting.

    Currently, it seems the top of the power structure is basically saying, “So go away already, die if necessary, and the sooner the better.” We are speaking out and putting a real FACE on the issue.

    You do not reduce the financially disenfranchised by declaring them non-existent, or existing only in “other people’s backyards,” which seems to be the mode many are trying to embrace.

  7. Simple question that no one has prodvided any answers to… Where are these shelters going to be delivered to and set up? Was this part of the thought process?

    Part of my post above was an online comment posted by someone made under the Auburn Journal story of the latest illigal transient camp incident in Auburn, there have been many and many here in Grass Valley too. It’s they reality that some refuse to address or discuss. If one dares to then the personal attacks come vs. a rational response about the issues.

    Case in point, read the most recent, nasty, personal disgusting and totally unfair attack by “Thomas” that was in The Union.

    These illligal camps are not good for anyone, they are mostly by tresspassing on private property where another persons land is trashed and polluted.

    So… where’s the answers to the simple and basic issues I raise about the illigal camps and where these shelters will end up?

    Steve F. posted that must be part of the discussion… “Here are the questions I heard raised:

    1) How will locations be determined where use of the shelters are legal?

    2) Have any provisions been made for sanitation?

    3) Will on-going mental health and shelter be provided to the users?

    4) Is there an on-going effort for transitional housing?”

    Steve you asked me… “do you have an alternative to propose?”

    YES… First, HH is available as a good place to start. But if one wants to do drugs and drink most of the day and night then HH doesn’t work for them… which far too often is the case.

    Second… it’s very simple… the Salvation Army has a campground right out side of Nevada City, with services in place. Set up a legal camp there vs. tresspassing onto and trashing private property.

    So why not the Salvation Army’s own campground minutes from Nevada City?… Isn’t this the line of work Salvation Army is in?

    1. Steve E.,

      As I suggested to Greg Z.- you seem to have passion towards this issue and lots of good suggestions. Maybe you should get involved to help out instead of being a person standing on the side criticizing. There is no need to invent the wheel twice, bring your knowledge and experience of successes and failures to the table so they can either be built upon or avoided.

  8. Steve E.,

    From what I have been told this isn’t a new idea and has had good success in a number of places. I think what you are focusing on are valid issues but this whole project and homeless issue are symptoms of a much bigger question, why? Why is it homelessness is spiking upward in America and in Nevada County? Why do we as a nation have the worst income inequality in the world? Why are 1 in every 5 kids on food stamps in the US? Why is building a permanent shelter so controversial in Nevada County? Why is there such hostility towards those who need a helping hand from communities across the “Greatest Nation on Gods Green Earth” as Michael Medved likes to say? Why?

    These are the obvious but tough political questions and answers we should be discussing.

    1. I know a lot of homeless people. It is a shame that there is only this single term for something with so many different causes. I interviewed a homeless fellow in his fifties today in Auburn. He was under so much stress it was hard to understand him. He related how he had just been sprayed with insecticide and told he was an insect. After he left-he didn’t want anything but to use my phone to call his sponsor to see if he could get a shower- the aftershock left my wife and I almost in tears and deeply affected for the day.

      Ben, this blog is a perfect place for people to share different ideas. We shouldn’t have to track people down. If they are interested in hearing and learning from these points of views they should show up and engage. The discussions need to be respectful.

      It is certainly true that the safety the micro-homes are intended to offer could be helpful and, I suppose, making them a fact of life might lead to solving the other very real problems Steve brought up here. One step at a time and maybe even two steps forward and one step backward, but it must not stop here. The important point is that , mistakes will be made and we should learn from them and continue on, not giving up.

      People are hurting everywhere, and dying as well. I’m particularly wanting to address the problem of teenage prostitution for drugs going on here locally. Anyone else? I have some ideas but I can’t do this alone.

    2. And why are the GOP attempting to tie and bind these types of assistance to the budget? The mayor in an Alabama town is REFUSING to allow FEMA trailers for tornado victims but HIS hillbilly government are sitting their trash a$$es in one for a command center! We have almost reached the zenith of ignorant arrogance and then you see another wingnut from Alabammy. It’s simple, pray and educate yourself–then lead, follow or get the Hell out of the way! This “mayor” is typical in behavior–he drags my holy book around while exhibiting his uncharitable unchristianity. These are some sick puppies man…sicker than the homeless, the addicted or any outfront hood I’ve ever met…this bashing the powerless is true evil–upclose. Kate

  9. Greg,
    I agree with you. The thing that got to me is people were getting something done and others were sitting on the sideline saying “no- you can’t do it”.

