Drake University teams up with Iowa nonprofit to build tiny homes for Des Moines' homeless

Krista Yin

Three tiny homes sprung up in a Drake University parking lot last week.

Drake alumni, staff, students and other volunteers built the houses, which will join a future tiny home community designed by Joppa, a nonprofit organization combating homelessness in Des Moines.

Each 100-square-foot house will give shelter to a member of Des Moines' homeless population for six to 24 months while they get back on their feet.

Andy Verlengia, Drake's director of alumni relations, said the build was part of Drake's national day of service, called "DU Good Day."

On Saturday, alumni took part in 11 different projects around the country, like helping Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston.

"But in Des Moines, we wanted to include everyone in the Drake family," Verlengia said.

Drake's football team unloaded raw materials Sept. 10 and built the bases of the homes, then other campus organizations took shifts over the build week until construction was completed Saturday.

Alex Ghekas, a Drake junior and member of the student alumni association, liked the project's approach to ending homelessness in Des Moines.

"This feels like a very tangible solution," Ghekas said. "Each house we build will take someone off the streets and give them somewhere to go."



Older Post Newer Post