Tribal members learn how to build tiny homes

It’s said teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. The Lummi tribe believes the same can be said for building homes.

At Bellingham Millworks, A&E’s Tiny House Nation host and nearby Glacier resident Zack Giffin is helping teach Lummi tribal members to build a tiny home for one of their own that will eventually be part of a tiny home village of 25 units.

“It’s almost like teaching a man to build his own fishing rod, so he’ll never be without a fishing rod,” says Giffin.

Eagle Haven Village will offer affordable housing for eligible Lummi members that pass a background check and commit to drug and alcohol free living.

“The person that’s going into this home doesn’t know it yet,” says Lummi Stepping Stones co-founder Nickolaus Lewis.

The tribal non-profit retrofit two large homes on the reservation into shelters.

“We have had on average 40 to 50 people on any given day residing in our homes, half of which have been children,” says Lewis.

The more-than-200 square foot home will feature a vaulted ceiling, one bedroom, ADA complaint bathroom and kitchen and have all the amenities one would need to live comfortably.

“It may be small but it’s theirs,” says Giffin. “It’s quality and it’s dignified”

Wells Fargo made a $55,000 contribution to Operation Tiny Home which is assisting Giffin and Lummi volunteers to construction the home which will be given to its recipient on Saturday.

“What we have going here is seeing how many people we can educate while we are building something that’s going to change somebody’s life,” says Giffin.