Fort Lewis College to study new shelter for the homeless in Spring 2018

Update: March 12, 2018

Trim with insect screens on windows. Plexiglas will be installed on another date.

Homeless Shelters and Housing

In collaboration with Fort Lewis College (FLC) and Humanitarian House International (HHI) for a temporary and short-term shelter for the homeless—Community Compassion Outreach Program (CCOP), a Durango Christian Church initiative, is considering the HHI PVC Tube & Insulated Panel Structure.

CCOP and HHI is advocating a transitional shelter for people in poverty and homelessness in and beyond La Plata County, Colorado, for adequate shelter. We believe this shelter is a viable solution for ending homelessness in the USA, while addressing affordable housing for 7.5 million individuals and families in Poverty (a single most cause of homelessness).

The potential of the engineering study is to provide water, power and sewage to each unit — otherwise, an enlarged unit would serve public showers, restrooms and standard kitchen appliances with offices in a community building.

Mission Statement

Our mission  is to assist individuals and families to survive and exit homelessness — One House At A Time! The HHI House for the Homeless is a transitional, temporary shelter to achieve our mission.

Scope of Project

Shelter for the Homeless Collaborative SW Colorado is formed by advocates for determining structural and aesthetic criteria of a new temporary-and-short-term shelter for individuals and families of Homelessness and Poverty. If utilities are added, the unit would be “self-sufficient”, a term referred by potential funders for permanent housing.

Humanitarian House International, a 501(c)(3) organization provides refugee shelters in other countries.  Partnering with HHI brings Community Compassion Outreach a housing solution to assist persons to survive and exit homelessness.

SWShelter4Homeless Interior
Small (2 persons); Medium (4 persons); Large (6 persons).

Architect Stuart Ohlson designed the shelter for equatorial and warmer climates. When “Donna Mae” Baukat, executive director of CCOP, researched shelters for a proposed homeless camp in Durango, Colorado, Ohlson introduced the HHI House for the Homeless (HHI House) for dry, winter climates—perfect for Southwest Colorado.

HHI House consists of built-in bunk beds, living quarter, shower/toilet (options), storage space. Beds are Twin-size 80” in length (does not include mattresses). Sleep spaces are separated by drawn curtains.

  • Small size has one bunk bed in one sleep space.
  • Medium size has two bunk beds in two sleep spaces.
  • Large size has three bunk beds in three sleep spaces.

A kitchenette option may be added.

The structure will be studied by students of FLC Engineering Design and Practice class (Engr 315) and faculty, led by Don May, Ph.D., P.E., Professor of the Engineering Department.

On January 8, 2018, the Junior Class will commence design studies in the first half of the semester — in accordance with the requirements of CCOP for the project, and an expanded scope of HHI House to satisfy the course curriculum of FLC. During the second half of the course, students will build and test the structure. Studies and evaluation will be conducted on the Fort Lewis College Campus in Durango, CO USA.

Goals and Future Plans

The purpose of this engineering study is to tap into the creative energy of the FLC engineering students to offer solutions in the form of temporary and short-term shelters, both locally and nationwide. On a Global level, the HHI House for the Homeless will respond to natural disasters and emergency shelter needs.


Click to go to GO FUND ME to support this Collaborative: SWShelter4Homeless. 

These shelters are intended for an organized, self-governed, democratic, safe ‘village’ — designed to bring dignity and pride to people who are trying to survive and to exit poverty and homelessness. CCOP has completed its research of successful villages for the homeless in various parts of the country; the HHI House for the Homeless is a solution to the lack of affordable housing.

Additionally, we are working to find innovative programs to benefit Durango’s homeless ‘villagers’ with human and health services, mentorship, and management oversight.

An organized, self-governed village for people experiencing homelessness is the only dignified solution to assist them toward self-sufficiency! Instead of living in the outdoors, while waiting for construction of permanent housing, the HHI House offers temporary and short-term indoor living.

Donations for Materials Welcome!

This study project requires funds for materials of the building to be set up on the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Please help us with your generous contribution Go Fund Me link: SWShelter for the Homeless

Every dollar counts! Thank you!

Let your policy-makers know you care for people without housing deserve a roof over their heads!

A proposed ten-unit site plan is presented for consideration as a Prototype Village for the Homeless with HHI House serving as shelters in Durango, Colorado. The image below indicates potential growth of up to 25 units. A community building made of the same components of the large size (see above) is optional for common kitchen, pantry, meeting room, laundry, and office space with computer. Solar power for lighting in each unit is supported by the galvanized steel roof (not included in structure). Utilities and water is arranged with local jurisdiction.

10 Unit Site Plan
Prototype Village for the Homeless is proposed for Durango, CO.

We welcome your comments. If you wish someone to contact you for your community’s plans for a Village for the Homeless with the SWShelter4Homeless, please contact us.