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Schoolboy Helps Build $200 Micro House for the Homeless

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Aryeh Berkovits is just 10-years-old, but as part of his Personal Interest Project in school, he and his teacher Colin May built a micro house prototype to help solve homelessness in Sydney, Australia.

The little home was constructed from recycled materials and only cost $200 to create.

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thanks!

Schoolboy Helps Build $200 Micro House for the Homeless


Image via Carly Earl/The Daily Telegraph


Image via Carly Earl/The Daily Telegraph


Image via Carly Earl/The Daily Telegraph


Images via Colin May

schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-008 schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-003 schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-004 schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-005 schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-006 schoolboy-builds-tiny-house-homeless-007

From the 10-year-old Builder:

…Mr. May, who is my mentor also has a passion for woodwork. He is very talented and created miniature models for me to create.

I brought them home and worked on them. My whole family loved helping and watching them come together. In the planning stage, in our Wednesday groups with Mr. May, we discussed with each other our projects. We shared ideas, gave each other constructive criticism and took people’s advice.

Some suggestions taken on board were putting the door on the side instead of the front, and including the gutter on the roof in order to collect fresh rain water to be used by the occupant of the shelter…

I am passionate and excited that I, little me Aryeh Berkovits in KTC of Sydney Australia could be helping someone with the basic human right of housing as stated by The Universal Speech of Human Rights.

I’m hoping this mobile shelter will actually be used by someone in need which we are trying to organize with the help of Rabbi Mendel Kastel from The Jewish House and Laya Slavin from Our Big Kitchen. And until we find a suitable person and place for it, we are thinking it can be used as awareness for the lack of proper housing and homelessness. A big thanks to Mr. and Mrs. May, Thomas, Aaron Blake and everyone who helped build the shelter…
Some other features are a sink to wash his hands and face, a stove to cook food, storage tubs under the bed to store extra goods, a fan to keep cool and a desk to write on…


  • Solar-powered
  • Took 1.5 months to complete
  • Rainwater collection system
  • Cost $200
  • Built from recycled materials


Our big thanks to Colin for sharing! 

You can share this micro house with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Mieke
    November 6, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Dear Aryeh,

    What a magnificent idea of you! I love to see that a 10 years old like you has not only come to this idea of sheltering homeless people, but has realised this with his own hands and it looks great! Although I do not know you, I am really proud of you.

    From: a grandma from the Netherlands, who loves tiny houses.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:51 am

      I am proud of him too! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Shawna
    November 6, 2016, 12:17 pm

    VERY cool and well done. EVERY country should be doing something like this. It would cost so little and do so much for those totally without.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:52 am

      I agree! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • jake
    November 6, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Great ideas, collaboration, and implementation. Keep at it.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:52 am

      🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    November 6, 2016, 1:42 pm

    Aryeh: Aren’t you sweet! I hope you keep inspiring other young people to do this for the homeless, this is what we all need to help those less fortunate. Two thumbs up, young man!
    With love from a Grandma in Canada!

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:52 am

      Me too! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Sarah
    November 6, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Aryeh, I am just so impressed that you have done this. Good for you! I love in Minnesota in the United States and we talk a lot about the homeless in my country but we don’t have many 10-year-olds who do what you have done. I am proud of you too. Good luck with your building in the future, I definitely think it’s a great idea.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:53 am

      That it is! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Janet
    November 6, 2016, 3:44 pm

    Aryeh, you have a heart of gold. Most kids your age care more about playing online games than solving problems for the homeless. You have an incredible future ahead of you. I know that the homeless person who lives in your tiny house will be overcome with joy. You’ve made my day.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:53 am

      🙂 So glad we could share his great work! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • theresa p
    November 6, 2016, 5:38 pm

    Dear Aryeh—-the world needs more young people like you! What a wonderful thing you have done—-not the building, but the thought. Just imagine how much this will mean to so many people who lack a warm bed to sleep in. You, young man, are special. And you have a very kind heart, which in my book is worth more than anything. I am proud of you.
    love from a grandmother in Canada

  • Andrea
    November 6, 2016, 6:13 pm

    What an outstanding young man! Bravo!

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:54 am

      Yes! — Tiny House Talk Team

    November 6, 2016, 8:17 pm

    That’s what I love to see…! I could only wish more kids get involved in programs like this or even by them selves for that matter….!

