Fort Lewis College Engineering Students & HHi House for the Homeless

Update: Monday, March 12, 2018

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

Insect screens and trim were added to dress up the 178 Square Feet HHi House entrance. Starting March 12, 2018, engineering students will perform destructive testing on this model. By the middle of April, after testing is completed, a design report will be made available to Community Compassion Outreach and Humanitarian House International. The Fort Lewis College collaboration was funded by HHi Architect and Designer Stuart Ohlson of Denver.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – The HHi House is assembled, less furnishings. After Spring Break, engineering design students will begin destructive testing on the unit over a period of four weeks until the design study is complete. A report on the HHi House performance and any modifications is expected on April 20, 2018.
Fully assembled with insulated panels fabricated by Fort Lewis College engineering design students.

All panels installed, the back of the HHi House looks like this:

Back windows of HHi House
These cut outs serve as windows for lighting. Panels will be installed eventually.
Students and a hired helper pause a moment with Community Compassion Outreach Technical Director Steve Baukat.

Insulated foam panels are being fabricated to wrap the PVC Frame. The third tier of the frame is in place for Insulated Panels to be attached to walls and 10-Ft. ceiling. Galvanized metal roofing will be insulated. Due to some practice by students who have never worked on laminating the panels, delays were unavoidable. Extra boards were ordered and delivery made as we are filming this phase.

Humanitarian House International Details

Click the link below to go to Humanitarian HouseInernational Website—to learn more about the designer and his description of the 13’x13’ Structure.

HHI logo
Emergency Shelter / Long-Term Dwelling for Low-Income & People Experiencing Homelessness.

Insulated Flooring and PVC Tube Frame

Updated Friday, January 26, 2018, video by Donna Mae Baukat.

HHi House is awaiting insulated panels on walls and A-Frame corrugated roofing. Engineering students will be fabricating wall and ceiling panels with OSB and foam insulation for this mockup. When engineering analysis and construction of the HHi House are completed, Community Compassion Outreach of Durango Christian Church will prepare proposals for a planned unit development of HHi Houses in La Plata County, for “None-to-Low” barrier restrictions. Continuum of Care programs will be included in the proposal.

A Collaborative of Southwest Colorado is being formed to plan and manage a dignified and affordable temporary, transitional shelter for people in poverty and homelessness. The shelter we are offering is based upon the final design by Architect Stuart Ohlson and Fort Lewis College Engineering Design and Practice ENGR-315 junior class. On or before April 20, 2018, a FLC Design Report with Structural Engineering analysis will be submitted to us.

Volunteers—Steering Committee Forming

A Steering Committee is forming for the purpose of planning and managing a Village for the homeless in Durango, Colorado. We are considering the HHi House as a viable shelter in a community development for low-income workers and the Homeless. We invite anyone with a heart to help end homelessness to our steering committee.  Our first meeting is scheduled March 3, 2018 at Durango Christian Church Fellowship Hall (9:30AM-11:30AM). Contact Donna Mae for information.

Experimental Shelter for Homeless

The components of the HHi House which was built in Denver since 2015 has been disassembled, packed and loaded in a 5’x8’ trailer; and, it was driven to Fort Lewis College Engineering Department for the ENGR-315 class in Durango. Portable and recycled for third time, the HHi House for the Homeless is being introduced to Southwest Colorado.

HHi House Architect & Students
Architect Stuart Ohlson (background) instructs engineering students Natalie Lyon and Eli Dickinson at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, on constructing the PVC tube framing for the HHi House.

HHi House homeless volunteer helps clear ground

Our organization is a program of Durango Christian Church in Southwest Colorado since January 2017. We are volunteers working with the community of private citizens, faith-base and other nonprofit groups to bring awareness of evidence-based solutions to end homelessness. For further information, please contact “Donna Mae” at (970) 236-2313 for further information.

RSVP Forum on Ending Homelessness

FREE ADMISSION – Public forum on ending homelessness is scheduled on February 17, 2018, 8:30AM to 4:30PM at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. Learn from FLC Engineering Professor Don May of his class of juniors who are evaluating the HHi House and other homeless shelters some of the students will design.

Register at EVENTBRITE. Click HERE.

Lack of Beds in Shelters Creates Health Problems

A shelter like the HHi House could respond to the crises across the country where there are thousands of homeless people unable to find a bed in shelters. Click Here for the story.


SUCCESSFUL FIRST FORUM on Ending Homelessness!

Durango Christian Church hosted its first public forum ENDING HOMELESSNESS on Saturday, February 17, 2018.

Steering Committee Forming…

Scroll down. . .

KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Donald W. Burnes, PhD., of BURNES CENTER ON POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver.

Don is also a Scholar-in-Residence and an Adjunct Professor at the School. A local philanthropist concerned with the issues of homelessness and housing, he serves on the State Interagency Advisory Group on Homelessness for Governor Hickenlooper and served in a similar position for Governor Bill Ritter.

He was a member of Denver’s Road Home Commission and the Colorado Housing and Homelessness Funders Collaborative. He has served on the Adams County Blue Ribbon Commission to End Homelessness; he has chaired the Evaluation Committee of Denver’s Road Home and been on the Board of Directors of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative. He has been part of the decade long process of conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating Denver’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.  

ENDING HOMELESSNESS: Why We Haven’t, How We Can is the title of the book Co-edited by Dr. Burnes and David DiLeo. Burnes will present brief history of homelessness with evidence-based practices to end homelessness, economic injustices, lack of affordable housing … with the EMPHASIS on HOW WE CAN End Homelessness.

Watch Interview—Can We End Homelessness? 

We are grateful for our sponsors!

FNB logo
Sponsor of Forum Ending Homelessness, February 17, 2018.
Sponsor of Forum Ending Homelessness, February 17, 2018.


Durango Christian Church is a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization located at 255 E. 11th St., Durango, CO 81301

Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness


Humanitarian House International

Thank you Volunteers and Forum Planning Committee Members! You helped us create a very informative event; and, mind boggling data of homelessness has brought new organizations to the goal of planning a Village for the Homeless in our area.

The following are YouTube videos played at the forum during breaks:


We are accepting volunteers for a Steering Committee. We are planning a village for the homeless in Durango, La Plata County in southwest Colorado. Please contact us if you have some hours to establish goals and educational material on Homelessness.


“Thirty-five percent of the homeless are not sheltered…”

Read More