    Here is a message from Reinettes FB page
    “WE DID IT”

    Will problems arise from the micro-houses? Yes. Will good things happen from the micro-houses? Yes.

    Lets not make Perfect the enemy of the Good.

      1. Perfection was never suggested but rather:

        A job well planned is a job well done.

      2. Voltaire has one of my other favorite quotes, “we must cultivate our garden’, meaning that one can only create ones own ‘best world’.

    1. Ben, I don’t think Steve and my criticisms should be characterized as “no- you can’t do it.” They should be seen as let’s think this through carefully and thoughtfully.

      There is still lot’s of thinking left to do.

      1. Greg,
        Your intent might not of been that but my interpretation of what was being written were all the reasons it couldn’t/ shouldn’t be done.

  10. Greg–There is a great article about domestic sex trafficking on the Vanity Fair site…”The Girl Next Door” is the title I think. Law enforcements approach–utilizing federal interstate commerce laws from the constitution are pulling down some serious time for the ones behind these operations–and getting help for the women. There are some serious law enforcement heros in this story–including a very effective woman. It looks very promising…Kate

    1. Kate,

      I looked at the article but I am talking about a local problem with teens trading sex for booze. It is futile to rely on law enforcement, punishment and condemnation to solve a problem based in moral hopelessness. Drug abuse is a symptom of a world that seems hopeless.

      The only cure for hopelessness is hope. In the eyes of the youth, hope will only come from seeing themselves as part of a future they see as worthwhile. This future hardly exists right now, so they will have to invent it to have a better choice than drugs, but that’s possible. Humans can do amazing things if given the opportunity.

      This is going to take some true citizens to roll up their sleeves and try some “absurd” ideas. “If at first an idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it,” Einstein.

      1. Nope…not futile. Not at all. Read the article again. Those girls and boys don’t miraculously grow up to sell themselves. There is always a beginning. The article outlines those “beginnings” in gory, sad detail. They just don’t spring up from somewhere in all their moral haplessness. It is learned and no one wants to say, “my bad.”…instead people, including schools and law enforcement want to continue feeding on victim bashing, using and the baldly, ruefully,implausible. Then the denialists, see: wingnuts, get to feel all warmly superior and smugly self-righteous. Kate

  11. Except that the door is being wrenched from the hypocritical outhouse, Greg, and the stench, it is the most appalling of all…Kate

    1. Hello Kate,

      I invite you to propose what you see as a solution to this problem.

      I can see you might be frustrated but until we engage in thoughtful dialogue we are just a distraction.

  12. Ben’s… “Maybe you should get involved to help out instead of being a person standing on the side criticizing” response is the perfect example of what I said about what happens if anyone dares raise issues about impacts or the negatives that must be addressed for anything to work out for all.

    Hey Ben… have any idea about the good work and good deeds I have done and continue to do? You post that I’m “a person standing on the side criticizing”. Ben, seems you know nothing about me, my work, my efforts, starting public benefit non-profits, my 4 years on the GV City Council, my work on affordable and senior housing, my years in law enforcement and drug enforcement, etc, etc, etc.

    So what did Ben respond with? Well he didn’t respond to the issues I raised, it was just a personal attack on a person raising some important issues.

    Let’s try again Ben… how about responding to the issues and possible solution I raised:

    The illligal camps are not good for anyone, they are mostly by tresspassing on private property where another persons land is trashed and polluted.

    Where’s the answers to the simple and basic issues I raise about the illigal camps and where these shelters will end up?

    Steve F. posted… “Here are the questions I heard raised:

    1) How will locations be determined where use of the shelters are legal?

    2) Have any provisions been made for sanitation?

    3) Will on-going mental health and shelter be provided to the users?

    4) Is there an on-going effort for transitional housing?”

    Steve F. asked me… “do you have an alternative to propose?”

    YES… First, HH is available as a good place to start. But if one wants to do drugs and drink most of the day and night then HH doesn’t work for them… which far too often is the case. HH is a path forward and it’s available.

    Second… it’s very simple… the Salvation Army has a campground right out side of Nevada City, with services in place. Set up a legal camp there vs. tresspassing onto and trashing private property.

