The Warehouse Edition
You probably know that Apple and Microsoft started off in garages, but did you know that our partner organization Settled started their tiny homes out of a garage? Yep, for the past couple years, Settled has used the small garage/shop space on the northeast corner of our building while they built five tiny homes in the parking lot right outside.
These tiny homes were built to make a Sacred Settlement: a community of tiny homes on wheels with shared facilities on religious property. Sacred Settlements activate and equip people of faith to create a home with neighbors experiencing homelessness. (Learn more about the history of our partnership here.)
Building these houses has been a collaborative effort between Settled and a number of churches, including Woodland Hills. And they’ve been on display for months, sparking people’s imagination for what is possible. The Sacred Settlement is still on display in our parking lot and open for tours! If you’re interested, learn more and sign up for a tour here.
This summer, all the houses will be donated to Mosaic Christian Community in St. Paul for the first Sacred Settlement.
Several new congregations, businesses and households have caught hold of the vision for Sacred Settlements and we expect to host the construction of a new batch of houses in late summer or early fall. Like the homes currently in our parking lot, they will first serve as a display community to showcase how everything works, and then they will be donated to the next Sacred Settlement.
It’s great news that the Sacred Settlement project is taking off, but it also means that we’ve outgrown our little garage space and are bursting at the seams.
Our partnership with Settled has become about sharing space for the construction and display of these tiny homes that will serve our homeless neighbors. We had the initial space to begin with to host construction projects, and we’re blessed to have more space to expand. The North Wing of Woodland has approximately 65,000 square feet that is currently unused. It’s pretty unique for a church to have that kind of capacity, and we want to use some of it to serve the tiny home movement!
We hope to renovate a portion of our unfinished space to serve as a supply warehouse. Once finished, this will be a place to efficiently organize supplies and support volunteer crews. Greater efficiency will mean we can more effectively build more tiny homes to serve our community!
The project will include:
- A large exterior garage door to move materials in and out of the building.
- Structural changes to the building to accommodate the new door and ensure everything’s up to code.
- Purchasing a forklift to move large stacks of lumber and heavy building materials.
- Organized storage for stuff like giant plywood sheets, shingles, siding, screws and nails.
- Space to store donated materials like doors and windows. Settled is creating relationships with manufacturers who are willing to donate high quality (expensive) materials for the homes, but currently, there isn’t room to accept and inventory these donations.
How you can help
When we first bought this building, our hope was to use it in every way possible for our community, and over the years we have held several “Making Space” fundraisers to do just that. Each of these campaigns helped us raise money for building projects that “made space” for our partner organizations.
Through past Making Space campaigns, you have made it possible to:
- Open our building to Project Home, an overnight program for homeless families
- Build out our food shelf to serve even more families
- Create playground space for Close to My Heart Daycare
- Put in office space for The Lift, an organization serving East Side youth
- Open up classroom space in the North Wing.
This new warehouse space will continue the Making Space vision of maximizing our building in order to serve our city.
We hope to raise $65,000 by mid-summer to renovate part of our unfinished space, and in doing so, speed up the construction of tiny homes and Sacred Settlements! You can:
- Give online and select the Making Space fund
- Write a check to Woodland Hills and write “Making Space” in the memo
- Drop off a cash donation in an envelope marked “Making Space”
As a church, we have a history of serving those around us, and Sacred Settlements are a tangible way to demonstrate God’s love. As we continue in our call to be a construction and display site for this work, help us get out of the garage. Let’s make some space!