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Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Barn Tiny Home

This is an inspiring story of how a community of amazing people are helping this 83-year-old homeless widow enjoy her very own barn tiny home. Our big thanks goes to Jill Penley for sharing.

It’s a 12′ by 36′ yard barn that’s being renovated thanks to the help of local church members and a mission group in Hawkins County. And to her, this is a mansion since she has been homeless for the last 15 years of her life after losing her husband.

Originally the barn structure was 12′ by 24′ but they added on to it to make it 36′ so that a dedicated downstairs bedroom can be comfortably added. Please enjoy and re-share this inspiring story below. Thank you!

Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Barn Tiny Home

Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Barn Tiny Home 01

Images © Sheldon Livesay

Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Barn Tiny Home 02 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 03 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 04 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Barn Home 05 Homeless 83-year-old Widow 06 Homeless 83-year-old Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 08 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 09 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 010 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 011 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 012 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 013 Homeless 83-year-old Widow Gets Tiny Home 014

Images © Sheldon Livesay

Learn more: http://www.timesnews.net/article/9089372/in-her-eyes-its-a-mansion-homeless-83-year-old-widow-thrilled-to-move-into-yard-barn


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 95 comments… add one }
  • myna lee johnstone
    July 9, 2015, 3:02 pm

    communities everywhere could do this
    these folks have got what it takes!

  • Denise
    July 9, 2015, 3:08 pm

    What a great thing to read getting up today – when the world is going to h*** in a handbasket, it’s nice to see things like this. Thanks Alex.

    • Alex
      July 9, 2015, 3:33 pm

      Thanks Denise 🙂

    • Juli
      July 9, 2015, 4:30 pm

      My thoughts exactly, Denise!

      • M
        July 10, 2015, 10:30 pm

        Second the motion. Tiny Habitat for Humanity.

    • Michael
      July 9, 2015, 8:07 pm


    • Patty
      July 9, 2015, 11:32 pm

      Hope in a dark world. Thanks.

  • smTinling
    July 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

    A stack of bricks for a foundation?! Is that it?

    • NancyG
      July 9, 2015, 4:06 pm

      Using block piers is typical for mobile home foundations – this wouldn’t be any different than that!

    • Shelia
      July 9, 2015, 5:19 pm

      That’s a good reason to DO NOTHING? Have you been down and out ? 15 years without a place of her own. I have been homeless and with 2 children to boot like 55 years ago. This would have been heaven

    • shelia
      July 9, 2015, 5:33 pm

      The bricks are not a reason to do nothing!!

    • Sgmaps
      July 10, 2015, 2:26 am

      Those are NOT bricks, they are cement/cinder BLOCKS-vast difference.

    • Sally
      July 10, 2015, 4:40 pm

      The use of concrete blocks and piers is common, and to code. Where do you live???? They don’t have Bob Vila’s budget.

  • Eugene Stiles
    July 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

    I’vt talked to the county here in Arizona about these buildings and they told me that it is hopeless to try to permit them. sad, it keeps limited income from owning a home & living a dream.

    • Lisa E.
      July 9, 2015, 3:38 pm

      It’s time to vote in some new county employees who can see the light of day.

      • Sally
        July 10, 2015, 4:43 pm

        It isn’t hopeless, they just don’t want to be bothered. Try a few exception hearings, then take them to court once they’ve proven on paper they don’t have a clue or a leg to stand on. It’s easier to counter when they have proven their ignorance in writing.

  • Nita
    July 9, 2015, 3:13 pm

    That stove next to the wood wall doesn’t look safe, especially for a senior.

    • Gordon D.
      July 9, 2015, 3:31 pm

      Couldn’t they put wall tile for a back splash.Couldn’t help wonder isn’t there no seniors homes for the elderly?.I know elderly have senior homes that take care of them ,but it takes their pension to keep them in from the cold here in Canada.To see a widow without a family member to stand up to help out,(SAD) 🙁 .When a parent or someone that I know that is need of help I would do my best to do so.But for someone that only wants to live free ,Well i’d just say keep on going.

