Artist Gregory Kloehn is using his sculptural and recycling skills to help California's homeless population. The Oakland-based artist has been scavenging piles of trash he’s found around the Bay Area in search of usable building materials. With sheets of plywood, old pallets, blankets and tarps, Kloehn makes portable one room shelters for around $30 to $50 in additional hardware that he then donates to homeless men and women in the area.
Kloehn builds his shelters for area homeless almost entirely from found, and free, objects. Scouring illegal dump sites, he searches for usable elements like wood, cushions, tables, chairs and pieces that can be used for windows. After loading up his truck, he spends a little extra of his own money on hardware like screws, hinges and casters to keep the homes together.
Generally, the shelters begin with disused shipping pallets made from plywood that seems to populate any dump site. The pallets are then transformed into the tiny homes’ foundations and structural frame. Discarded planks of wood and sheets of plywood are used for most of the exterior to make the homes structurally sound, and to protect residents from the elements. Roofs are always pitched at an angle so that rain runs right off without fear of leaking inside. The homes are set on wheels so they can be easily moved from place to place.
The sculptor decided to dedicate his craft to helping the homeless, rather than making work that would be seen by the upper classes in galleries, inspiring creativity and social change.
Via Viral Nova