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New partnership to benefit Humble ISD’s nationally recognized ‘tiny homes’ initiative to help homeless veterans
Left: KPHS students are nearing completion on the school’s third tiny home as part of “Students Helping Veterans: Big Heroes, Tiny Homes.” The 200-square-foot home features heating and air conditioning, along with indoor and outdoor living spaces. Right: Students at Summer Creek High School are constructing a 320-square-foot home that features a complete kitchen, bathroom, and air conditioning and heating.
A new partnership between Humble ISD’s “Students helping Veterans: Big Heroes, Tiny Homes” program, Operation Finally Home, Lowe’s, and the Greater Houston Builders Association will provide additional support to students designing and building homes for veterans in need.
The new partnership was revealed on March 2, 2021, at the sites of two new homes being constructed for veterans at Kingwood Park (KPHS) and Summer Creek High Schools (SCHS). Students signed “notes of love” inside each home to serve as messages of inspiration to the veterans receiving each home.
KPHS students sign notes of love that will be placed permanently inside the walls of the new tiny home. The notes are words of inspiration and encouragement for veterans.
Operation Finally Home, a non-profit organization that provides homes and home modifications to veterans and widows of fallen service members, has agreed to offer up to $20,000 worth of building materials through Lowe’s.
“Until now, we had to wait for more donations to cover costs when our funds were low,” KPHS Tiny Homes moderator Missi Taylor said.
“Having access to additional resources through Operation Finally Home, Lowe’s, and the Greater Houston Builders Association, we’ll be able to purchase supplies as we need them.”
The benefits of this partnership, however, reach far beyond donated building materials. “The additional support can only improve design and building processes, resulting in an improved and more efficient workflow, as well as improved tool skills and knowledge,” SCHS Tiny Homes moderator James Gaylord, said.
Students at KPHS are building a tiny home for Jeffrey Jacobs who served in the U.S. Air Force. Jacobs currently works as a volunteer at the Langetree Retreat and Eco Center, the site for previous tiny homes built by KPHS and SCHS students.
Parker Ryan, a KPHS senior, is the lead architect for Jacobs’ new home. Ryan hopes to pursue a career in architecture. Building Tiny Homes for veterans has ignited his passion to help the community. “It’s really heartwarming to know that I’m able to help someone in need who has given so much to protect our country,” Ryan said.
U.S. Air Force veteran Jeffery Jacobs stands next to the front steps of the new house he will soon call home. Once construction is complete, the tiny home will be moved to the Langetree Resort and Eco Center where other tiny homes built by Humble ISD students now stand.
The tiny home currently under construction at SCHS will soon become home to U.S. Navy veteran Donald Gianni, who is currently looking for work.
SCHS Tiny Homes lead architect Jose De La Rosa understands that building a Tiny Home is about more than just construction basics. “It’s a rewarding feeling to know that you’re learning new skills while helping the community by giving back to veterans,” De La Rosa said.
Both veterans were present during the March 2 announcement for a walk-through of their future homes.
Left: Major Ricky Ricky Parker, Senior Army Instructor at SCHS, prepares to hang a U.S. flag by the front door of the new tiny home. Right: Jose De La Rosa, lead architect for the latest SCHS tiny home, shares thoughts about what he has learned from his experience.
Operation Finally Home began taking an interest in the Tiny Homes program in early 2020. “Representatives with Operation Finally Home attended Summer Creek’s tiny home dedication in February 2020 and were so amazed by the work of our students that they felt compelled to help,” Mr. Gaylord said.
Operation HomeAid Houston, part of the Greater Houston Builders Association, is also part of the partnership. The group is ready to offer expert advice and support to students throughout the construction process. “We can’t wait to see what the students will do next because we want this legacy to continue for the community and for the veterans in need,” Carole Brady, HomeAid Houston Executive Director, said.
Ms. Taylor and Mr. Gaylord are optimistic that the new partnership will open doors to new student opportunities from experts in the industry through mentorships and professional insight into design and construction.
The new partnership is helping Humble ISD students open doors to new achievements with the Tiny Homes projects. “I can’t think of a better way to not only serve our veterans but also help teach our high school students a trade that could lead to a rewarding career,” Rusty Carroll, Executive Director for Operation Finally Home, said.
More details about the new partnership can be found in this media advisory from Operation Finally Home.
More information about each school’s Tiny Homes program can be found at:
The tiny homes program graciously accepts donations. Contributions benefit the program at each school. Donations can be made through the donations link or through the Humble ISD Education Foundation at 281-641-8140.