      • Susan Reid
        July 9, 2015, 10:18 pm

        Gordon, I am Canadian as well and am sorry to tell you that the senior homes you speak of are limited and expensive. You would be shocked at how many elderly people are homeless, or live in overcrowded, understaffed facilities.( Ive seen some horrendous conditions in many of these “homes”) It is typical of some cultures to look after their elders. Not so much in north america. As for living free, if you are talking monetarily, it doesn’t exist. Nothing in life is free. The sad part is that most of these folks worked hard all their lives only to be pushed aside, usually medicated, and forgotten. Most are on a fixed income that is below poverty level. Its a sad and lonely way to live out the last portion of their lives. This story is an example of how we all should pull together, as a community, to help our neighbours and friends, not just the elderly, live with a roof over their heads and food on their plates. I hope this story doesn’t endanger this woman’s right to live in this beautiful tiny home. Govt doesn’t like it if it isn’t up to their “codes”. (although Im sure the people building it made sure it is safe.) Live happy and kudos’ to the warm hearted people that made it possible. P.S. This is the answer for the generation (my generation) of people coming into retirement with little or no pension. ( Believe me there are a lot of us!!)

        • Eric
          February 22, 2016, 7:38 pm

          It’s a sad indictment on society (world wide I might add) that the more affluent it gets the less it cares for its elderly and most vulnerable citizens. Kudos to the people that helped this pensioner have a home of her own to live in.

      • M
        July 10, 2015, 10:48 pm

        Yes Susan. I’m a nurse who has managed senior care and the cost is heavy. If they have any private funds they are eaten up fast. Then their pension or social security takes over and they are left a pitious allowance to buy basic needs. They are very medicated often on anti depressant s due to the shock of giving up everything they worked for. And Gordon, often there is family but many only visit on holidays if at all. Very sad indeed. Tho like Susan not sure what you mean by only want to live free?

        • gordon D.
          February 22, 2016, 5:16 pm

          I’m talking about them boozers and drug addicts.Not about anyone that is in a bad way of health or age.I too also that age and I still do my best to help those who need help not want money for booze & drugs.

    • two crows
      July 9, 2015, 4:39 pm

      Cook stoves, unlike those designed to heat a space, are very well insulated. The goal, after all, is to keep the heat IN where it can cook the food, not radiate out to heat the space.
      Stoves in stick-built homes are routinely installed directly next to fiber-board counters. Drywall is less combustible than fiber-board by a long way.
      Now, if this were a heat stove, then yes, a metal shield between it and the wall would be in order for sure – along with a certain amount of air space.

      • Bonny
        July 9, 2015, 6:18 pm

        I don’t think it is safe, either. The oven wouldn’t be that much of a problem next to a wooden wall but you have to allow for someone letting a fire start in a pot or pan…it would torch that wall pretty fast! Some type of wallboard or tile needs to be against that wall. Although I do agree that most county building codes are too strict, this is one place where an inspector would have a fit…at least in any California county, and I wouldn’t blame him.

    • Peter
      July 9, 2015, 7:14 pm

      From the pictures it looks like it is still a work in progress. If this is, in fact, in Arizona, the heat shield may not be critical, but if is in, say, Minnesota, then it would be critical.

    • Michael
      July 9, 2015, 8:16 pm

      I was having second thoughts about that same thing. Need a non- combustable surface on that wall adjacent to the stove.

      I agree that it is time for communities to look at what permits are really supposed to accomplish; other than be a cash cow for the general fund. There is nothing at all unsafe about a properly modified storage building. I’ve known of folks living in these for 20 years that happened to be in areas where zoning and permits did not exist. Guess what. The Sky did not fall ! ! !

    • robert
      July 10, 2015, 5:28 pm

      how many homes have you been in when the stove in between 2 cabinets


  • Karen R
    July 9, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Stars in their crowns. (Eugene, local governments exist to drive the poor away from their county, their town.)

