Florida Organization Seeks Tiny House Plans for Life Empowerment Outreach Project

According to a recent report by the Sentencing Project, in the United States approximately 100 Million people have a criminal record and over 2 million people are currently in jail or prison.

For these people, having even a minor criminal record, such as a misdemeanor or even an arrest without conviction, can create an array of lifelong barriers that can result in isolation, substance abuse, depression, poverty, and even worse criminal trouble in the future.

As a result, numerous companies have been established by or for ex-fellons to have the training, employment, resources, and conditions needed for success — everything from bread companies to restaurants, and starting soon, a tiny house manufacturing company.

Below is a letter from Michael Jalazo who is working to help launch “Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Corporation” in Florida which will help homeless people as well as people with a criminal record, to get education, jobs, and housing.

It’s the first program like this in the nation that we’re aware of, and we’re excited to have the small house movement being embraced by those working to create re-entry opportunities. We wish them the best of luck with their endeavor.

Presently they are needing help with small house plans and designs.

Please help in any way you can.


Greg Johnson, President/Director/Facilitator
Small House Society



Date: 26 Feb 2017 @ 1:22 PM EST
Re: Building Tiny Houses to Change Lives


My name is Michael Jalazo, and I am the Executive Director of Pinellas Ex Offender Re Entry Coalition (PERC), a nonprofit in Pinellas County, Florida (Tampa Bay area) that helps formerly incarcerated individuals get back on their feet upon reentry into society. PERC is proposing an exciting social enterprise project to a local foundation for support and I am hoping you’ll partner with us. We’re creating a workforce development program that will train former offenders to construct eight tiny houses in one year. This on the job training will lead to full-time construction job opportunities with the City of St. Petersburg for at least 32 hard to employ formerly incarcerated individuals.

By teaching ex-offenders to construct tiny houses they will develop a tangible skillset that will reduce their chances of returning to incarceration. Workforce training refocuses these individuals’ time and efforts on prosocial activities, making them less likely to engage in riskier behaviors. Attaining a job will enable them to generate income, enhance self-esteem, improve physical and mental health and become self-sufficient. Once self-sufficient, former offenders will come full circle, contributing to society rather than being supported by government and social services.

This project, titled “Second Chance Tiny House Manufacturing Corporation” will yield tiny houses for profit, in turn creating a sustainable business. We will also work with the Pinellas County government, the city of St. Petersburg and the Homeless Leadership Board to populate empty lots with tiny houses to create rapid housing to reduce homelessness in Pinellas County.

A number of partners are already involved in this project, providing stipends for training and lots to build on. An experienced contractor who is also a veteran in recovery will lead our efforts. However, we are in need of plans and designs for tiny house construction. Will you help turn around the lives of these in-need formerly incarcerated individuals by collaborating with PERC and donating tiny house plans?

Time is of the essence. We are submitting our grant proposal at the end of this week – please reply to this email and tell me that your company is in! PERC is a nonprofit, so your contribution will be tax deductible.


Certainly, feel free to call about details.

Michael D. Jalazo
CEO/Executive Director
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-Entry Coalition
727-656-4989 Cell
855-505-PERC (7372)
Clearwater: 727-408-5260 Ext 208; St. Petersburg 727-954-3993 x201
Email: mjalazo@exoffender.org
Web: www.exoffender.org

American Tiny House Association – Board of Directors

Palmetto, FL (December 12, 2016) — The American Tiny House Association (ATHA) has elected its 2016-17 board of directors. Details are below.

About the American Tiny House Association

Founded in 2015, American Tiny House Association is the premier organization dedicated to ensuring tiny houses are accepted as viable dwelling units. Members advocate locally and nationally, providing education and support to enthusiasts, municipalities, key housing organizations, builders and other professionals to help people to legally live tiny.

Benefits of membership include access to resources, solutions to building and zoning codes, connections with city planning and construction experts, and the tools to engage with local governments. For additional information, visit the web site at AmericanTinyHouseAssociation.org.

Board of Directors


President: Chris Galusha

Galusha is a construction consultant and advocate for safe, affordable housing. Since 2010, he has focused on the tiny house industry and works to teach and mentor those interested in construction, regenerative agriculture, and land development. He is currently director of construction for a veterans organization, developing tiny home plans and construction training programs in the Dallas, Texas area.


