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Operation Tiny Home BIG Dream for Veterans

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Operation Tiny Home is a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit that assists people to maintain a life of dignity through pay-it-forward sustainable tiny housing solutions. Our current project, Tiny Home, BIG Dream, is part of our Pay-It-Forward Veteran Housing Program and is focused on building a Tiny Home for Mike, a disabled veteran dealing with severe housing instability in a rural community outside Spokane, WA.

Our team received exciting news yesterday from The Home Depot Foundation. We were selected as a 2015 Community Impact Recipient and awarded a grant worth $3,000.00.

Group Building Tiny Homes for Veterans in Need

Operation Tiny Home: Tiny Home, BIG Dream for Veterans

This summer with a group of volunteers, we embarked on a journey to build a Tiny Home for Mike. We knew that this was going to be quite the project. Our goal is to raise $27,000 to move Mike into a new 144 square foot tiny home before the snow hits the ground. Winter is coming fast and while we are making steady progress, we are still only 40% of the way there and we could use all the help we can get!

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If you feel like you or the TinyHouseTalk community would be interested, we invite you to take this journey with us! There is still time to reach our goal, especially with the growing momentum and support from the community and organizations like The Home Depot Foundation.

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One hundred percent of the funds that Operation Tiny Home raises will go toward building materials and supplies for the Tiny Home, BIG Dream project.


Video: Tiny Home Big Dream

Here is a link to our Tiny Home, BIG Dream fundraiser page to learn more.

Just as an update, we are now at 57% of our fundraising goal. We’re delighted with the support from the community and pushing to get things finished before the snow of winter hits.


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Gabrielle Rapport is a co-founder of Operation Tiny Home and enjoys nothing more than working with talented people that share in her vision of change through empowerment-focused social enterprise.

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Adriane Harrison
    September 22, 2015, 7:24 pm

    This is actually a lot like a project I am currently trying to get up & running here in south Texas. I’m attempting to raise money for a “village” for homeless veterans. Good luck, guys! I think its a noble cause.

    • Operation Tiny Home
      September 23, 2015, 9:18 pm

      Thanks Adriane! We appreciate your support! Please feel free to reach out directly if you would like us to share some of our fundraising experiences and ideas — email: [email protected].
      Thanks so much for what you are doing for our homeless veterans in south Texas! Best of luck to you as well.

  • Lynnette
    September 23, 2015, 12:20 pm

    We need more of “this!”

    • Operation Tiny Home
      September 23, 2015, 9:19 pm

      We couldn’t agree more Lynnette!

  • Theo
    September 23, 2015, 6:26 pm

    And it looks like yet another loft. Also, I do NOT see $27K to build that.

    • Cap Nemo
      September 23, 2015, 9:00 pm

      I agree with Theo. When you consider the average cost of a 3,000 sq. ft. home at 300k that’s $100 per square foot. 144 sq. feet should only cost $14,400 you could built two units with $28K. Let’s get real people these are vets who need shelter. Just Google the average cost of a 3,000 square foot home. The range is $100-$124 per sq. foot.

      • Jerry Larson
        September 24, 2015, 8:44 pm

        Cap Nemo,
        You and many like you need to understand that when you cram a bathroom and fixtures, kitchen and appliances, living room, dining room, heat and cooling source and everything else it takes to make a house complete into a space no larger than the master closet found in a 3000 sq. ft. house its going to cost more than $100-$120 per sq. ft. If you don’t believe it, build one yourself or at the very least, cost it out before you start belly-aching about the price.

        • Alex
          September 25, 2015, 1:42 pm

          Exactly. Thanks Jerry. It’s cheap to add more sq. ft. to a home after kitchen, heating, cooling, appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc. In a tiny home, per sq. ft. cost is always going to be higher than average. It makes mathematical sense.