  • Mary
    July 9, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Looks good to me. I’m sure the stove would be OK if it’s not toughing the wall. I live in a mobile home & I’m not sure what the difference is there.

  • Terrmogirl
    July 9, 2015, 3:20 pm

    What a wonder gesture by the church and mission group. People will rise to the top when the need is true. This is a great solution for this woman.

  • Jenna
    July 9, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I LOVE the way all these people got together to make this home!!! I also Love the tiny home the sq. footage of that is comfy even for a tiny home lover. I would be interested in more pics of this home once its lived in and would love to know where the barn originated from…

  • Theo
    July 9, 2015, 3:37 pm

    Overall, I like it, quite a bit. However, a LOT of details left out, such as price, interior pictures, et al. Raises more questions than it answers.

    • Sally
      July 10, 2015, 5:02 pm

      Maybe the price is none of our business. I have large items donated to a similar housing project for veterans, and the donors always tell me “For God’s sake, don’t let anyone know I gave it to you, all my customers will want everything free in my store from now on.”
      Or all of a sudden, you get hit up for free housing by people who don’t like to pay rent or feed their kids. “You did it for THEM.”

      Years ago, we funneled badly needed donations to a women’s shelter. Someone at the shelter blabbed about all the boxloads of free tampons and diapers. We were harassed so bad by other local charities, including churches, for “Their share” that we had to stop giving to anyone at all. My source had to trash all those brandnew overstocks, rather than get sued. That also happened at a big-box pet retailer. Broken bags of dog food no longer went to the local pound because a bunch of wannabe rescue “charities” wanted it split among everyone who signed up. The store didn’t have enough personnel to count kibbles, o the dog food went into the trash.
      Hopefully this answers some of those questions you feel were raised. Maybe the overall cost of any of it is simply none of our business.
      As for interior pictures, perhaps the lady wants some privacy.

      • Eric
        February 22, 2016, 7:45 pm

        Beats me how the donor can be sued for supplying one group/person but not others. It’s their “gift” to someone or some group they choose.

        Is the American legal system retarded for even considering a suit like this or what?

  • becky
    July 9, 2015, 3:41 pm

    sure wish i could see floor plans as i have been looking at one of these shells 🙂

    • D. Lowery
      July 9, 2015, 3:55 pm

      I’ve been looking at these sheds and have used Sketchup to design the plans for a 12×32 and a 12×24. If you wish to see what I’ve come up with…please email me at p-h-o-o-b-a-r at the the yodeling web site. Will send you along some pix of what I’ve done.

      • Becky
        July 13, 2015, 2:05 am

        since I guess I’m not smart enough to figure out the the …etc. (the email bounced back) Please send photos to me at becky (at) douglas county news (dot) info… of course, there is not spaces between the three words.

  • July 9, 2015, 3:44 pm

    I would love to see the house when it’s complete. Thank Heavens, there are good people out there

  • D. Lowery
    July 9, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Am so happy that I can see what someone else has done with one of these sheds. This is what I want to do in less than five years.

    • Cyndi Raper
      February 23, 2016, 10:52 am

      I am currently making a YouTube video about our tiny house journey our first land or 3 years ago had a convicted pedofile coming into our home posing as a plumber the same situation still exist for his other 92 tenants unfortunately then we paid $3,000 to move to a nearby town only to find out the oven and refrigerator were broken we had to have the AC repair twice we had to fix the septic to the tune of over $1,100 and then the water tank burst from the rusted out holes they had plugged up we were out $3,800 that was the second time we had saved up for a tiny house and then the money was gone now we’ve moved into a so called friends house only to find out they haven’t paid their mortgage in 4 years. We are buying a shed and it will be on our trailer within 3 weeks I would be most happy to share with you the pictures of ours all total for everything our house will be well under $10,000 I am so excited currently I have plywood in the middle of my living space and I am putting three coats of polyurethane on each side and that will be the subfloor that will be ready by the end of this upcoming weekend I’m so excited hurricane proof sheds are a blessing!