Vice President: Amy Turnbull

Turnbull studied community development and housing as a graduate of California State University and brings her passion for tiny to ATHA. She is an advocate of accessory dwelling units (ADU) and hopes to build an ADU on her property in Great Barrington, Mass.


Treasurer: Lisa Ward

Ward is the founder of TinyHomesClassified.com. She has worked in private commercial and residential real estate finance industry and government sector for more than 20 years, with a focus on partnerships for affordable housing, mixed use development and land preservation.


Secretary: Ginger Reichl

Reichl is the CEO of Parvus House, a tiny house design firm, and is president of Pinstripe Marketing in St. Petersburg, Fla. She is an advocate for tiny homes as an opportunity to solve a variety of problems including transitional housing communities for the homeless, veterans, youth aging out of the foster care system and more.


Director: René Hardee

Hardee transitioned from a mere tiny house enthusiast into a true tiny house change agent by petitioning her town of Rockledge, Fla. to create a brand-new, tiny house community zoning ordinance, and is currently building the city’s first tiny house community.


Director: Aaron Kipfmiller

Kipfmiller is the design and construction manager for Great Lakes Tiny Homes in Jackson, Mich. Responsible for conceptual designs and construction documentation. He also manages the zoning intelligence service to provide detailed analysis of zoning requirements for potential property locations.


Director: John Kernohan

Kernohan and his wife, Fin, live in a 304 square foot tiny cabin in Eatonton, Ga., and host the Facebook blog, “Beloved Cabin.” They also created and continue to plan and manage Tiny House Festivals, and regularly contribute to blogs, presentations and other publications about tiny living.

# # #


Event: The Charm of Living Small on 20 August 2016

20 August 2016
2-4 PM
Marion Public Library

Join us for the Small House Symposium on 20 August 2016 from 2PM to 4PM.

The event will take place at the Marion Public Library, Meeting Room A, 1095 Sixth Avenue, Marion, IA 52302 [Map]

You can learn more on the library event description page.

Small House Event – Cedar Rapids – 19 July 2016 at 6:30 PM

Date: 19 July 2016 / Tuesday

Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM [Event Page]

Location: Cedar Rapids Public Library [Map]

Room: Beems Auditorium Combined A & B


An evening with Greg Johnson, President of the Small House Society, who will give a presentation on the trend toward smaller living, and the popularity of tiny houses (those less than 500 square feet) in particular.

Layne Stark, who makes his living in carpentry and has built his own tiny home, will also share his experiences.

There will be time for questions and answers, as well as discussion. If the ideas of downsizing, living simply or freeing yourself of the burden of a larger home appeal to you, join us for this event!


Midwest Small House Event on 23 January 2016

23 January 2016
2-4 PM
Marion Public Library

Join us for the Small House Symposium on January 23, 2016 from 2PM to 4PM. Recently extended from the originally scheduled 2-3 PM time.

The event will take place at the Marion Public Library, Meeting Room A, 1095 Sixth Avenue, Marion, IA 52302 [Map]


Please note that the program schedule may expand to include other presenters or events as we get feedback from those who plan to attend. Please check this page for additional event news and updates.

If you’d like to have an information table, or offer a presentation, please contact us before January 15. Thanks!

You can RSVP on the Event Facebook Page.

You can learn more on the library event description page.

Event Report (24 Jan 2016)

There were 81 people in attendance yesterday at the Tiny House event in Marion, Iowa. Many thanks to all who attended, and to the Marion Public Library for hosting the event, and posting this great photo on their Facebook page.



Small House Society – Great Lakes Region – 2015 Summit


UPDATE @9PM on 24 May 2015

We didn’t get sufficient response to hold this event. We’ll plan something else in the midwest region soon. Thanks!


The Small House Society is hosting another pop-up conference! This time we’re meeting in Munising, Michigan. Learn more below, and attend if you’re able.

Why a Pop-Up Conference?

