Students to auction 'tiny house,' hope to make big bucks for veterans center

Dec 28, 2016

Community members are teaming up to build a “tiny house” for charity.

Students and staff from Buffalo Public Schools and Erie Community College are building a house to be displayed and auctioned off at Larkin Square during a 30-day auction. Proceeds will benefit the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York, which provides services to veterans including help with job searches, legal assistance, housing help and family counseling.

Tiny houses are typically considered to be under 500 square feet. Senior Partner at Larkin Development Group Leslie Zemsky said this house will be about 220 square feet to meet city zoning requirements. Zemsky is excited about the project.

“We love doing things that are creative. For us, this 30 days — it’s like a piece of public art. I think people love the tiny house show and the whole idea,” Zemsky said.

Alex Lauer, Director of Engagement and Development for the Veteran’s One-stop Center, said she’s grateful for the work that’s being done in Buffalo.

“It’s a very local project. It’s driven by the community. It’s driven by a great partnership that’s forming with Larkin Development Group, and working with the Buffalo Public Schools, working with Erie Community College. It really is demonstrating one of our values as an organization which is this idea of community collaboration,” Lauer said.

ECC Architectural Technology Instructor Katherine Callesto, said about 15 students are working on the project.

“This is all extracurricular, so they’re not getting any credits in school for this work, and I would say we’ve been meeting weekly and they give about an hour of their time to discuss their designs, to push that forward,” Callesto said.

The project is being coordinated by Bob James of Buffalo Blues, a music organization holding monthly music events to benefits for veterans.  You can follow the project by liking the TinyHouse4Vets Facebook page.