Built by our members

The Tiny Homes are being built by our YMCA Alumni volunteers using structural insulated panels (SIPS) for the walls. The building site will include four homes constructed in a circular pattern, with a gathering and garden space in the middle, complete with a canopy, picnic tables, benches and fire pit.

Built to high standards

The Tiny Homes meet high standards for building insulation; will use natural ventilation and solar patterns to reduce heating and cooling demands. This upfront investment in passive house construction will produce significant energy savings and comfortable living.

Tiny home village site plan

The site plan calls for a small village of four tiny homes around  a central courtyard.  The front doors of all the homes face east in the Lakota tradition. One leaves the home in the morning and walks into the sunshine.

 Tiny  Home  floor plan

Here is the floor plan (16 x 20 feet) for the lower level of the Tiny Home. An outdoor deck will complement the family living space.

Each tiny home has a loft

The living space is increased through a second floor loft. The drawings, as presented by Siris Coombs Architecture , were approved by the YMCA Board and are updated as the construction moves ahead.

Be a construction volunteer in 2023

Volunteer Construction Manager George Painter invites you to participate in one of 7 "waves" of volunteers in spring and fall 2023 as we work to complete a Tiny Home Village of four homes on the site in Dupree, D.C.

Here's what you need to know

Here's what you need to know if you would like to join our "Boots on the Ground" team for one or more of our eight week-long tiny home "waves" (building sessions) in Dupree, S.D. in May and September 2023.

A construction volunteer application form is available on the VOLUNTEER PAGE on this website.

Note: Wave 6 from Sept. 19-26, 2023 has been cancelled.

Project  details

'Twigs' will grow throughout the Reservation

Current YMCA programs are mostly based out of Dupree and Camp Marrowbone.  The Y plans to gradually introduce its programming to isolated communities across the vast territory. A "Twig" (a small YMCA branch) will be  a one or two room structure constructed from  shipping containers currently being used  on site for storage and as the construction office.

Frequently Asked Questions/The project

Who will design, oversee the project?

YMCA volunteers, board, staff, and architect ( a YMCA board member) designed the project. The YMCA Alumni Project Management subcommittee (known as “Boots on the Ground”) also has reviewed and provided input to that design. George Painter, YMCA Alumni’s volunteer project manager is a Y retiree with 40 years of experience building Y camp facilities as a YMCA professional.

Will a builder be onsite?

A local tribal contractor was retained in Year One to complete the foundations and will be retained in the future for electrical, plumbing and other needs that are beyond the scope of our volunteers.

Who are the volunteer 'builders?'

Volunteers from our 17 chapters including friends and families. Opportunities are available for all regardless of skill level. 

Who will own the homes?

The YMCA will own and manage the homes and will make decisions on the terms of each specific lease. The priority for selection of residents will be the tribal population, some of whom also  will be Y employees or volunteers, thus addressing both, the housing shortage and unemployment.

When is the start and finish time?

The Tiny Home Village construction began in May 2022, The village is expected to be completed over the next few years.

How are project decisions made?

The YMCA executive director, staff and board have been involved in key project decisions from the beginning. Regular meetings occur between YMCA staff and our YMCA Alumni volunteers. The  Y Board contributed the land and approved the architect’s concept drawings. 

What is the project scope?

A Tiny Homes Village of 4 homes and 2 "Twigs" are planned over a multi-year timespan, assuming fundraising goals are met. Construction will be annually phased based on funds raised.

What will be the project's impact?

Increased housing security through emergency and short-term housing for community members, including YMCA staff and volunteers. Permanent year-round youth programming in remote areas of the Reservation.