We’ve chosen to have spontaneous pop-up conferences because organizing and hosting larger events is very costly. Promotion costs are high, and securing a location for many people is expensive. Because of their spontaneity and short notice, pop-up conferences generally have fewer people attending. Small conferences can be more personable, and can be offered at a lower cost. We also want to encourage people meeting in their own regions rather than traveling a long distance to an event. This helps promote local connections, collaborations, and projects.

Event Location

Our meeting venue overlooks Murray Bay and the Grand Island Lake Superior (shown below). This is the view from the patio just outside the hotel.

Murray Bay — Munising, Michigan

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 25 May 2015
  • Time: 9AM-3PM
  • Location: Holiday Inn Express, Munising, Michigan [map]
  • Registration Payment: Suggested event registration is $30. This nominal fee is simply to help defray some of the cost associated with hosting the event. It also helps to ensure that those who indicate a desire to attend are serious about it and likely to attend. Payment can be made as described on our donations page.
  • Lodging: Each attendee is responsible for their own lodging accommodations. At present, the Holiday Inn has no vacancies.
  • Format and Content: Because this is a pop-up conference, the format and content will be determined by feedback we receive from those who register. See the registration form and survey below. The location may change depending on how many people register to attend.

Format Options

Depending on the preference and interest of those attending, the event will take the form of:

  • Clinic – Personalized consultations with individuals on the topics of interest to them.
  • Conference – Presentations on various topics.
  • Expo – Product demonstrations and tables.
  • Meet-up – Networking with peers.
  • Seminar – Classroom format with educational approach.
  • Summit – Policy and strategy sessions and discussion.
  • Symposium – Panel discussions on topics.
  • Workshop – Small group discussions and engaging projects.

Content Options

The small house movement has grown and beyond the obvious how-to-build topics, there are many other aspects that go into  living small and promoting the movement. Here are some possible topics that you can select from in the registration survey below:

  • Design & Construction. Presentations or discussion centered around the design and construction of a tiny house, including materials, insulation, heating, water, electric, lighting, and other topics.
  • Small Living Experience. Presentations or discussion centered around the experience of living small. Greg Johnson is available to share from his 6+ years living in a 10×7 off-the-grid tiny home in Iowa City.
  • Location & Zoning. There’s more to living small than just building a small house. The legalities of small living bring up many questions. Where can small homes be placed? What are the requirements for size, location, materials, occupancy, safety and other concerns? How are services like water, electric, and waste management addressed?
  • Monetizing. Many people who live in small houses have found ways to generate revenue from the experience through things like book sales, product sales, videos, or an online blog. Once a person has built a tiny home they become a local resource, and may be able to help others with the design and building of a tiny home. There are a variety of ways to let small living work for you.

Schedule and Program

The following schedule, format, and content is subject to change based on feedback from those who register. The revised schedule will be posted here by the end of the day on Sunday 24 May 2015.

  • 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM <> Registration and Check-in
  • 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM <> Presentation by Greg Johnson, Summit Agenda and Goals, “Energizing the Small House Movement”
  • 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM <> Break-out sessions / Small Groups
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM <> Presentation by Greg Johnson followed by Q&A: “What I learned from living off-the-grid in 140 square feet for 6 years”
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM <> Expo and professional networking. Vendors, authors, designers, builders, and others meeting and networking.
  • 12:00 AM – 1:00 PM <> Lunch (not provided, but attendees are encouraged to continue the morning’s discussions over lunch)
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM <> Small house design and construction.
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM <> Small house location and zoning.

Note: Because this conference is designed to change and adapt to attendee needs and interests, the schedule and locations may change. If you’re planning to attend, you must register so we can keep you informed regarding times and locations.

After Conference

For those in the area, we’re planning a possible follow-up on Wednesday evening, 27 May 2015. Contact us for details using the registration form below and indicate your interest in the Wednesday evening event.


Please complete the registration form below if you plan to attend. The content and format of the event will be democratically determined by those who register. The final program will be posted above on this page by Sunday evening.

T.D. Jakes: “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”

A few days ago, the video below was posted to YouTube featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest on the Steve Harvey Show.

In the segment about finding happiness, Jakes states, “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”

The conversation seemed to be related to simpler and smaller living, so we posted it to our Facebook page.

In just a few hours, it had already turned out to be one of the most popular posts to our page in recent months.