    • RBBB
      September 24, 2015, 9:48 am

      When TinyHouseTalk shows a bed that is not in a loft, why is it that people who appreciate lofts are able to avoid posting comments like yours when the reverse seems to drive you anti-lofters crazy?

      • Theo
        September 24, 2015, 11:06 am

        Just exactly what is there to appreciate a loft, have I missed something? I am 74, have slept in many varied places, and have detested lofts since I was a kid. Don’t bother saying I am too old to get into a loft, even as a kid I would rather sleep on the floor rather than a loft. Great PITA, down to use the loo, then up, all half asleep. Plus, most of the loft access I see on here I feel are accidents waiting to happen. Tell you what, you sleep in a loft for a couple of weeks, then come back and tell us how wonderful they are. Lofts are for storage, Murphy beds, or similar, are for sleeping with the advantage of having the loo on the same floor. Heaven at night is easy access to the loo.

        • RBBB
          September 24, 2015, 11:17 am

          I see your point but you seem to miss mine.
          These tiny houses that we see are built around the owners’ or clients’ needs and perspectives, not yours.
          You don’t get annoyed when a car that is a colour that you don’t like drives past you, do you?

      • Theo
        September 24, 2015, 11:48 am

        I quote: “I see your point but you seem to miss mine.
        These tiny houses that we see are built around the owners’ or clients’ needs and perspectives, not yours.
        You don’t get annoyed when a car that is a colour that you don’t like drives past you, do you?”

        That’s the first time I’ve ever read that they are built around the owner or client needs. That really surprised the heck out of me, being told that a disabled vet wants a sleeping loft. A sleeping loft for a disabled vet, yep, all makes perfect sense now.

        • RBBB
          September 24, 2015, 12:14 pm

          Haters gonna… I guess.

  • Susanne
    September 23, 2015, 11:08 pm

    I agree with Theo… Unless there is something special being added, with labor being free it should be no more than 20,000 since labor doubles the price. Plus it’s under 200 square feet even! It is surprising there is a loft.
    Honorable for sure what they are doing but I hope the money is not being wasted., somehow …….

  • Susanne
    September 23, 2015, 11:10 pm

    I agree with Theo… Where is the money going here?

  • September 24, 2015, 12:16 pm

    The VA has sent notice that they are awarding $4M in grants for homeless Veterans. More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at http://www.va.gov/homeless. Community organizations seeking details and/or more information may visit VA’s National Grant and Per Diem Program website http://www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP.

    • Alex
      September 24, 2015, 6:59 pm

      Very helpful, thanks Mary!

  • September 25, 2015, 5:05 am

    I email a few of the big wig from THN over the years for some kind of help to get started, Zip is all I got from them! I can not do ladders, so no loft! I just went ahead and built mine just a box but it is 6’2″h x6’6″ w x 14’6″ long. The other trailer is a old mil one 5’w x8’l . I have cot in this one until I finish my big one, then used for storage I guess.

  • Bob
    September 26, 2015, 9:52 am

    We are developing a Veteran’s Village at Hope Farms for Veterans.
    We really like what you are doing at Operation Tiny Homes, and would like to work together with you guys. You can contact us through our websites: http://www.hopefarms4veterans.org or http://www.ptsdawareness.org.
    We will looking forward to talking with you.

    Bob “Veteran”

  • September 28, 2015, 5:27 am

    I am a vet, and I have been watching the THN for awhile now. So I want to live in a tiny house but the price tag was way to high for me. So I just started to build my own. My 1 trailer was a deal at 700 bucks for a 6’6″x 14’6″. I went to big at 7’4’h x 6’6″w x 14’6″ l I had to cut it down to 6’2″ from 7’4″. My 2 trailer was old Mil trailer it is 5’x8′ it was 450bucks . I used it for one night trips. Enough room for a cot and grill and ice box. It cost me about 600 bucks for wood, fiberglass panels, screws. I will seen the pic when I am done. I got solar panels, generator. I am even going to get wind power when I move to FL.

