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Put down the laptops and pick up the power tools

Becky Doles

Seattle. A city with an obvious homeless crisis. Tents on the sidewalks. Most people unsure how to help. Well, at least until this May, when 15 TUNE employees discovered one way they could: by helping to build “pods” for the homeless.

When I heard about the Pod Project, a new tiny home concept to help get people out of sidewalk tents and into better shelter, I thought it would be a good fit for a TUNE Cares initiative.

Turns out it was.

With guidance from Huber’s Custom Building, a bunch of us spent a Saturday building pods.

The pods are an interesting concept. Studies show that homeless people are much more likely to get themselves to the next step in life if they are offered a temporary tiny home. Once they have actual shelter, and a door to lock, they can focus on things like looking for a job, instead of where they’re going to sleep at night.

And these pods are the fastest and most efficient option out there right now. After being manufactured, they can be set up and broken down in just 30 minutes and moved with a pickup truck. Perfect for camps that need to move every now and then. No cranes or heavy machinery needed. Tiny home technology for the win!

So we got to learn how to manufacture pods from scratch — putting down our laptops, and picking up power tools.

The instructors teaching us how to build the pods were impressed. Considering we all come from a tech background, it would be easy to stereotype and assume we would not be great with hands-on labor and power tools.

We broke down that stereotype. Turns out TUNE has some natural craftsmen and craftswomen. We are builders, after all.

Check out this video montage I filmed of the build day:

The pods TUNE helped build are on their way to non-profit homeless camps now.

Fun fact: During the build day we helped construct a larger prototype pod. A 12-footer. It’s been delivered to a homeless camp, where it was an instant hit — the camp would like 50 more built. More volunteer builders will be needed, that’s for sure. It’s a homeless camp tiny home movement now.

It’s great to see members of the community step up and try to do something about Seattle’s homeless crisis. And we would love to see more tech companies take a similar approach.

To learn more about the Pod Project, check out the film and feel free to contact Huber’s Custom Building to get involved.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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