      • Don Lowery
        February 23, 2016, 6:31 pm

        Thank you for getting back to me. Sorry to hear about all of the issues you’ve got through to get your home built. I would love to see what your space looks like on You Tube. Sometimes spend hours watching videos to get ideas of my own.
        Fortunately…just found out that my job as a teacher’s aide at the school I currently work at is being budgeted out of existence for next year. This means I am going to do everything I can do to get to Oregon to eventually look for a lot to build my own home on. Just waiting on my state tax refund to get in my account…buy a decent used vehicle and hit I-80/84 to start living out my dream in a place where they welcome those like us…rather than put up roadblocks to keep us out.

  • Linda
    July 9, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Kudos to the Hawkins County Mission group! I always look forward to Alex’s dailies but today it was Extra Special

  • Vickie Fisher
    July 9, 2015, 4:23 pm

    From homeless to this. What a dream come true. There are so many wonderful people out there. You all will be blessed.

  • Norris
    July 9, 2015, 4:37 pm

    Likewise the stove next to a wooden wall. Dangerous! Apply some sort of fireproof material. Hint ceramic tile.

    • BrownLuster
      July 9, 2015, 7:34 pm

      Agreed on the safety issue OR extend the countertop to the wall and install the stove on the opposite end or make it free standing…just not up against the wall.

      All in all still…a wonderful project especially for a deserving 85 y.o. widow. Kudos to the team that’s making this happen!!

      • SandiB
        July 10, 2015, 11:10 pm

        Take a good look at the stove in your own home — I live in Southern California and the stove backs up right against the wall with cabinets right up to it on either side with just pressboard as the side of the cabinets. I am sure your home is not different and this build is no different than the way my stove is installed and be sure there is not space between wall and stove or cabinets and stove. I am sure the people building/making over this building know what they are doing.

      • BrownLuster
        July 11, 2015, 11:07 pm

        Hi SandiB!
        Actually the stove in my home is almost freestanding and definitely not pressed up against the wall in a corner. I dont live in California, I live in Michigan and not many people I know or have visited have a kitchen setup like that, most certainly mine isn’t set up like that. I have a countertop in the on the corner wall then a double sink, another countertop, the stove which sits almost freestanding next to an entryway. I have a gas stove and the gas line isn’t anywhere near a corner wall.

        Not to diminish the work & efforts of the group of giving people building this home, I (as I believe a few others) was concerned about grease, oil & heat coming from the oven and cooktops being so close to a wooden wall that could possibly be a fire hazard, particularly with no stone or tile backsplash. Besides the safety factor, I’m looking at the ergonomics and comfort of the placement of the stove so close to the dern wall as well, particularly for this deserving 85 y.o. lady.

        • Eric
          February 22, 2016, 7:47 pm

          Actually… 83 year old lady…

  • two crows
    July 9, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Kudos to the people for stepping up and helping someone in need!

  • Daniel
    July 9, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Best of wishes with your cabin, GOD bless all thtat helped with this project

  • kristina nadreau
    July 9, 2015, 5:08 pm

    good. obvious yet overlooked so many places. the “homeless” who are able to live alone could be housed in tiny/small houses

  • Brian
    July 9, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Yippee the old format is reinstated. Just love leaving comments in the various segments for content that appeals to me and exchanging thoughts with other readers at the same time. Thanks for sharing and cheers from Australia.

    • Alex
      July 9, 2015, 6:47 pm

      Thanks Brian! Glad you’re enjoying the old format too. I’m happy it’s better for you 😀

  • Leanne
    July 9, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Love to see the inside completed.

  • Lynnette
    July 9, 2015, 6:09 pm

    So touching. We need to take care of our seniors.

  • Ruth Ruddock
    July 9, 2015, 6:40 pm

    I agree, this is a wonderful way to help someone to have their own house. I also agree with the caution about the stove being in such close proximity to the wooden wall there….even I, at 71 years old, have forgotten pans on the stove and if this were the case, I would be up in flames quickly! So I hope this is taken seriously, so that she can be safe there. My husband and I volunteered with RVICS (Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service) for several years, and we went with other retirees in our RVs, to help refurbish, build, remodel, and other projects….this type of building would have been a good project for us!
    There is no excuse for anyone having to be homeless in America!
    Thanks for posting this great story, and best to this fine lady.

