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A Request for Help

{Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by my friend Dee Williams. If you have a few extra dollars, please consider donating to this fund. Thank you!}

About a week ago (July 22), a friend of mine (Kim Langston) had her little house caught up in a large barn fire. The house was in the construction phase, and while it wasn’t quite complete, it was close enough that she felt certain she’d be living in it by September or October. It was completely destroyed in the fire and Kim didn’t have insurance to cover the loss. I’ve attached before and after photos which, if you’re like me, will drop you to your knees.

I’ve been so racked by this incident… so sad. And its brought up a couple of things for me: one is that I’d like to learn more about what sort of insurance options are out there for little houses on wheels. If you have insurance, or have heard of an option for these structures, could you please contact me at [email protected]. I’d like to gather information, and then offer it back to our tiny house community so we can all understand what’s available. If we discover that traditional insurance is not available, it may be time to start our own Cooperative — an organization that will help cover catastrophic loss.

I also want to help support Kim through a fund raising event. I understand that she and her friends are pulling together a Kickstarter or Indigogo fund that will help her pay down the debt she incurred through the fire and maybe even help support the dream of re-building. You and I will have a chance to support Kim through that fund. So stay tuned. If you want to go ahead and get the ball rolling and support her now, here are some funding options:

You can mail a check to, or walk cash/check into the credit union:

Washington State Employee’s Credit Union, West Olympia Branch
2302 Harrison Ave NW, Ste 201, Olympia, WA 98502
Make your donation to “Kim Langston Tiny House Fund”

or

If you have a PayPal Account, you can go to the PayPal website, enter your account and then from there transfer money to Kim’s PayPal Account. In that case reference this website: [email protected]

I appreciate your consideration and again, if you can offer any information about insurance options, please let me know. And if you can support Kim… that would be awesome! Keep your eyes peeled for more information about their Fund Raising projects.

I believe we all gain something tremendous when we see examples of someone reaching for and achieving their dream — when we read stories about this person or that person building their dream house, designing with cob or straw, retrofitting an ‘canned ham’, tinkering with pallet houses or living large in a house the size of a couple dozen potato chip bags.

We are inspired when people dream big, and we all lose a little something when someone’s dream is crushed. The fire that destroyed Kim’s house shouldn’t be the end of the story. Let’s work together for something better.

Thank you,
Dee Williams

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mike | Homeless On Wheels July 29, 2012, 7:05 pm

    Have you looked into RV or mobile home insurance? You’ll probably have to register it with your state’s Motor Vehicle licensing entity to qualify, but it is probably worth it. If you go with RV insurance, look into a “full-timer’s” policy. This will have coverage similar to a homeowner’s policy, covering the home and contents as well as giving you liability coverage should someone get injured while in your home,as well as injury or propery damage incurred while moving or siting the home.

  • Vappu July 29, 2012, 11:03 pm

    That is really sad! I just made a donation, I hope she can raise money for a new house.

    • Tammy Strobel July 30, 2012, 7:49 am

      @Vappu – I know. It’s so heartbreaking. I hope she can raise enough money to rebuild too. Thank you for making a donation.

  • Steven July 30, 2012, 1:11 am

    I donated Tammy and posting on the Tiny House Listings Facebook wall for other to hopefully do the same. I wish you the best of luck Kim.

    • Tammy Strobel July 30, 2012, 7:48 am

      Steven – Thank you so much for making a donation and posting the link on FB. You rock!

  • John A Gasbarre July 30, 2012, 1:13 am

    Dee:

    Have you considered setting up a Kickstarter fundraiser page for Kim? Kickstarter certainly would be appropriate and a great platform for telling her story. I’m sure a ton of people would be willing to give a bit of money. I would.

    John

    • John A Gasbarre July 30, 2012, 1:15 am

      I should’ve read your complete post before throwing out the Kickstarter idea. Looks like someone’s already on top of that. Terrific.

      John

  • Matthew July 30, 2012, 4:26 am

    I like the idea of having a cooperative assurance for catastrophic losses – I think that could work. It might be sticky from a regulatory perspective, however. Depending on the structure, etc., some states might characterize such a thing as an insurance product, and would make you jump through all of their bureaucratic hoops. Just a thought.

    Big love to Kim, in any event. All the best, and I hope that things get sorted out quickly.

  • Alex July 30, 2012, 12:34 pm

    So sorry to hear about this. I re-posted Dee’s letter on Tiny House Talk just now and later this week I’ll send an email out to my list to help encourage folks to help out as well. Hang in there Kim. Wishing you the best.

  • Ann July 30, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Dee/Tammy: Please keep us up to date on the status of the fund raising – thanks!

  • Rose Byrd July 30, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Bless you for being such a fine Tiny House friend!

  • Cecile Caple July 31, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Dear Dee, Kim, and Tammy: who posted: Request for Help. Brilliant! So direct and unassuming. A lot of older people receive their monthly social security allotment right after the first of the month. If you girls will keep Kim and her story in the forefront, I am sure that so many people just like me would gladly PayPal in a few bucks. Of course, Kim, it won’t be the same as your beautiful little house, but darling, there is a lesson in every challenge, and it is how you grow, like a beautiful flower. Each tear and every sore muscle tells your beautiful story. Which, btw, cause of Tammy and Dee, will most assuredly have a very happy ending! When I was your age, shocking as it sounds, I acquired a small RV trailer. Living inside that little trailer has saved my beans more than a couple of times. The Tiny House Cooperative sounds like a simply brilliant way to build a really strong network of support and resources. Bravo Girls! Bravo!

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