The Mad Housers

Group Builds and Lectures

Group builds

We often work with outside groups of 8 to 20 people; we've built with church groups, students, Scout troops, and more. We'd be very happy to help your group build a shelter. There are different levels of involvement, and it's up to you on how much you'd like to do.

Here are the questions you'll need to ask yourselves:

Do you want to supply labor and materials, or just labor?
If we supply the materials, then we're going to specify what type of shelter is built. If you supply the materials, then it's your structure, and you can build what you want. However, if it's not a shelter we need, we may not be able to store it at our (very small) warehouse until it can be used.
Do you want to build at your location, or ours?
If you want want to build at your location, you'll need to supply materials or transport for our materials. If you only want to supply labor, then you'll need to bring your group to the warehouse.
Do you want to manufacture the panels (panel build), assemble the panels into a shelter (shelter deploy), or both ("soup-to-nuts" build)?
A build goes in two distinct steps: prefab the panels offsite, then assemble into a structure onsite. Each step takes a few hours. Panel builds are straightforward, if occasionally time consuming, especially for Low Riders. Essentially, we turn a pile of lumber into a pile of panels. Shelter deployments are easier technically, but much harder logistically. First, we have to get a truck or two to transport the panels. Then, we assemble the panels into a shelter onsite, which often means a homeless encampment or hidey hole. The circumstances can be dicey depending on the environment and the people present. There is no such thing as a 'standard' deployment; however, it is one of the most rewarding experiences of being a Houser. If your group wants to go on a deploy, we'll need to discuss ahead of time the likely difficulties of the particular deploy you'll be working on.

A Mad Houser build is a great team-building exercise. No previous construction skills are necessary, and there is a way for everyone in the group, no matter how skilled, to participate. If you think your group would enjoy working with The Mad Housers, contact us.


Occasionally we get a request to give a lecture at a class or civic organization, or to attend a conference. We love to talk about the Housers! However, please keep in mind that we're entirely volunteer-operated, so giving lectures usually cuts into our daytime jobs. Feel free to contact us, but understand that we may not be able to find a volunteer who can attend.