    • dea
      July 10, 2015, 2:52 pm

      So true! in america there should not be a homeless problem…as it is. Shameful, and looks like it’s only going to get worse. There is quite a large part of elderly population, that loose their rentals and homes when their spouse passes because it takes both the ss/pensions/ retirement funds to pay for it… there is tons of senior housing out there, ant it is expensive, it is not state funded which is uncanny given that the state is all too happy to snap up their $/house/ etc… within weeks of someone’s spouse passing because laws of inheritance changed or the old paperwork didn’t suit the county office. I’ve seen a lot of that at work.

  • July 9, 2015, 6:41 pm

    The way of the ‘real’ America,. Good Christian folks doing what comes naturally – without legislation.

  • Timothy kidd
    July 9, 2015, 6:45 pm

    Is you stove between cabinets are they wood?

    • Michael
      July 9, 2015, 8:30 pm

      The issue is not a stove next to or against a wood cabinet. The stove, below the cook top is insulated to allow this. The problem is if a pot of something is cooking on a burner next to the wall and gets forgotten, or the cook falls asleep, or what ever. After a couple of hours the contents might dry out and catch fire. I know this can happen because I have done it myself. Melted the bottom of an aluminum pot. Fortunately my stove was in the middle of the cabinet, not against a wall.

  • ~Lesa
    July 9, 2015, 7:52 pm

    Beautiful things happen in the most magical ways

  • Peter Piper
    July 9, 2015, 9:50 pm

    I have always believed it is heartless of God to allow a person to work hard all his/her life and end up homeless. Somehow we must all work to make up for the lack of concern from God in our lives.

    • Varenikje
      July 10, 2015, 3:27 am

      Perhaps these church people coming and helping this woman with her home is God’s way of taking care of her, oh ye of little faith.

      • Peter Piper
        July 10, 2015, 12:54 pm

        No, I’ say that’s OUR way of helping.

      • Varenikje
        July 10, 2015, 7:36 pm

        Maybe we should ask the helpers.

    • BrownLuster
      July 11, 2015, 11:32 pm

      GOD gives every person free will and if this deserving woman (or any person for that matter) is left a homeless widow then ask the people that willingly created the pracfices and policies to allow such a thing to happen. GOD is not blame for the decisions, policies & practices of the free will of Man.

      I too agree with Varenikje that GOD used these church people to help give this deserving woman HER EARTHLY home and is God’s way of taking care of her, dispite the free will of others who chose not to.

      I Thank GOD for this group of wonderful people that extended their time, resources, care and concern for this deserving lady!!

      • Peter Piper
        July 12, 2015, 3:16 pm

        There are just as many non-religious people who help others as there are religious people. God doesn’t “use” us. He gives us free will. So it is US who do this sort of thing. And thank goodness!

      • Peter Piper
        July 12, 2015, 3:17 pm

        I thank THE PEOPLE for doing this.

    • BrownLuster
      July 12, 2015, 7:43 pm

      GOD not only gives us (his Creation/Children/Man/Woman) free will, he also gives us existance in this life as well. Surely if GOD’S creation (Children/Man/Woman), excercising free-will can use each other in our earthly lives to accomplish earthly works then GOD THE CREATOR can excercise HIS divine power to use HIS creation (Children/Man/Woman) to accomplish earthly works in the same manner….particularly in the absence of caring, charity & good-will.

      No doubt, I completely agree that THANKS and PRAISE are in order for this team of caring talented people that is making this dream a reality for this deserving lady! However, if you won’t give GOD the credit, don’t give GOD the blame. If you would like to give redit and Thank the “us” for the contribution of thier efforts to give this most deserving lady a home, then blame the portion of the “us” that allowed a 70+ y.o. widow to go into homelessness and remain there for the past 15 years.

