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Nonprofit begins construction on tiny homes for Almeda survivors

Volunteers are seen working on the first two tiny homes for Almeda fire survivors. The project is being funded by the Tiny Pine Foundation, a nonprofit that builds tiny homes for people who lost their homes to a wildfire. (Ambar Rodriguez/News 10)

After losing her home to a wildfire in 2008, a California resident along with volunteers are now helping Almeda survivors by building them tiny homes.

Alyssa Nolan, the founder and director of the Tiny Pine Foundation and a group of volunteers have begun constructing the first two tiny homes which will be donated to two Southern Oregon families who lost their homes on September 8.

“What we do is we are taking a small amount of money and we are creating some alternative housing solutions, and then we are blessing people with the homes for free,” Nolan said. “It's setting them up to be a champion in their recovery and move to the next level.”

Nolan explained after she lost her home in the Butte Lightning Complex fire, and then watching the devastation from the 2018 Camp fire she set out a goal of building 10 homes.

“Where I live in California when wildfires happened, I really wanted to help, I gave food, I gave clothes, but it seemed so insignificant, the Lord pressed me to build a tiny home,” Nolan said.

Now 7 months after the Almeda fire destroyed thousands of homes, Nolan said the nonprofit has already raised enough money to build six tiny homes.

The entire process of building the homes is done by volunteers. She said tools are donated and the funds raised by the organization are used for the materials.

“There are so many people that FEMA doesn’t even have numbers on, whether it be for various reasons, and there are so many people who are still struggling, living in a hotel room or less than adequate living conditions,” she said. “I don’t think we are solving the housing crisis, but we are making a big difference for the people we do house.”

Nolan noted the only requirement to qualify for a home, is that the person needs to have lost their home to a fire and must have a location to put their tiny home once it is constructed.

She said there are currently 132 Almeda fire survivors on the waiting list for homes. Nolan said once a survivor is on the list, they are assessed based on their needs. She said those with children, disabilities, or in dangerous living conditions get placed higher on the list.

Nolan shared the nonprofit needs volunteers and donated tools for the homes that are being built for Almeda families.