Today, we have a guest post from Mark Brumbill, a teacher in Georgia, who, as of July 3, will be officially homeless as his mortgage company forecloses on his home. Mark has a great idea, though, to not only help his own family, but to create a community of people who can help each other attain their dream of building a tiny debt-free home by paying it forward. Please consider just giving a dollar if you can.
We’re an average middle class blended family with four kids to care for, a mortgage, and way too many bills. Like many others, we were barely making it when disaster struck.
Last year, my wife, Sheri, became ill and unable to go on any longer as a hair stylist. After that, what was left of our lives began to unravel.
For a long time, we had vague dreams of building one of those cute little houses on wheels, living off the grid, and having an eco-friendly, sustainable life, but it always seemed like something for later, a “someday” thing. Unfortunately, it took bankruptcy and being driven to the edge of homelessness to make us think of it as a viable option. Security seems to take one of two forms. Making enough money to live large, or living small enough to make it on the money we have.
There are lots of other reasons why small is better, but the need to live within our reduced means was what got us moving.
So how does a bankrupt family in foreclosure come up with the money and manpower to build a tiny house? Selling one of our cars and most of our personal possessions barely touched the balance of what we needed. We very reluctantly turned to family and friends for help, eventually reaching out to the global community by means of a fund raising website. We found that most families were in situations not much better than our own.
That's when it occurred to us that we could do more than build a home for our family, we could help others, like a good old fashioned barn raising. We would take all of the kindness we received and "pay it forward" to other families, helping them to do the same.
So here is how it works. Our goal is to aid individuals and families in raising the funds, manpower, and resources to build their own tiny home, asking the global community to lend a hand with anything they have to offer: cash, labor, knowledge, networking, etc. “Many hands make light work.”
If no one can give thousands, maybe thousands can give just one. The people benefiting from that giving then pay that kindness forward & the snowball rolls. Think of how many tiny houses could be built that way!
Look for tiny house projects to contribute to on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PayItForwardTinyHouseProject and our own website at www.piftinyhouseproject.org (under construction). We’ll have a featured project each week.
We are currently accepting donations for our own tiny house project at http://www.gofundme.com/BuildOurTumbleweed. We’re building a tiny house on a 26 ft. RV frame, using a combination of the plans for the “Coastal Cottage” by Michael Janzen & “Tiny Living” by Dan Louche. It’s tentatively called our “tumbleweed” because we were originally inspired by Jay Shafer’s excellent designs, but we’ll probably end up calling it something different eventually.
Please consider helping us with our project. We will make sure that your gift keeps on giving as we pay it forward. You can follow our progress as we build at www.piftinyhouseproject.org.
Mark & Sheri Brumbill
What do you think of Mark and Sheri's idea, do you think it can work?