Rebuild, Reuse, Recycle

“Restore” is in the planning phase for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Habitat for Humanity. According to the ESVA Habitat for Humanity, the “Restore” will apply the thrift shop concept to the construction industry, and collect donated tools, gently used or surplus materials, and salvaged parts from old structures for resale to the public. This is a much needed resource in this rural community with a limited job market, which can put necessary home repairs or updates out of the reach of a lot of it’s citizens. According to one of the members of the Habitat Restore committee, “Restore provides the place where those who give and those who need will find the perfect market”
And while they are currently in the planning phase, Habitat has the ability to store donations while they locate a suitable building. As a 501(c)(3) Habitat is able to offer tax benefits for donated items. Donors can claim a Virginia state tax credit of 65% of the value of the donation over $500 and while we’re talking tax credits, they are in need of a truck so that they can retrieve and transport items. So if you have any construction items or have a project coming up in the future, keep “Restore” in mind.

It’s All About the Crew!

When the whole idea of Shelter 2.0 started we had no idea where it would go and we certainly had no idea how much we would learn from the whole project, and that is the mission of Shelter 2.0. It’s a way to share ideas, technology and experiences with people from all over the world. A way for us to learn from each other, whether it be digital fabrication, or how to mix massive amounts of concrete on the ground with no cement truck or mixer for miles. On this latest trip to Haiti we learned that not only did the shelter go together easily by people who had never seen one before in their lives, but that human goodness, sharing and the passion to make things is alive and well in Haiti, maybe more so than here in the states. The nine men who worked with us for three days were not men we knew or had hired before hand, but rather were friends of the couple who got the first shelter, that just came to help set the shelter up so that their friends might have a shelter regardless if they had one or not. And while they were paid for the second two shelters and did an excellent job of setting them up, it was awesome to watch  those nine men take  over the process, so that by the third shelter we were nothing more than labor assisting them in completing their project. It was truly an amazing experience and made us realize that if we could set those nine men up in business they could be a part of the rebuilding effort in Haiti, provide for their families, as well as add a tremendous amount of knowledge to Shelter 2.0 through their experiences rebuilding and housing the community around them.

Photos of the Trip

Shelters safely arrive in Haiti

What a truly great day, we have just received word from the group we are working with in Haiti that they have received the shelters we sent them. We are so excited at the opportunity to go back to Haiti and provide shelter, and though but for a few, it will be three less families in the world without a roof over their head and floor beneath their feet and bring us that much closer to our goal of ending homelessness. We hope that this is just the beginning, and that through file sharing and digital fabrication, we can teach people to build shelter for themselves and their neighbors all over the world.

Make Projects

First we would like to thank the folks at Make for all they have done to promote Shelter 2.0. They have been working hard on coming up with a set of  assembly instructions(desperately needed) so that people could enjoy a shelter of their own. They are particularly interested in the use of shelters and other structures in education and how they might be used to inspire kids to learn, what they refer to as a Maker Space. Follow the link below to read more on the Make Projects Site.

Make Projects

Shelters Sent to Haiti Yesterday

Yesterday may have been the coldest day of winter here in Virginia so far but we barely noticed it due to the excitement of getting three  shelters shipped off to Haiti yesterday. The shelters will be delivered to our consignee in Croix des Bouquet Haiti, Pastor Pierre Prinvil. Once Pierre has the shelters in his possession we will fly down and assist in the distribution and construction of the shelters. Our ultimate goal however is to not only distribute shelters to those in need but to be able to help them set up a local digital manufacturing facility so that they can create their own shelters as well as other products.

Pictures of the shelters shipping out

Upcoming Events

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are putting three shelter kits together to be sent to Croix De Bouquet Haiti the beginning of November. We also have an upcoming local build here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  If you are interested in helping out, please get in touch.

Upcoming Trip to Haiti

Last Summer with the help of  Pierre and Marie Prinvil we went to Haiti to try and set up two of our shelters. Try as we might though, Pierre and I could not get the shelters out of customs. However the trip was not a complete loss as friendships were made and we were able to help out around the orphanage where we were staying. This fall on Sept, 18th we are planning to return to Haiti and set up shelters for some of the  many families who are still homeless after the earthquake. This time we are working with several groups that have years of experience in getting aid in the hands of the people who need it. Our plan for this trip is to kick it off with the World Maker Faire in New York and fly to Haiti from there and rendezvous with our shelters.

Mad about the Homeless

This past weekend we were in Atlanta assembling a shelter with a group that is passionate about helping the homeless. The Mad Housers are dedicated to providing shelter to the homeless community of Atlanta by building  a variety of small shelters for their clients. They believe that a person without a home has a far greater chance of staying on the street  and that given a secure place to live, a person is much more likely to be able to find the resources necessary to help themselves.  This is exactly what we are trying to do with Shelter 2.0. It is our goal that through the digital fabrication process groups like the Mad Housers will appear all around the world. No longer will it be necessary to find skilled volunteers but that shelters and houses will go together like puzzles. Once a shelter is put up, the resident of that shelter can help the next client and so on until next thing you know there is housed community with a sense of pride that with a little help they helped themselves.

What is Shelter 2.0 about

What is Shelter 2.0 and what is it all about? That is a question I think about often and thought about alot on my ride home from Atlanta yesterday. Often when I talk to people they get caught up in the actual physical structure of the shelter itself but that is such a small part of it. The most important part about Shelter 2.0 is the ability to share it, with both it’s successes and failures as well as it’s strenghs and it’s weaknesses  with the whole world. We state that our goal is to shelter the one hundred million homeless people in the world. That goal in the age of file sharing, open source, and social networking has never been more achievable. Shelter 2.o is about what we can both learn and achieve as a collective whole.