Gregory Kloehn Turns Dumpsters Into Tiny Homes

May 8, 2014 5 comments

California-based artist Gregory Kloehn is using his creativity and construction skills to build tiny homes for the city’s homeless out of recycled and reclaimed materials found on the street. Kloehn takes regular old dumpsters, with a few signs of wear and tear, and installs the essentials including a bed, stoves, sinks and storage shelves, to turn them into cramped but habitable shelters for those living on the streets. To prove his dumpster homes are fit to live, the artist has actually lived in one that he built for himself, and fitted with such conveniences as granite counter topped kitchen, a microwave, a mini-stove, a fridge, cushioned sofa and even a loo.


By enlisting the help of “imaginative people”, Gregory Kloehn began his Homeless Homes Project to provide sturdy, innovative and mobile shelters for the homeless. Kloehn's little homes are about the size of a sofa, but they come with a pitched roof to keep out the rain and wheels so recipients can roll them around town.

Kloehn and his little group of volunteers comb through heaps of illegally dumped trash, commercial waste and excess household items piled in alleyways and discarded throughout the city, and upcycles the raw materials into walls, roofs, doors, windows, wheels and locks. A discarded washing machine door was repurposed into a window, and pizza delivery bags became materials for insulation.

So far Kloehn has built 10 tiny houses, some of which have already found tenants.

Kloehn became inspired by the small home environmental movement, when he started making fully functioning houses out of shipping containers. Before that, he was making sculptures. But soon he got tired peddling them to rich people, while the sculptures accomplish nothing by themselves. “It just sits there,” he said. "I kind of think if you're putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it did something."

Kloehn is a now a full-time home builder, which he makes out of shipping containers and sells them around Brooklyn.















via Design Boom


  1. They aren't made from dumpsters, they are made from materials found in dumpsters and illegally disposed of garbage on the street. They are mainly made of pallets.

  2. A really nice and even noble idea, hopefully not too many homeless get beaten up by other homeless who want their new home.

  3. I like his idea, but its by no means an original one.. there was an artist from Oakland who was doing this exact work back in 2007 (

    However much I like what this man is doing I feel as though he should give credit to the other artist as well.

  4. Lol, if someone had said that homeless people can just live in tiny wooden boxes he would have been far from considered noble or whatever. But hey, as long as it's art and it has "design"...

    1. Anyone who helps the homeless is considered noble. The article clearly states that he was an artist and is now a home builder because now he builds things that are useful.


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