KAVANAH is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization.
As a housing non-profit, we purchase, renovate, and sell homes. Through the renovation process, our workforce development was created. We have taken unemployed U.S. Veterans, taught them a construction skill, and two have launched their own small businesses. We are now looking to pair at-risk young adults with our team to teach electrical and plumbing skills.
While working with Veterans, we saw a need for immediate, affordable, safe housing. So we went to local high schools and charter schools who had Construction Technology Training on their campus. Some of these schools were building bird houses and garden sheds, we asked if they’d like to build Tiny Houses for homeless Veterans instead. Today there are eight schools in the Greater Sacramento Region building the Kavanah Tiny House Model; Luther Burbank High School, SRCC YouthBuild, Laguna Creek High School, Sheldon High School, SAVA Power Inn, SAVA Elk Grove, Rio Americano High School, and Woodcreek High School. There are 23 schools on the wait list for next year, including two community colleges. We are in need of funding for the building materials to provide to the youth.
While building the Kavanah Tiny House, these youths are learning how to build a raised foundation, frame, roof, hang doors and windows, solar technology, wire electric, insulation, siding, sheetrock tape and texture. These are employable skills, in an industry that is experiencing one of the largest labor shortages it has faced. We are meeting our Industry Partners, which has opened up doors of opportunity for these youth. Since November 2016, five have been offered full time employment, dozens have been offered seasonal employment, and three have moved on to higher education taking college construction courses at Cosumnes River College. We believe there are limitless opportunities for growth and advancement in the Construction Industry, and we are very proud to have offered a career pathway for these youth.
By August 2016, the first Kavanah Tiny House built by the students at Luther Burbank High School was completed, found its new home on a church property in Del Paso Heights, and was occupied by a Navy Veteran. Within the first three months of Shawn moving in, he obtained full time work helping us renovate homes, paid off an old fine, obtained his driver license, bought a work van, applied for his VA benefits, opened up a bank account, and turned in his EBT card. However, we have learned the real success is not in a homeless Veteran moving IN to the Tiny House, but in him (or her) moving out.
In February 2017, we purchased a home that would be used to support a group of young men looking to change the direction of their lives. These men are enrolled in Career Technical Education, and were in need of an affordable, safe place to live. At the end of April, these young men and Shawn moved in to the fully furnished home, known as the Kavanah Family Home. We are designing a program to provide these young men the supportive services they need to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
This is the second home we purchased to provide affordable housing for those in need. The first home was purchased in February 2016, and is successfully being used by a Ministry Partner to assist men seeking to break the chains of alcohol and/or drug addictions, and find their purpose. We will continue to look for ways to provide affordable housing solutions to non-profits, ministries, businesses, government agencies, etc., who are working with Veterans, sexually exploited, emancipated or at-risk youth, those with special needs, the elderly, and/or people striving to regain the basic necessities of life in order to restore hope in themselves and their future.