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Man Traveling in Tiny Home to Help Rebuild New Orleans

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For most Americans, Hurricane Katrina is a decade-old memory. However, over 20,000 families in New Orleans are still living with the effects of the storm today.

20,000 is the number of houses in New Orleans that still need repair before they are habitable, according to Dave Dickey, a volunteer for the United Saints Recovery Project. Dickey, originally from Maine, had planned on spending two weeks helping with recovery efforts. However, he ended up spending ten weeks there in what would become a life-changing experience.

Man Traveling in Tiny Home to Help Rebuild New Orleans

Man Travels in Tiny Home to Encourage Volunteers to Rebuild New Orleans

Images © Dave Dickey

For low-income families and the elderly, the efforts of volunteers like Dickey could mean finally regaining their homes. That is why Dickey, a 65-year-old retiree and former business owner, has dedicated his time to recruiting volunteers to go to New Orleans.

Dickey has an interesting recruitment method. He is traveling across the country armed with nothing but a truck and a tiny home he built himself, which he calls a “gypsy wagon.” During his travels, he encourages people to go to New Orleans to help with recovery efforts.

Man Travels in Tiny Home to Encourage Volunteers to Rebuild New Orleans

Images © Dave Dickey

Although Dickey admits that the wagon is an attention-getter and a conversation starter, it is also a place for him to live in as he makes his way to New Orleans. Dickey himself is on a pension and says he cannot afford to stay in hotels or motels while traveling.

He plans to finish his recruitment in New Orleans and stay there until he gets tired of the heat.

To learn more about Dickey’s involvement in the United Saints Recovery Project and make a donation, click here.


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Sabrena is a writer and blogger from Los Angeles, California and Tiny House Talk is excited to have her as part of the team to help us share more inspiring tiny homes and simple living stories with you.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    June 8, 2015, 10:48 am

    I love EVERYTHING about this man and his mission! What a heartwarming story; thank you, Alex, for featuring this kind man and his selfless mission. 😀

  • dea
    June 8, 2015, 1:34 pm

    Love it, this is IT! thanks Alex!

  • Lisa E.
    June 8, 2015, 3:01 pm

    You’re a good man, Mike Dickey, and the world needs more just like you.

  • Brandi
    June 8, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Is there a way to reach this incredible man? There might be some help available at a little later date.

  • Iris
    June 8, 2015, 5:10 pm

    This is a worthy cause for sure, but the organization he’s representing seems to have a bit of a peculiar approach. Unless you are a local, they CHARGE you to volunteer — $20 a day if you don’t need any housing, more if you do.

    I’ve never heard of such a thing. I can appreciate that they need money just like every other relief organization, but this approach leaves a funny taste in my mouth. I was considering volunteering for them during my summer road trip — I think I will find other ways to be of service instead.

    • Mary
      June 8, 2015, 7:13 pm

      Lol that’s Louisiana, always has done things in the most awkward of ways! I love Louisiana, and always will! However business never proceeds as usual 😉 when I read your comment it made me giggle! And just a little tip never be surprised by anything in LA!

    • Mary
      June 8, 2015, 7:16 pm

      Oh and smart, find other ways. Also track your funding 😉

  • Susanne
    June 8, 2015, 6:12 pm

    What a wonderful man!

  • Robin Snyder
    June 8, 2015, 8:15 pm

    Oh mon Cheri if I didn’t have an ill husband I would volunteer! Maybe some day….

  • Jane
    June 8, 2015, 9:10 pm

    Wonderful house and great volunteer!!

  • Lynne H
    June 8, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Go Mike! You are an awesome inspiration!!

  • liberation
    June 9, 2015, 1:41 am

    that’s inspiring! freedom!
    go mike dickey!

  • Lisa
    June 9, 2015, 1:41 am

    It’s been years and the quarter and other tourist spots look great! What many do no know is the rest the city is still in shambles. Moldy damaged homes in most places. I think it’s wonderful what he is doing.

    I hope it can be arranged that these rebuilt homes can be THOWs and that it be set up for legal parking of these on the existing land the people own. Just think about it: Next large storm warning comes and these can be wheeled away till it all passes and there will be a next one, but w/ THOWs no rebuilding just reparking!

    • dea
      June 9, 2015, 12:04 pm

      So true, THOWS do make better sense in these places for many reasons…move em to a safety zone when they’re in the threat of a storm etc. and bring em back…Anyone else getting even more burned up over all the disaster relief funds sent and (mis-appropriated)?… shame disasters and wars etc. are the money makers for business

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