Ezra H. Murray for Art-Sheep
The idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a virtuous belief and although people may not use it very often it is true. The word “treasure” means different things to different kinds of people. To some it may mean Ali Baba’s cave of gold and jewels, while to others could be nothing more a worn second-hand copy of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. But I think we all pretty much agree that a house, having a place you can call “home”, somewhere to return to and somewhere to sleep at night is a treasure of high value.
Oakland, California-based artist Gregory Kloehn has been working on a new project, called the “Homeless Homes Project (HHP)”, which gives many different kinds of treasures to all kinds of people -Art for us all to enjoy, building skills to be learned through volunteering or by doing an internship, a very creative and constructive way of recycling unwanted objects of any size and kind and, most importantly, a place for homeless people to stay. Or, rather, places -plural.
Kloehn digs up items in the trash that can be used in building and uses them to make imaginative, cute little houses. Now, these houses are not just works of art. Their destination is not a gallery or a museum or an exhibition anywhere but the streets of Oakland. Kloehn makes these houses for the homeless people of his town.
A great project like that makes you think. It makes you wonder how to apply your strength and willingness to help… like, actually apply them. Well, if you live in the area it’s really easy to do, as Kloehn not only offers workshops, volunteering opportunities and internships but he and his team are currently looking for a place to store the material they are gathering as the last place they used was a donation and, unfortunately, no longer available. Just visit his website and you’ll find all the info you want.