      Religion has nothing to do with ANY of that, including GOD btw…

  • Rich
    July 9, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I want to bring up a term I haven’t heard in awhile and not here among tiny/small housers; “redlining”. If you haven’t suggest you look it up because it has taken a new form in practice that is not-so-subtly skirting what has been prohibited by law since 1968.
    I have been actively looking for property in upstate NY for the past 6 months or so, wide-eyed and expecting issues of our bureaucratic state, namely zoning and buikding codes (which are present) but not fully realizing that banks, realtors and their municipal cronies are all effectively practicing ‘redlining’ again simply by inflating the cost of land and/or writing restrictive covenants into their subdivisions. Coupled with income disparity at unparalleled levels, those of us with even a reasonable nestegg, on fixed incomes or unwilling to build with a mortgage (yours truly) are being forced out of the market. Folks around here are still lusting after McMansions 🙁 There is no pressure yet (and the last crash was not a big enough 2×4 to knock sense into most people) to stem the tide, but buyer beware. The only properties I’m finding below $6K/acre, even in the poorest counties are too steep to build on or in wet lands 🙁 And the realtors are outright misrepresenting their offerings. At least there is google earth!
    I think it’s great that some charitable people will watch out for others. Unfortunately our governments are not. Be careful out there folks!

    • Michael
      July 11, 2015, 11:55 am

      I personally do not think it is a coincidense that the two most liberal (democratic/progressive) ends of this country have the most restrictive, highest taxed and widest income disparity in the whole country. Perhaps you would like the beatiful rolling hills and mountains of Tennessee.

  • Dean
    July 9, 2015, 10:59 pm

    A friend of mine spent his final years in a rental that was a converted barn.
    Based on my visits to his home, I’m sure this grandmother will be very comfortable in her new abode.
    Hats off to all the people who came together and made this a reality.
    You truely are a first class group of individuals.

  • July 10, 2015, 12:00 am

    There’s no reason a well constructed storage building can’t serve as a comfortable home. A couple of years ago, we had a 12 x 20 ft. storage building erected on our semi-rural acreage to serve as my art studio. We had extra insulation added under the floor, in the walls and in the attic, and chose vinyl thermopane windows. We also opted for studs set 16 inches on center. The interior was finished out with sheetrock, and track lighting and a ceiling fan installed. The flooring material I chose was floating sheet vinyl from a big box store.
    For heat I use a portable space heater (the flameless kind that looks like a rolling radiator) and for cooling there’s a small 6,000 BTU window unit air conditioner. I live in north Georgia where winters can be quite cold and summer temps and humidity can be brutal. Both the heater and the air conditioner work very effectively and keep the studio adequately heated and cooled at a modest cost. (The studio is on its own electric meter so its energy consumption is easy to track.) On a day when it’s 20 degrees outside, or conversely, when it’s in the 90s, I stay perfectly comfortable. I do run the heater on the lowest setting overnight in the winter to keep my acrylic paints from freezing, but operate the A/C only when I’m actually in the studio. I opted not to have the building plumbed, as our house is only 70 feet away and we didn’t want to install a separate septic system, but installing plumbing would not have been a problem. Instead I just use a big plastic water jug with a spigot positioned over a five gallon bucket to clean my brushes and that works fine. A person wanting to live in a building like this would of course need a more sophisticated system!
    The ironic thing is, I find my storage building-turned-studio to be more comfortable than our house is at any given time of the year. There are no drafts, thanks to the extra insulation, energy efficient windows, an insulated steel entry door and a heavy duty storm door. Plumbed, a storage building like this would make a perfectly fine tiny home. Apparently others think so, too. We’ve had several inquiries about it being available for rent so the need and interest in this type of dwelling is there. With some changes in thinking and in policies at government level, so many more people could enjoy home ownership than they do now. Turning storage buildings into homes is a practical, affordable and do-able way of allowing that to happen.

