Tiny House Village

Join 900 volunteers (so far!) in building the nation’s first Youth Tiny House Village!

In January 2016, youth at YSA initiated a community organizing campaign to build a Youth Tiny House Village in the East Bay Area of California. As of summer 2020, we’ve built 26 beautiful homes with the help of over 800 volunteers in Habitat-for-Humanity style builds. We’re working in partnership with non-profit developer Housing Consortium of the East Bay and the local interfaith community to complete a collaborative, community-led Village that is designed by the young people it will benefit. The completed Village will feature:

  • 26 secure 8′ x 10′ Tiny Houses with:
    • Murphy beds
    • windows
    • skylights
    • storage
    • electricity
    • furnishings
    • heated floors.
  • On-site, clean communal bathrooms and showers.
  • A kitchen yurt for residents to cook weekly communal meals and securely store their own food.
  • A community gathering space for meetings.
  • Associated jobs training program through YSA.
  • Associated wrap-around social services and case management through YSA.
  • A community guided by a restorative justice-based covenant.
  • On-site Resident Assistants who live in the community.

Click here for a detailed overview of our plan, progress, and purpose!

Or, check out sponsorship opportunities here for the Tiny House Village.

We are actively recruiting members of our community to support us with advocacy, fundraising, and building at our Habitat for Humanity-style builds. To volunteer with the Tiny House Village, email our Tiny House Project Coordinator Jilly at jilly@youthspiritartworks.org.

The Youth Housing Crisis

The Tiny House Village project was initiated by young people in YSA’s programs in response to the crisis of affordable and accessible housing. There are currently 1,700 homeless young people in Alameda County, and only 36 youth-designated beds in shelters and affordable housing. Young people facing housing instability have overwhelmingly experienced abuse, neglect, mental and physical health obstacles, and lack access to public resources. 

Youth Spirit Artworks’ first 26-unit phase of the Tiny House Village Project will increase the number of youth-designated beds in the county by almost 40%.

The Tiny House prototype, unveiled in 2017, was designed and built by 6 Youth Leaders working with local architects, design students, and contractors. Now more than ever, we need your help to complete the Village.

Interfaith Activism

The Tiny House Village is an interfaith project, working with over 30 different partner congregations from diverse faith backgrounds. We are continuously grateful for the religious community’s values of justice, advocacy, and service work for the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Lead Congregations:
Congregation Beth El, Berkeley
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
Kehilla Community Synagogue, Oakland

Participating Congregations/Faith-Based Agencies:
All Souls Episcopal Church, Berkeley
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
Congregation Beth Israel, Berkeley
Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
Oak Life Church, Oakland
Shambhala Meditation Center, Berkeley
St. Albans Episcopal Church, Albany
St. Columba Catholic Church, Oakland
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Oakland
Shiloh Christian Fellowship, Oakland
Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting, Berkeley
Temple Beth Abraham, Oakland
Temple Sinai, Oakland

One way for congregations to get involved is through the Adopt-A-Tiny-House Program, in which religious congregations and other organizations pledge, individually and as groups, to help support completion of a Tiny House. By signing up to be part of the Adopt-A-Tiny-House program, congregations have the opportunity to contribute financially, to organize donations, and to recruit congregation volunteers to assist with construction.

To get your congregation involved, or for more information about the Adopt-A-Tiny-House Program, email us.

100 Homes for 100 Homeless Youth

Our work to build housing for at-risk youth doesn’t stop with the Tiny House Village. Youth Spirit Artworks is engaged in a ten-year community organizing campaign, responding to the dire need for youth housing, to create “100 Homes for Homeless Youth” in San Francisco’s East Bay. Over the next ten years, YSA youth’s plan is to create:

  • 25+ Youth Tiny Houses
  • 25+ beds in a total of five rented or purchased “co-op” houses
  • 50+ new, youth-designated units of housing as part of a larger affordable housing project.

Get Involved!

We’re seeking folks with construction experience to volunteer as Build Leaders this summer. We’re also seeking people of all ages and abilities to help at our Build Days. If you would like to be involved with advocacy for our Village project, please consider committee membership to help out with planning and outreach for our Tiny House Village. To volunteer or get involved, email our Tiny House Project Coordinator Jilly at jilly@youthspiritartworks.org.

If you would like to donate to the Tiny House Village, please click here and scroll down to “Tiny House Village.”