    So why not the Salvation Army’s own campground minutes from Nevada City?

    Ben… attack the problem, attack the issues… but don’t attack the people raising them, it’s not fair.

    1. I’d like to try to answer Steve’s questions but also would welcome other thoughts.

      1.Locations: Perhaps the salvation army camp might be a suitable home or a closer location could be established somehow. I don’t see how it would be possible to pass ownership of the shelters because they might be abandoned or set up on private property creating a crime, visual, trash and fire hazard. They don’t seem suitable for heating, and condensation/ventilation might be problem. Because of tight quarters cooking would be very dangerous without a secondary escape so this would have to be prohibited.
      2. Sanitation:Again, it would be very problematic to not manage these units in one place so sanitation, cooking, and cleaning facilities would have to be provided there.
      3.Mental health services: Perhaps attracting the shelter users into one area might make providing mental health and other services more feasible. It is a particular concern for me how to help those that have mental illness. It could be catastrophic attracting this group of people into one area without careful supervision. They are ill and potentially very dangerous. Close proximity might exacerbate this. They also might repel or influence those that might have been helped successfully.
      4.Ongoing effort to traditional housing. I am privately involved in a traditional housing project. My plan revolves around forming a team with the homeless along with clear tough boundaries all agree on and enforce. This one is a household and each person learns how to support another. One person can also drag everyone down. The intractable and mentally have to be moved out quickly. It hasn’t been easy yet for us but we envision it being this way in time.

      Poverty, drug abuse, crime and homelessness are all part of the same syndrome for one category of person. To escape requires strong commitment and minimal holistic assistance. It is hard work. Making it easy destroys the determination needed to succeed because determination is energized by succeeding when success is hard.

      I imagine developing a sort of community where the shelters are situated and managed. Residents would receive training and take responsibility to make it work by helping others. Behavior expectations and consequences for misbehaving would be strict and clear. It would be a safe fun place that had the possibility for growth and success.

    2. Steve,
      That isn’t the point. The point is unless your willing to jump and get your hands dirty don’t just sit back and throw stones. Your questions were valid but bring them to the organizers of the project not telling those on a blog who support the project the list of why it shouldn’t happen. On the projects you have done did you like outside criticism from people whose only contribution was negative feedback. Probably not. As I mentioned earlier, I had some of the same concerns and brought them up with the organizers. They had already addressed those particular issues and had solutions.

      I didn’t attack anyone but suggested you get involved because of your past experiences. As I said “Why invent the wheel twice?” Share your successes and failures so they can either be modeled or avoided.

  13. Greg,
    I raised some of those same questions to those who were organizing this project.

    I used the term “merit system” but they assured me that not just anybody will receive the homes. The other one will be each home has serial # and the people who take ownership of the home will be attached with that #. There will be a phone number for maintenance or theft, since they will be extremely heavy once filled with personal belongings they won’t go very far.

    My opinion not anyone with the project.

    cooking should not be done- it attracts animals and promotes garbage. I remember the idiots cooking bacon and then being surprised a bear came into their camp.

    Sanitary will always be an issue but if there is group of homes in somewhat relative proximity perhaps an port-o-potty could be arranged. If not try to make the very last thing leaving town a bathroom stop, NC has a couple public restrooms as does Pioneer Park.

    1. Ben,
      Have you brought up the fire hazard/safety issues? From the picture the pop up screen window concept might have been abandoned. Even a candle in a building like that could kill someone if they fall asleep and can’t escape through the flames. Consider someone knocking over a stove or lantern as well. There could be a legal liability to the developers if not a moral one. Just informing a mentally ill person might not suffice or expecting them to have the sense to not make a grease fire from that bacon. If I build a stairway that violates the building codes I can be liable for example but this might be more like putting an outlet over the shower or using pvc for a gas line. Why not make a means to push out the roof in an emergency?

      You mention also transportation issues. It looks like these will weigh about 150 lbs or more empty. I think those wheels will fail by either breaking off or getting stuck in soft ground so the unit will need to be carried to camp sites by a team of four. I suggest putting handles on both sides instead of the wheels. These will also be useful for when the units are removed from secluded illegal sites over rough terrain when complaints are filed or the cell number on them is called. I suggest organizing a group of people now to be responsible for this when enthusiasm is high. You could buy a cheap cell phone for the number and then use the forwarding service on rotating schedule for this responsibility.