  • Tyler
    July 10, 2015, 2:08 am

    This story really restored my faith in people. Thanks for sharing it with us, Alex. My grandma lives in a large house, but what if misfortune happened to have come her way over the years like it did to the lady who will be occupying this small home? It would be a tragedy if a county government or a building inspector were to put the brakes on a project like this. This deserving senior is probably more grateful for this little home than she could ever put into words. I’m happy to see it becoming a reality for her. Yea!!!

  • Cheryl Hamilton
    July 10, 2015, 4:04 am

    I think their attitude says everything. We just need to multiply it.

  • Tracey
    July 10, 2015, 9:00 am

    What a beautiful mission!!!

  • Courtenay
    July 10, 2015, 2:31 pm

    It takes a village to raise a child, and if that village cares for all of its people young and old, they will raise intelligent, caring, gracious adults. Evidently, the children raised by this community – aka village – knows how to care for themselves and each other. Kudos!

    • Alex
      July 10, 2015, 3:15 pm

      Beautifully said, Courtenay, thanks 🙂

  • Lorraine Cathey
    July 10, 2015, 2:50 pm

    This is the best use of a tiny house I’ve seen in a while.

  • 666k9s
    July 10, 2015, 10:26 pm

    It IS inspiring to read this story, but I am also saddened that this country allows this to happen to our senior citizens. It’s shameful, and deeply disturbing. Thank you for sharing this story, and thank you to all the people who helped this woman.

    • Sally
      July 11, 2015, 1:06 pm

      At some point, we have to stop blaming “this country” and the government and politicians. Things can be done, if we get off our butts and fight the moronic legislation that prevents us from living as we choose. They won’t do anything otherwise; look at all the other special interest groups they are dealing with.
      The court system is there to be used by the citizens, and isn’t nearly as intimidating as some think. I’ve also had a lot of success with the local press embarrassing our local building department over their ineptitude and inconsistent decisions.
      I wish we could go back a few generations, where everyone in a family from grannies to babies lived in the same area and took care of each other. Pooling resources benefited everyone.
      I love these barn sheds, which are very reasonable, especially the repo’d ones. They are a great solution for grannies or grown kids coming back to roost while maintaining some privacy and not burdening others. And if you’ve looked at Craigslist for a used one, you’ll see they hold their value.

  • Julie Brown
    July 10, 2015, 11:00 pm

    Stories like this make me think we’re gonna be ok. Just beautiful.

  • Shirley
    July 11, 2015, 6:10 pm

    Have got to say this is so inspiring to read. This is part of the spirit behind how tiny houses touched people in the first place.

  • Linda
    July 11, 2015, 6:41 pm

    I just love this story. Thank you so much for sharing, Alex. It has swelled my heart today.
    I know everyone is concerned about this lady falling asleep with a pan on her stove. If you look, construction is in process. Fire retardant material may have been installed on that wall.
    I am amazed this woman has lived to be 83, on the streets for the last 15 yrs of her life. I want her over for dinner. I will bet she has interesting stories to share!
    I agree with folks who say she shouldn’t have had to lose her home, live on streets, etc. What a shame. We have a ton of homeless: families, elderly, veterans, children, etc. It’s getting worse.
    Sally, great thoughts. All of this ongoing nonsense is not the local, state or federal government’s fault. It is not the special interest groups’ fault. It is not due to God’s not caring for us, the liberal’s or conservatives or prejudiced police.
    It is OUR fault. Why did we relinquish our rights? Why let the government run us, not us run the government? When did special interest groups get to run everything without us being outraged? Well, it was when we stopped voting, stopped checking on our neighbor, stopped bringing issues up to the paper or at the local little gathering spot at the market. We are to blame. Get mad, people. Don’t stand for it.
    This church group is good, correct and right! Remember, Margaret Mead’s truth: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    Thanks, again, Alex. Love tinyhousetalk.com. Keep up great work.

