Steven’s House Box on Wheels in San Francisco Bay Area

Dear Lloyd,

My name is Vera, from San Francisco. Last night I attended your presentation at Mollusk surf shop. I want to thank you for a wonderful evening. On my way home I thought about a very special home that I think you may be interested in.

About a month ago I was biking home and I passed an incredible structure on wheels on the side of the street. I saw a man on the sidewalk doing some woodwork next to it. I was so curious about this beautifully made structure, so I decided to return and talk to the man. His name is Steven, he’s been homeless on and off his whole life. Although, I’m not quite sure you could call him homeless anymore because now he has his box (that’s what he likes to call it). Steven’s box is set on wheels. It is made entirely from materials he has sourced around the city.

I ended up talking with Steven for three hours. Well, I mostly just listened to him. I have a few photos of his box that I’m attaching here, but they really don’t do it justice. He is incredibly innovative, he built his own heater/stovetop and has figured out a way to get clean running water (although the fire chief made him get rid of the stove after complementing his ingenuity). He stained the wood on the exterior a beautiful color using a mixture of steel wool and vinegar. He even has a number and planter box at his front door. Maybe someday you’d like to meet him yourself. He’s helping build boxes for some of his friends now too.

Have a wonderful day, thanks again for your inspiring work.

p.s. Unfortunately I did not take a photo from the other side of the box which has the stained boards of wood that look similar to the sliding front door.

Best,

Vera

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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