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Man Turns Recycled Trash Into Houses for the Homeless

Imagination is a magical thing. And when people put imagination to work in service of others, that magic produces real results—and can change lives. A beautiful example of the power of imagination to make a difference in the real world comes to us from Gregory Kloehn of Oakland, California.


When he worked in traditional construction, Gregory learned a lot about buildings and structures, and what makes up a home. After a while, a curious creative streak prompted Gregory to experiment with alternatives to standard homes.

"I started getting into shipping container homes," he recalls of his early explorations. "From shipping container homes, I started thinking about what other shapes I could make a home out of."

Gregory also started capturing photos of the make-shift structures that people experiencing homelessness in Oakland had built for themselves, an effort that shifted his tiny-home project into the next gear.

Of the people he met on his trips around town, Gregory said, "They aren't homeless. They make their own homes... I thought I could help them with that."

So he started collecting discarded materials and objects from the streets. Using his knowledge of construction and the magic of imagination, Gregory began to design and build small homes from those found materials—and then he would give them away for free. To date, he has created 10 unique living environments from scratch, an incredible feat of imagination and initiative.

This video was shot/edited by Chad Ross and Mitch Goldstein.

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