    • Gordon D.
      February 22, 2016, 8:28 pm

      I can’t believe it,BUT SOMEONE else seen the light.Your so very true on the times gone by when we all cared for our elders and not the ALMIGHTY $DOLLAR$ .I remember when I was younger ,I help care for my grandparents till they moved on.Now today my Dad (POPS) moved on also but my mom is still here and still living on her own.But I still keep a watchful eye out for her while I take of my other half.I also got a young man living in Acto trailer and watching over my place while living with my other.All he pays for is his power & heating.I know our government runs us now but a few still think about helping when they need.

  • Bob B
    July 11, 2015, 7:56 pm

    Okay… so lots of people with positive comments.. thumbs up to them adn to those that actually get involved in improving the life or seniors, or anyone else that needs a hand up (as opposed to a hand out).. to those that say, oh it should have this, it needs that etc etc.. And just how well did the last one you built turn out?

  • Glema
    July 11, 2015, 8:20 pm

    One shouldn’t blame God for the children’s lack of commitment to obedience. 🙂
    As we can see from HIS children who ARE obedient, HE cares to touch their heart when the heart is “willing”. Thank you Father and thank you to all who participated in helping the elder lady. Also, thank you Alex for your good works in sharing this testimony of God in action. Woohoo! Happy trails everyone.

  • Trish Kinnick
    July 12, 2015, 4:16 pm

    The only thing I saw that could be a hazard in the house for the 82 yr old lady was putting the cook stove so close to a wall. It would be safer with cabinetry against the wall instead. My father is 92 and uses his microwave oven and countertop appliances more than a regular cook stove. He has slow cookers and an electric skillet. He says he cannot bend over and is afraid he would forget foods on the stove whereas , he has to stay with the skillet til his hamburger helper type meal is done.

    • BrownLuster
      July 12, 2015, 7:54 pm

      Loved hearing about your 92 y.o. Father He sounds sharp! The “hambuger helper type meal” statement made me chuckle too! (^_^)

  • Roberta
    July 12, 2015, 11:18 pm

    For those with concerns about the stove against the wall causing a safety issue you have more to worry about then that. It doesn’t matter if the stove is against the wall, freestanding or between two cabinets, if you forget about something on the stove a fire is likely to start. Drywall has a one hour fire rating, wood cabinets do not. Building codes allow the placement of residential stoves against walls because they are insulated. Commercial stoves require more restricted measures.

  • LB
    July 13, 2015, 1:10 am

    I see a lot of people adding their two cents which is their right (ie this is a community forum) but gosh, can we at least offer alternative ways to do things accompanied by resources? Okay, the stove is next to a wooden wall and?? Okay, this woman was homeless and it’s sad that her family is present – how about suggest community centers she can go to form friendships. I mean gosh. We don’t know the entire story. We just know this woman was homeless and a group a people wanted to help and thank goodness they did! Can we show some love here?! Can we show support here like where can I send blankets. I’m in the same area, let’s meet up or here is some plants for your window. Special thanks to all the people involved to help this woman out. Thanks Alex for sharing. Keep up the good work.

  • SteveDenver
    July 13, 2015, 2:39 pm

    Every time I see this article or the mention of it in the newsletter, I get emotional. This is good and these people are good.

  • Marcy
    February 23, 2016, 6:56 am

    To those not sure why some of us are so concerned about the stove being next to the wall – if you look closely, you will see it is a GAS stove, meaning open flame. Those two left open flame burners are only a few inches away from the wall. Really is a fire hazard.

  • jm
    February 23, 2016, 8:07 am

    Exactly why we need codes enforced. Elderly, blind or disabled may not realize the danger. Would we feel better if she dies in a fire? What if children died? And they did. Still do. Lead, asbestos, flamible materials with poisonous outgassing, electrocution–I can go on. It’s why codes were established…unless you want to go back to the twenties.
    Safety for vehicles, workplaces, food, clothing–it’s a civilized country, not Afganistan.
    This country will soon face big problems with the elderly needing housing. This shouldn’t happen in the richest country in the world. Most people are just trying to keep their own heads above water. The gov should take care of its own people.
    And just do you think the gov is? They are working people like everyone else just trying to keep their jobs. Maybe the lawmakers–congressmen, senators, supreme court. Maybe that’s all.

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