Everyone knows about homelessness and the problems that flow from people struggling for an everyday place to live. One local teen decided to do more than talk about it. She built a home for someone.
Eighteen-year-old Delaney Dodd spent time, energy, and muscle into constructing a tiny home for the non-profit Sound Foundations NW. Dodd, the daughter of Holly and Andy Dodd of Olympia, also collected more than $2,000 from the community to support this project. Dodd is a newly minted Eagle Scout with Scouts BSA Troop 436 in Lakewood, Pierce County.
The Tiny Home will be part of a community that is now under construction in Seattle’s U-District neighborhood at 45th & Roosevelt called “Rosie’s Village,” which is scheduled to open in late July. It will accommodate up to 65 people.
The Homeless Crisis in Washington
Washington is one of the states with the highest homeless populations in the country, along with Oregon, California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas. Together, these states account for 55 percent of our country’s homeless population.
The bulk of homelessness in Washington is in the western part of the state; 2019 data indicate nearly 13,000 people in the -Seattle-Everett-Tacoma areas have nowhere to go tonight, according to data from the National Alliance to End homelessness.
Laney Dodd Builds a Tiny Home
“Sound Foundations NW believes that everyone deserves a home,” said Barb Oliver, Director of Operations. “We also believe the way to end homelessness is to build tiny transitional homes as the logical first step to end homelessness. Once a person is in a tiny home, they are warm, safe, dry and, with Covid, healthy. They then can focus on the next step of their lives.”
“Laney was instrumental in this process. She learned our unique construction system using jigs, and she has volunteered several times with our organization. When her tiny home was being constructed, she led a team of seven of her Scouting peers through the process. She also helped raise money to fund another tiny home. We are very proud of the work she has done with Sound Foundations NW.” The residents are also provided with a bed, sheets and pillows, towels, toiletries, a mini fridge, space heater and fan, shelving, a laundry basket, and cleaning supplies.
Sound Foundations NW is a Seattle-area non-profit organization that grew out of a collaboration between the Alki United Church of Christ and Seattle’s Camp Second Chance. The organization is a major supplier of tiny homes to the non-profit Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI).
Dodd is one of a small group of Young Women to become an Eagle Scout in 2021
“The tiny home we built will last at least 20 years in its lifetime and provide shelter for 40 or more people who would otherwise be homeless. It will be a place to call home, a safe place, and an address they can apply for jobs or unemployment,” said Dodd. “By putting the home in a tiny home village, it is also giving them a sense of community. Tiny home villages give those who are homeless an opportunity to get the support they need to start back up their life and get an apartment/house and steady job,” she said. Dodd says she got her determination to do this project based on learning responsibility while working at Scout camps. She is one of a small group of young women to earn the coveted Eagle Scout ranking so far this year. The all-male Boy Scout organization opened membership to girls in Scout Troops in 2019.
Becoming an Eagle Scout is considered the high point of a Scouting career and helps open the door to college admissions, scholarships, and career opportunities. On average, about 4% of all Scouts earn the Eagle rank. The rank of Eagle Scout encompasses hard work, earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, learning leadership and organizational skills and the completion of an Eagle project.
Dodd is currently studying aviation and intends to become an airline pilot.
Scouting has a Documented History of Service across Washington state
“Helping others has been part of Scouting from the very beginning,” said Karen Meier, chief executive officer of the Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). “In the first edition of the BSA handbook published in 1911, the Scout badge is described as having a knot “to remind the Scout to do a good turn to someone daily. To help other people always was part of the very first Scout Oath,” said Meier.
“During World War I, the United States sold Liberty Bonds to support military efforts. Scouting (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) did their parts to help, urging people to purchase bonds with the saying, ‘Every Scout to Save a Soldier,’” said Lori Brown, president of the Pacific Harbors Council, who herself was a Girl Scout. “Historical photos from that period show local Scouts participating in rallies to sell bonds and to recycle materials for the war effort. In later years, Scouts have helped rescue boaters along Puget Sound and participated in search and rescue efforts in local mountains.”
“In more recent times, Scouts have played a role in neighborhood disaster planning, environmental cleanup of local waterways and nature preserves, as well as supporting local food banks with collection and distribution of food to needy families,” said Brown.
Dodd’s Tiny House was also her community project to fulfill her requirement for becoming an Eagle Scout and is part of Troop 436’s Summer of Service program in Western Washington.
About the Summer of Service
The Summer of Service campaign is a focused effort for Scouts to reach out to communities and perform needed projects improve the quality of living this summer. Scouting families are answering the call to work together in service of the greater good. From public health drives, to caring for the environment, to assisting neighbors in need, Scouts across Washington will be doing good deeds to make a difference. “Our Scouts normally do community projects as part of their Scouting experience,” said Meier. “This year is different as people’s lives have been put on hold because of the pandemic. The past 12 months have disrupted many of the normal rhythms of work, school, home and Scouting in our society. Virtual work and learning via the Internet have bridged many basic gaps; but virtual Scout Meetings and activities can only go so far.,” she said.
About the Pacific Harbors Council
The Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America supports Scouting Units across the South Sound from Federal Way to Centralia and from the Washington Coast to the Cascade foothills.
This includes, Cub Scouts, Venture Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Nearly 4,000 young people participate in Scouting locally.
The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. For more information on Scouting go to: beascout.org