      The suggestion that transients will make a bathroom stop on their way out of town is probably an insufficient solution to the human waste issues. Port-o-pottys have to be near a road for maintenance, cost $80 a month, and private companies won’t put them on properties without permission from owners. I suggest training the recipients on proper sanitation methods and behaviors.

      I still say they need to be made safer and only put in a supervised and developed campsite.

      1. Some excerpts from the website

        “Is the 40 in ONE Project the ultimate solution? No.”

        “Right now there is a small band of gorillas working on finding an official site for a Hooverville-style camp, something modeled after the Dignity Village outside of Portland, OR. Perhaps this is your next Gorilla Action!”

        “The Gorilla Love Project stems from a deep sense of frustration and a fierce belief that we can do better. It is about heeding to a more powerful, intuitive and swift call to community action.”

        “It is not about business or politics as usual, but committing to a wild, selfless act, itself. It is about collectively undertaking a goal that is so singularly clear there is no time for corruption, no need for overhead, and is so spontaneous there is no way to predict its outcome.”

        I don’t feel the messenger has been attacked here at all but asked to contact the organizers to voice their concerns and share their experiences.

        I will be very blunt and frank about this

        Those issues brought up here are valid- I brought up a number of them to the organizers- they also thought of these same issues and had sufficient solutions to them- those who continue to come up with reasons why this shouldn’t be done or only done their way I repeat

        Contact the organizers and voice your concerns. My guess your concerns are their concerns as well or maybe a future problem might be avoided.

        I’m not sure if we are talking past each other but I don’t have the answers to many of these questions because I’m not part of the organizing team and do not have the logistics to our local resources.

      2. be pretty hard to ignite the wood without an accelerent, and there’s really not much there. I would be concerned about hoodlums setting one on fire from the outside and would recommend fishing line an tin cans as a primitive alarm system.

  14. Though I applaud any effort to do something, and now, to provide solutions to the homeless problem both here and elsewhere in the nation, I must point out that the project to build shelters cannot be considered a success unless the location of these, which is the 800 pound gorilla which I have not as yet seen either recognized or addressed by those involved in the project, must be dealt with. Shooting the messenger, as unfortunately has been done by some commenters, is not helpful but rather a negative for the project as it discourages objective consideration and attempts to come up with positive solutions to the problem. The only one I have heard thus far is the suggestion from Steve Enos as to getting Salvation Army involved and possible use of their facility. I should add that location of any homeless project, certainly in the case of Hospitality House, has been their major stumbling block, and if other efforts in other cities should be consulted, it would be that same. This is the reason for the “not in my backyard” phrase.

    And a note to Ben, who accused Enos of “sitting on the sidelines”: you obviously do not know the man or you would not make such an accusation. I make no attempt to conceal the fact that I know Steve well, and so certainly have a bias there, but also knowledge of what he has done, and does, to help those who need it. I also know that Steve loves this area, and the people here, and gives of himself for them often and in many ways. I am going through a series of tests to determine a diagnosis, which possibly could be cancer, to determine the cause of an illness I have. Steve spent his entire day yesterday taking me to Sacramento for tests at Mercy Hospital, and that was not the first time he has done that. I could come up with any number of such anecdotes involving not only myself but others. So please do some investigating and know more before you speak ill of a person.

    To Steve Frisch: thanks for your usual objective and thoughtful analysis of this issue, and the helpful suggestions made. And you quoted an author and novel which I read many years ago, and which has been a major influence for me throughout my life in my own thought and actions. No, it is not the best of all possible worlds, and we should do our best to cultivate the garden. I think all of us posting here do that in whatever ways work best for us.

    1. Pat,
      Sitting on the sidelines of this project. I was not speaking ill of anyone. I do not know Steve but know of him and his dedication to the area.

      Either I am wording this totally wrong or we are speaking about two different things.

      Those who expressed valid concerns contact the organizers. Please don’t only come to a blog and give a list of reasons why this won’t work. That is not attacking anyone or speaking ill of them just giving some constructive criticism. I don’t claim to have the answers if you have been following this thread that is very obvious. I have repeatedly asked for those who have spoken up about their concerns to contact the project. I don’t see how that is attacking?


      1. Ben

        It’s nice to see the website.

        I think you are mistaken about the idea that people with other points of view should track down the developers to make their points. What is this blog for then? To offer only praise?

