Local Nonprofit Builds Tiny Homes For Homeless Young Adults


Thursday, June 17th 2021, 9:11 pm
By: Mike Glover


Pivot is a local nonprofit that strives to provide housing, education and therapeutic services to young people who have struggled within the welfare and juvenile justice system. 

Pivot’s most recent outreach program, Tiny Homes, provides a safe living environment for teens and young adults without parental support. 

“Really to bridge the gap. As a young adult we really help them to become self-sufficient and independent,” said Norman Markland, independent services director with Pivot.

Smith and Pickel Construction Inc. was the lead company on some major projects in the city. Including the Chesapeake campus, the Boathouse District, Metro Tech, Chisolm Trails and others. But then they heard about the Tiny House project. 

“Tiny Houses was kind of a love affair. We came and toured Pivot foundation in March of 2019, and instantly saw something that connected to our organization,” said Matthew Thomas, president of Smith and Pickel Construction. 

Not only did Thomas and his company get involved in building the tiny homes, they exceeded expectations. 

“We reached out to a lot of our subcontractors and material suppliers and said, ‘Hey, can you help donate some materials and donate labor and help us put together a plan to build some of these homes?’” said Thomas. 

Each home is unique. Contractors donated materials such as leftover bricks from projects, and even artificial turf. Thomas then combined the bricks in a great looking pattern. They even completely covered one of the homes with the artificial turf. 

The relationship has been huge for Pivot, because there’s not just the expense of building the homes with plumbing and electrical, the homes also have to be furnished with living necessities. 

“It just shows you how a community can work together, build coalitions to provide access and support to the youth and families that are in need in our community,” said Markland. 

Pivot has seen the program prove to be successful, so much so, that they anticipate 27 of the homes will be completed in August.