At the time of this writing, just a few hours after posting the video, over 3,000 people have viewed the post and there are over 30 likes.


Despite the apparent interest in the video (it has about 5 million total views in three days), three people were apparently offended by it, primarily due to criticisms about T.D. Jakes.

Comments included, “Doesn’t this guy live in a mansion worth nearly $7 million?” and “The hypocrisy is staggering, and this is pretty inappropriate for the list.” One person commented, “This from someone who’s parishioners have paid for his biggest house(s).”

Someone responded to these criticisms saying, “but he is saying a big house doesn’t make you happy and he should know!”


A simple Google search on T.D. Jakes and the word scandal produces over 180,000 results. That’s probably typical for any powerful high profile person today. Depending on your viewpoint, Jakes is either a villain or hero. If you’re among his 4 million Facebook fans, you probably think he’s a hero.

Focus on Promoting Smaller Living

There are people helping promote the message of simpler smaller living who may have views and motives contrary to ours. Some may be builders, bloggers, authors, and others in the movement for purely opportunistic reasons. Others may be public figures promoting a message of simpler smaller living. (We know little about T.D. Jakes’ personal life or where he stands on various issues.)

One approach would be to censor, silence, criticize, marginalize, and discredit anyone we don’t agree with, or those we feel aren’t ‘true followers’ of the movement.

However, the approach we take is this: If a builder, blogger, author, or public figure is promoting a message about smaller and simpler living, we’re going to consider them as valuable to our cause.

There are people who seem to be taking advantage of the movement by launching websites filled with advertising. Their primary goal appears to be making money on advertising, and they don’t seem to care about the movement. Others care deeply about the movement and are selflessly giving of their time and resources.

While at some level we care about people’s motives, ultimately if their activities are promoting our message, we’re not here to judge people, but to spread a message.

T.D. Jakes Impact

Years ago, when the Oprah Winfrey Show contacted us about a small house episode, we didn’t refuse to work with their team because Oprah lives in a big house. We didn’t start judging Oprah’s lifestyle choices. When prominent public figures with millions of followers show an interest in the smaller and simpler message, we support them.

T.D. Jakes has a significant following and impact through social media. So, regardless of whether someone is a supporter or critic of him, his message about simpler smaller living, is a message that is important.

Here’s a brief summary about T.D. Jakes social media reach:

So, if T.D. Jakes wants to talk about simpler and smaller living, that’s fine with us.

The Message and The Messenger

Maybe you’re someone who feels that you’re more perfect than the next person. Here’s something to consider…

There are plenty of broken and imperfect people in the world. Despite their failings or even apparent hypocrisy, these people accomplish much good in the world.

Sometimes an inspired and valuable message will come through an imperfect messenger.


In varying degrees we’re all imperfect and each have our shortcomings. We’re all doing the best we can to have a positive impact on the world. Let’s do our best to work together cooperatively and respectfully.

Virginia Tech, Tiny Houses, and Distance Education in Higher Ed

One way the Small House Society helps facilitate the small house movement is by connecting with colleges teaching about housing, sustainability, and urban design.

Virginia Tech is utilizing distance education technologies to bring specialists into the classroom.  On 14 April 2015, I had the opportunity to be a visiting guest for a sustainability course taught by Luke Juran. Using Skype I was able to present and interact with the students in the course. Below is a photo from our Skype session.


I’ve been inspired by the increased interest in tiny houses among students and faculty in higher education. Those focusing on sustainability and urban planning are incorporating smaller and more efficient living spaces into our built spaces. This tells me that we’re reaching a point of critical mass within the small house movement.

Click here to read another longer version of this article discusses distance education in more depth.

Houston Tiny House Enthusiasts

We’re grateful to have the Houston Tiny House Enthusiasts MeetUp group organizer, Barbara Mariner, serving as one of our Small House Society local contacts for the Houston, Texas area. Here’s a description of the group.


This is a group for anyone interested in designing, building, living in, renting, or maintaining a tiny house and sustainable lifestyle. 

