Miniature mobile homes provide a shelter and a step up for people on the street. For many, they may be the boost needed to get into permanent housing. Close one-on-one sweat-equity construction gives the artist an opportunity to put people in touch with other needed services, like life skills counseling, financial aid, and health care. They use local, cheap materials, easily found when in need of repair. They are an expandable business model, with creative commons-licensed designs available to anyone who would like to build their own or start a franchise. Communities can sponsor their decoration, and thus the artist hopes that they will feel invested in the project.
Lastly, they are aesthetically pleasing in a wide variety of ways. With the quirky beauty of these homes, the artist hopes to fight the image of the homeless as hopeless, drug-addicted losers who cannot take care of their possessions and who deserve nothing better than some wet cardboard and a shopping cart. Their imagery has already provoked discussion that has perhaps educated a few on the realities of what people go through when they lose their home.
The second Boot getting its final coat of paint in the Commons at PNCA during Focus Week.
The second Boot home was well under way here, with the inner panelling and insulation on. All it needed was the roof sheet and wheels!
This Boot was completed in late March and immediately put to use.
Here you can see peas and lettuce growing in the panniers of the first completed Boot.
This was one of the first designs for the decoration of the Boots. Canvas panniers catch rain, and eventually the entire surface will be covered with moss, ferns, and plants.
The kids got started on their model Boots right after the talk we had. I was able to photograph some of the partially completed Boot models - everyone started with the inside!
These are the students who will be helping me to build a couple Boots on May 15 and 16!
One of the students from Sunnyside Environmental School shows off the partially completed model Boot that she's making, after a talk with their class about homelessness and what we can do to house people.
This is the full, final (for now) diagram of the Boots that I'm creating.
These were some mid-stage brainstormings, after I'd determined that I couldn't fit in a toilet, and before I'd completely settled on the easy-to-build, space-efficient arched on a rectangle design.