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Students build tiny homes for foster children aging out of the system

Some children aging out of the foster care system face a hard reality that they've got no home; this program aims to change that with the help of their peers.

THORNTON, Colo. — One school project in the Adams 12 district seems so big, but it’s actually small - they’re building tiny homes for students in need. 

A non-profit partnered with the district, Five Star Foundations, is currently working to create a tiny home village built entirely by teens for other students in need, with guidance from other Adams county officials.

“Those kids hitting the age of 18, aging out of foster care and having absolutely nowhere to go was where we were gonna go and we were gonna go there with them,” Shannon Hancock, Executive Director of the Five Star Foundation, said. 

Hancock said this is part of the issue in Adams County and other counties that don’t have enough affordable housing. 

Details and the location are still being worked out, according to Hancock. She said there are former foster children in the district right now who are in need. 

“They might be in the middle of their senior year. They’ve struggled all of these years and it’s about time to have a place to call home,” Hancock said.

One student, Luca Mastroeni, a junior from Legacy High School in the Adams 12 Five Star School District, said one rewarding part for him is the sense of giving someone who may have been shuffled around for years in foster care a place to call their own finally.

>> Video below: Student walks through teen-built tiny home in Adams County  

“Being able to like actually see this come to fruition is, it’s not only cool, but it’s also really inspiring,” Luca said.

Instead of building something just for a grade, Luca and his classmates are building -- a future.

Student projects are typically demolished, said Aaron Cooper, construction instructor for the project, but this will last for years.

“Get to work on a tiny home? That’s real world,” Cooper said. “We’re doing everything in that tiny home that we do in the real world, real world skills. They get to see something come together and then actually go to the community.”

Cooper said he has to make sure the work done by the teens meets professional standards.

“Watching it come together letting them see how it works and then putting it out to the real world gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Cooper said.

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