The tiny house movement is a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet, some as small as 80 square feet (7.4 m²). Building types include cottages, cabins, trailers, containers, caravans, house boats, tree houses and many more. The typical tiny house on wheels (THOWs) is usually less than 8 ft by 20 ft, with livable space totaling 120 square feet or less, for ease of towing and to exempt it from the need for a building permit.

Dream big, live tiny!  Living with less is freeing – both financially and by allowing more time for personal development, community involvement and the ability to react on opportunities when they’re presented.

Our Goals:

  • Supporting each other by sharing resources and knowledge
  • Working on projects together, lending a helping hand
  • Visiting builders, tiny houses and events together
  • Sharing ideas of small living and sustainability

We have a bi-weekly format, alternating between Round Table Meetings and Workshops. We look forward to meeting you, hearing about your ideas and experiences with simple living, and sharing discussions on everything— from environmental focuses and financial concerns, to building, parking, zoning, and more!

Thanks for joining us and being a part of this vibrant movement!

Click here to get involved.

Small House Society Contact for Washington, Oregon, and Idaho


My name is Janet Thome and I am a Washington state, Oregon, and Idaho contact for the Small House Society. I am starting a small Tiny House Community on my property in rural, central Wa. in a tiny town called Marlin (also known as Krupp, Washington).

Janet Thome
Janet Thome

I am a dealer of Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins and I will be having open houses and showing a model on my  property by late December 2014.

I represent Dave Bates, the builder of Portable Cedar Cabins, built in Spirit Lake, Idaho. The cabins are inspected and certified  like an RV. The great advantage you will receive is having the quality and longevity of a log home.

Models Of Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins

We have many affordable models to choose from that range from 144 to 400 sq feet built on a superior custom steel frames. The cabins have pine interior and a rich cedar exterior.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou are never limited to our floor plans, we work with you to create the cabin of your dreams. We also offer Bunkhouses and Workforce Housing with a discount on multiple units. We can also create your cabin off the grid. We offer delivery for an extra, affordable fee.


We offer a basic shell, standard shell and completed turnkey cabins with many upgrades. Click on any image below for a larger gallery view.

Bank Financing

We offer bank financing for those who reside in the state of Washington or Idaho with 20% down with approved credit. It will be a 10 year loan with very affordable payments. You can also live in another state and if you have a second residence in these two states, you will also qualify.


Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins are affordable, from $12,000 to $38,000 with many upgrade options. We will try our best to work within your budget.

Stained Glass Accents

We offer stained glass accents for your windows by the talented artist, Cheryl Bates.

Upgrade Options

  • Radiant Floor Heating
  • Propane Heat
  • Wood Stove
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Propane Fireplace
  • Extra Loft
  • Bedroom added

Uses for our cabins

  • MIL
  • An alternative to assisted living
  • Small Business
  • Concession stand
  • Mountain cabin
  • Small Home
  • Man cave
  • Storage
  • Guest House

Hearthouse Tiny House Community

I have 2 acres in rural, central Wa. The tiny town is 2 hours from Spokane and 40 minutes from Moses Lake. We are 15 minutes from Odessa, a small town of 900 people and it has a hospital. My desire for a community is for each of us to have our own sovereign unit where we can all have our privacy and cherished alone time and come together as supporting friends. I have a brand new Tiny House available now, 1 spot for someone who has their own Tiny House and needs parking, starting in May. I will also consider bartering with the person who wants the parking spot for someone who loves to make beautiful gardens. I can barter for 6 months., especially if you can grow beautiful food.

I am desiring to find others who want to make a stand with me and be the change we want the world to be.  No GMO seeds or poison are allowed and you must use biodegradable products. We have a greenhouse and are doing Aquaponics.

Dreaming Of A Caretaker For My Land

I am on the look out for a caretaker  for my land. It can be 1 person and I will consider couples. I am building a brand new cabin for you. It is called The Caretaker’s Cabin. I am especially looking for someone who wants to put down roots and wants to be a part of a community. You must have skills in landscaping, some mechanical and building skills to make tiny house furniture. Please read all my posts on The Caretakers’s Cabin to get an idea of the skills I desire and what I am hoping for as a person. We love, love dogs.

I look forward to helping you build the cabin of your greatest imagination and to meet others that love tiny houses and  want to join my community.

Links to Further Reading