  • Mario Hinojosa
    December 20, 2015, 11:26 pm

    I am really interested in trying to start a project like this around the central Texas area. I really like this I myself am a veteran but got lucky finding a job after service. Any tips or information you could give me to get started will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • MARY
      January 16, 2016, 9:27 pm


      The VA has millions of dollars allocated to help homeless Veterans, but you need to contact them for their guidelines. Also, disabled Veterans can apply to the Veterans Benefits Administration for “Specially Adapted Housing”, if they need homes with special things, such as wider doors to permit wheelchair accessibility.

      Go to va.gov and type in your question in the search box.

  • David Noble
    January 16, 2016, 12:50 pm

    I live in Spokane. The $30k-$50k tiny home is out range for a lot of people. Sawhorse Revolution and their project, Impossible City, in Seattle appear to have broken the $5k minimum. With free labor, tiny home with only electric heat and lights, bed and storage, costs about $2200. About 10 homes are grouped together, sharing kitchen unit and a unit for toilets, showers. Not as comfy as a stand alone tiny home, but much better than a tent.

  • Kristina McHugh
    February 27, 2016, 4:53 am

    It’s great to see so much dialogue and action around Tiny Homes for Veterans! I’m about to launch a project, with friends, to build a tiny home for our friend and neighbor Victor, a 63 year old Vietnam Veteran (Navy). Victor is a gem of a human being who never seems to ask for anything and gives a whole lot. He’s not quite homeless as he lives in a trailer on his friends land, where he has created the most amazing horticultural eye candy – a fruit tree heaven, where trash, alders and blackberries once reigned. I’ve watched this transformation for the last 8 years. He’s not able to work more than an hour or two as he lives with a very painful disc disorder in his back. He couldn’t save money over the years while raising a family and working under the table (because he needed to take breaks for war trauma issues). Eventually Victor wore out his body from working insane 80 hour weeks of laborious low paying under the table jobs, such as logging, etc, and became essentially disabled. He needs to lie down a lot. As anyone homeless, Victor deserves to get into a more comfortable and safe home than his current drafty, leaky, moldy, tarp covered, cramped, ancient camper. I know Tinyhousetalk will be a great resource. We want to build something he can live and move around in comfortably, so I will be seeking plans that exhibit qualities for an aging fellow. Raising the money will be interesting! I’d love to connect with a 501c3 that can accept donations on Victor’s behalf. Maybe I’ve found some leads here? We shall see.

    • February 28, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Kristina, Thank you for the contribution you are to a Vet in need. It is wonderful to see people in the community caring about our Veterans and taking action! Please feel free to contact me directly and let’s explore what we can do together to provide a safe and comfortable home for Victor!

      Gabrielle Rapport
      email: [email protected]

  • Sherri
    February 29, 2016, 12:49 pm

    I am trying to assist the Homeless Garden project in Santa Cruz, ca. They will soon be moving from three acres to ten acres and there are hopes of trying to build some sort of housing. They are a non profit org so they really have no money for anything extra. Is there anyone out there that may have any suggestions for sources of containers, or even dumpsters that may be turned into tiny houses?
    Thank you

  • vince
    July 30, 2016, 12:18 am

    i just got 2.55 acres in lancaster ca. i am a homeless vet going to school full time. i am looking for free or cheap good condition lumber, 10×40 shipping container, above ground water storage. if anyone in the area can help out i may be able to barter as well. i have a $500 a month budget.

  • Ryan Turner
    January 31, 2017, 11:40 pm

    Awesome stuff. I just started a Non Prefit myself called “Never Forget Your Own Inc.” We will be up and running next month with website and all. We will be helping veterans that are dealing with PTSD and mental health issues as well as homeless veterans. I love this what you guys are doing and would love for you guys to look into to doingredients something here around the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. I have no problem looking around and talking to people for land. Use to be an Army recruiter for 4 yearso lol. Again great job and thanks for giving back

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