        Look, I think all concerned feel that this citizen action is a wonderful thing but many of us also feel that more planning was needed before launching it. We could be wrong. I truly hope so. In any case I don’t think we are responsible to track down the developers instead of publicly stating our concerns in a public blog on the sidelines.

      2. Greg,
        You raised many valid points as did Steve E. I want this project to work out and unless someone is internally involved your questions/ concerns couldn’t be answered. I am a solution/ action/ answer kind of guy. Posing questions and figuring out or finding out the answers. That’s why the repeating of go to the source for the answers to your questions/ concerns. I know both you and Steve have done and continue to do good work for people.

        I have no internal connection to the project but loved the idea in its statement from the home website of “It is not about business or politics as usual… It is about collectively undertaking a goal that is so singularly clear there is no time for corruption”

        The first I heard of it was a couple weeks ago and then saw it displayed at the NC Fairgrounds a few days later.

      3. The first motto of Little World Community Organization (lwco.org) is “I can only help myself by helping others”. We added two more parts after a very tough time: Try New Ideas and Never Give Up.

        We live by this there and it is good advice anywhere.

  15. Steve,

    Steve, this conversation really is overdue and thank you for getting it rolling. You raise valid questions.

    It does concern me, however, that these questions, where are the homeless going to go, what about sanitation, and do they have permission, are now only being addressed when the homeless actually have the chance to have a tiny roof over each one of their heads.

    These are all very good questions, but these questions need to be addressed…. with or without microhouses.

    Currently, in Nevada County, we have 500 homeless people living in the woods like animals. I mean, no shelter, with babies, many WITHOUT tents or even tarps, unaware of any programs like the Food Bank, many are sick and malnourished (I can only imagine what ill effects this has on our community as a whole) and the number is GROWING.

    Why haven’t we been screaming about, ‘how did we allow our country to be bankrupted and diminished to 3rd world status?’ And ‘when will we ever wake up?’

    Unfortunately, we are now living with the direct results of the loss of our economy and our country.

    Personally, I am dedicated to covering the heads of those who have been the first to be tossed out, literally, into the cold until we figure out what to do. Steve, Jeff, every one, you have my personal promise that if you get ‘tossed out,’ I have your back. I will do everything I can in my power to cover you until you can, if ever, turn your life around…

    This ultimately is what I define as community and I have decided to live up to it.

    At the present, I believe it would be best to identify a piece of property for a Dignity Village for these microhouses. If people are uncomfortable with the thought of the homeless being out in the woods, I can completely understand this. But this question should be getting raised no matter what…..it should not be based upon whether or not the homeless have a microhouse.

    Lastly, we ultimately have three choices. We open up all the institutions again for the mentally and emotionally impaired to reside, we let the homeless roam our private land, or we all band together to find a solution and find an official piece of land that MUST be walking distance from stores and have a bus line near by….. until something gives.

    Or we just take our damn country back and start doing so with a little compassion.

    Any takers?

    1. I think it is good you are kicking and I hope it shakes loose a solution.

      In the mean time I urge you to address the fire safety concerns. After one year we had two deaths in the shelters I pioneered in Pakistan from two fires, and probably more by now. Every effort was made to avoid this and so I have no regrets. It is too late when it happens and there are clear safety issues with the micro-house design. I suggest using a large double door and one side screen door, and not opening the roof at all. And no external controlled latch!

  16. Reinette wrote: “how did we allow our country to be bankrupted and diminished to 3rd world status?”

    By being weak.

    The federal gov’t is corrupt. The 3 branches no longer check and balance. The military industrial complex has bankrupted our economy. This all began at the beginning of the 20th century, then mushroomed after President Kennedy was murdered. How’s that President Obama workin’ out for ya? Still in Afghanistan. Still in Iraq. Now in Libya. Where next?

    As long as we continue to enable the criminal class on Wall Street and K Street, the homeless will suffer in the forest and their numbers will grow.

    Time to put a police line around Westchester County and start perp-walking the entire population therein.

    1. We know who caused the economic woes but how do get the government to hold them accountable when the government is owned by these same people and entities. We do projects like micro-homes without their permission, start getting things done instead of wringing our hands, at the same time get in the streets educating people about what is going on, and be relentless in our convictions. Only then will we see the change we can believe in. Its in ourselves not a person who sits in the White House.

      To answer your question- unfortunately the Obama administration is doing what I thought they would do but that being said it is a million times better than the Bush administrations.

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