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Eagle Crest junior Jordan Johnson, left, and Cherokee Trail junior Logan Wilt go over schematics while framing walls for tiny houses on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Centennial, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

A group of Cherry Creek high schoolers is partnering with Colorado Village Collaborative to build tiny homes for homeless residents in the Beloved Community Village.

The students are building five new tiny homes, to add to the 19 homes in the village. The students are part of the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, a college and career preparedness facility for high schoolers in the Cherry Creek School District.

“This project is not only teaching our students valuable life skills and preparing them for post-secondary careers, it’s also showing them how to use their skills for the benefit of the community,” said Mike Degitis, project coordinator and math teacher at the campus. “Students take pride in this project because it will actually become someone’s home.”

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Infrastructure Engineering Pathway students and instructors build tiny homes on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Centennial, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

About 40 second-year students will build the tiny homes throughout the 2021-22 school year, learning framing, electrical wiring, interior and exterior finishes, how to read construction drawings and how to stick to a tight schedule.

The Beloved Community Village, located at 4400 N. Pearl St., includes sleeping units, office space, a community center, bathrooms and a kitchen. The new tiny homes will be added to the village when it relocates to 4201 N. Monroe St. by April 30.

Denver’s tiny home villages, which launched in 2017, serve as a transition from unsheltered homelessness to stable housing. In 2021, the two villages housed more than 45 people, 11 of whom moved into permanent housing, according to the Colorado Village Collaborative.

“Being released from the hospital, I didn’t have nowhere to go,” said a tiny home village resident. “This is an awesome blessing right here. If it wasn’t for the village, I don’t think I would have made it.”

Cherry Creek Innovation Campus first became involved with the tiny home villages during the 2019-20 school year, when students built homes for the Women’s Village at Clara Brown Commons.

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Cherry Creek senior Mathew Lamoreaux drives a nail while framing the walls of a tiny house on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus in Centennial, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

The expansion of the Beloved Community Village is also being conducted in partnership with the City and County of Denver, contractor Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Shopworks Architecture and architectural firm SAR+, which designed the new tiny homes.

“This is a particularly gratifying project among trusted partners, and we appreciate the help in growing our tiny home village,” said Cole Chandler, executive director of Colorado Village Collaborative, which runs the villages.

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