Over 400 California High School Students Are Building Tiny Homes For Homeless Veterans

High school students often have no idea what they want to do after they graduate. Those heading to college can put off that decision. The kids who don't want to continue school have to find a job quickly.

Hundreds of students recently got an idea of what the construction industry is like. They participated in the 33rd annual Design/Build Competition in Sacramento, California. Twenty-seven high schools sent teams to the contest at Consumnes River College.


The work started for the students in December when they began designing their projects. Some made sheds and playhouses but others developed plans for tiny houses for the homeless, especially for homeless veterans. In order to draw the plans, the students needed to learn how to read blueprints.

Once the designs were finished, they were reviewed by professional architects and revised if needed.

Then in May the heat was on. Over two days the students measured and sawed, hammered and framed, caulked and waterproofed until each building was completed. They did hands on plumbing and electrical work, learning first hand about safety on the job at each step. At the end of the contest twenty-six buildings were judged.

Each school got to keep the building their students made. Some were sold to create funds for technical classes or school projects. Others were donated to local charities to auction off. Six of the schools donated tiny houses to homeless vets, giving back a little to those who have given so much.

On-the-job learning experience usually sticks with you far better than reading a textbook. It's more fun, too. For hundreds of Sacramento high school students, those two days in May will not be forgotten, whether they go into the construction industry or not.

The lessons they learned will be with them if they buy a house, even if they become architects or nurses or lawyers or sales clerks. Competitions like this one help students, their schools, charities and the homeless, but also the construction industry, where workers are needed.

The professional construction bosses, who helped out at the contest, saw their participation as ways to give back to the community and to help their industry grow, training students to become tomorrow's leaders in the construction industry.

What do you think about competitions like this one? Have you ever been part of a similar project to help people in need? Let us know in the comments and don't forget to spread the love by showing this story to your friends and family!