The first tiny house built by Tiny House Hand Up will be displayed in front of the Gem Theatre on Saturday during the organization's fundraising concert, and Executive Director Cindy Tucker said it will be dedicated to the memory of founding board member Vickie Booker.
"There's been a lot of thought, a lot of planning and a lot of minds working together," Tucker said about the work of the group.
The goal of Tiny House Hand Up is to provide an affordable housing option for people who don't make a lot of money.
A tiny house built by the group will be between 350 and 800 square feet, but it will only cost about $100 per square foot to build.
Tucker said this area is great for bringing in industry and providing jobs, but often those jobs are on the lower end of the pay scale. Meanwhile, she said, there is a severe shortage of affordable housing.
The organization was founded three years ago, and since then they have been working to raise money and partnering with builders and suppliers and local governments to see their plan through.
They have 5 acres of land near the airport that Tucker envisions building a tiny home community on.
They are also looking at property near Georgia Northwestern Technical College that could potentially serve as a student housing community.
She said they have been offering classes to teach people how to live in a tiny home, as well as how to maintain the house.
"We are trying to do this the right way," Tucker said.
They also have a store at 150 Warrior Path, Suite 3, where they raise money by selling a variety of antiques, art, furniture, collectibles and other home goods.
The home that will be displayed Saturday features custom cabinets in the kitcken/living area, a bathroom with compost toilet and stand up shower, and a bedroom with a fold-down bed. Tucker said this first house will serve as a model home, and she could see loaning it to the social service groups in the area as well.
Tucker said she has spoken with a lot of people who have lived in hotels and motels and cycled between there and apartments because they can't afford to own a home. A tiny home community, she said, is the most efficient way to address that problem because it provides amenities a motel does not while also costing significantly less than a typical house.
Tiny House Hand Up has raised more than $65,000 from anonymous donors, and Tucker said her group has seen a lot of support from local businesses and members of the community.
"This is truly a gift from the heart and they don't want the credit," she said of the donors.
The concert on Saturday night will feature the band HeadGames, which is a Foreigner tribute band that has gone from being an opening act to now headlining at large venues around the country. Sponsored by Grandstanz, Fitness First and Fore Season Golf, the show starts at 8 p.m. and proceeds will benefit Tiny House Hand Up. Tickets range from $24 to $29 and can be bought online at http://www.calhoungemtheatre.org.
Tucker said they have hosted several fundraising concerts and each one has been a big success.
"The concerts are a good fundraiser for us, and we put on four or five a year," she said.
To learn more about Tiny House Hand Up, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/handuphousinggordoncounty.