The Mad Housers

Group Builds and Lectures


At present time, and until further notice, we have discontinued all in-person group volunteering events. This includes builds, outreach, fundraising events, and lectures/learning opportunities. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, please contact for information about how to volunteer with us from your own home. Contact to get connected to resources for learning about homelessness. We will update you on when we resume in-person group volunteering in the future.


Group builds (during non-COVID times)

We often work with groups of 8 to 15 people; we've built with schools, church groups, Scout troops, civic organizations, 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?
Building a shelter has two parts. Part 1 is cutting lumber and nailing it together into the hut's component panels. Step 2 is moving those completed panels into the field and assembling the hut. Each step takes a few hours. Due to the fact that deploying the hut (assembling the panels in the field) occurs in areas where homeless people are living, there is no such thing as a "standard" deployment. Each case is different. The environment where a hut is deployed may be overgrown, unkempt, hidden, or have other issues of concern. However, it is one of the most rewarding experiences of working with Mad Housers.  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 almost 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.