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:54 am

      Agreed! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Rev
    November 6, 2016, 11:31 pm

    I see similar ‘housing’ in empty lots, in parks, and along rivers. Drunks and other addicts can be resourceful and ambitious and focused. How else would they be able to maintain their addiction(s)?

    Stack some warehouse pallets, cover with a tarp. Zero investment, so it’s easy to abandon… along with stolen-and-chopped bicycles, busted shopping carts, piles of garbage, ankle-deep sewage, and snow-shovelsful of needles. And the occasional corpse.

    This problem is not healed by providing free housing. This problem is systematic.

    And the term ‘homeless’ is mis-leading, disingenuous. Addicts refuse housing because that would require them to be clean and sober.

    This project by the Australian child is perpetrating the addictions. Shame on those adults for lying to him.

    • oxide
      November 7, 2016, 6:36 am

      Unfortunately I have to agree. If governments could solve the homeless/addiction problems with a few thousand bucks of plywood, they would have done it already. Within a week, these little buildings would turn into shoot-up shelters and prostitution dens. San Francisco found this out when they tried to put port-a-potties in the city to prevent public elimination. (yes, prostitution in port-a-potties.)

      And by the way, this is NOT a new idea. Designing tiny homeless shelters have been a typical architecture student project for years.

    • gs
      November 7, 2016, 6:09 pm

      I find your screed on the homeless shows you have no understand of who the homeless really are or why they are homeless. I worked a full time job (40 hrs ) at minimum wage, yet I still couldn’t afford an apartment or even a roommate situation. I lived in a tent in a field until a hurricane shredded it. I would have loved a little shelter like this. Homeless people work!!! We just can’t afford the extraordinary rents never mind buy homes that are considered “affordable” at 300, 000$. And don’t tell me about homeless shelters that fill up by 5 PM and close their doors but your job is 3 to midnight. I have met lots of homeless have friends who have gone through homelessness some with children none were addicts. Some lost their homes due to illness and medical bills, yeh you get too sick to work, get fired from your minimum wage cashier job, loose your home through no fault of your own, instant homeless person. One of these shelters would have been a Godsend.

      • Natalie
        November 8, 2016, 1:14 pm

        Thank you so much GS for sharing your story. It’s important for us all to read this and realize that we don’t understand what others are going through. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Terry
    November 6, 2016, 11:35 pm

    You are awesome and an inspiration to us all! Keep up the good work!
    I am not a religious person but I am tempted to forward this to the Pope! I read today that he was upset because various govts seemed to find lots of money to rescue banks but can’t find any money to help homeless and poverty stricken immigrants. Terry

    • Natalie
      November 8, 2016, 1:14 pm

      I’m sure the Pope would be proud! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Mark Gaffey
    November 7, 2016, 12:19 am

    .. Great work Aryeh .. Keep on doing that great work mate ..

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 7:55 am

      Absolutely 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Tracie
    November 7, 2016, 6:28 am

    So proud of you. Well Done! Change the world!

    • Natalie
      November 8, 2016, 1:14 pm

      Yes! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Terry
    November 7, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Aryeh, you keep on with your heartfelt passion to help others! As I said earlier, you are an inspiration to others. I have no doubt that when others in your community see your efforts, it will cause others to look within and ask how they can help.

    I am thankful that young kids like you from your generation are touched at such an early age. I have a nephew, Daniel, who has also been moved to help the homeless in the Dallas/Ft.Worth TX area. Terry

  • Kyle
    November 12, 2016, 11:18 pm

    Great job! It is always reassuring to see that there are others out there who care about the homeless population. I came up with a similar plan with my girlfriend a while back. Had a GoFundMe page that got deleted and now planning to save up to build a hundred of them, to start the movement. Keep up the good work!

    Kyle Roberts

    • Natalie
      November 14, 2016, 11:31 am

      Wow that’s great, Kyle! — Tiny House on Wheels

  • Will
    November 14, 2016, 9:30 am

    Great job, man!!! Be aware though that most rain water contains parasites that have to removed somehow 🙂

  • Ron Hulse
    November 17, 2016, 7:28 pm

    This does interest me and I would be interested in finding a partner to help build something like this near my home in Vacaville Ca. We would also have to find a place to put these for hopefully no cost donated land.

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