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High school students build tiny homes for city’s homeless

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Students at a local high school in a Tech Geometry course are using hands-on learning to help Portland's homeless.

PORTLAND, Or. – Students at a local high school in a tech geometry course are using hands-on learning to help Portland’s homeless.

Freshman students at Benson Polytechnic High School are building shelters for the city’s homeless.

In the course, students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to tiny, portable sheds.

Four structures will serve as prototypes for Mayor Charlie Hales and the City to build temporary camps for the homeless.

Students think it’s a win-win for them and the homeless.

“I think that the homeless people are obviously getting housing and we’re learning more than we would normally be able to, so I think it’s an amazing thing we have going on,” said freshman Haden Franken.

Students at a local high school in a Tech Geometry course are using hands-on learning to help Portland's homeless.

Students at a local high school in a Tech Geometry course are using hands-on learning to help Portland’s homeless.

Kayla Stolte teaches mathematics at Benson Polytechnic. She said the plan hatched about three years ago, and since then it has taken off.

“I’m seeing more behind the students than in the six years I’ve been teaching, they absolutely love it. You can see out here they’re eager to work. You have kids coming to school proud of what they’re doing. They want to show off what they’re doing,” said Stolte.

Once the tiny homes are complete, Hales will take these structures and build more just like them.

All of the homes will then be placed in a warehouse with toilets, showers, and a kitchen.

“It makes me feel really good that I’m able to apply what I know to help people in need. It’s a good feeling,” said Franken.

Hales’ staff is now working to find a warehouse space for the structures. The warehouse will also serve as a training ground where homeless people can come to learn new skills.