Students build and donate tiny home to Desert Storm veteran

A US Marine Corps veteran who struggled to find a place to live after a stroke received a new tiny home Friday, donated by high school students in Humble ISD who built the home themselves.

“This is beyond amazing—totally unexpected,” said Eddie Rodriguez, 50. “It was such a surprise.”

Rodriguez served in Operation Desert Storm.  After a stroke two years ago, he lost everything.

On Friday an unexpected group of teenagers from Summer Creek High School presented him with a home they’d designed and built.

“It feels amazing—all the hard work and dedication put into this,” said Isaac Martinez, a senior at Summer Creek.

Martinez led a team of 13 high school students who pounded every nail and laid every board, building their first fully functional tiny home. The people they wanted to help were America’s military veterans.

“They’ve done so much for us,” said Martinez. “It’s only right to give back—especially a homeless one who may not come back to a home or a family.”

“The idea that we were helping veterans was huge because these people give their lives for us,” said Natalia Andrade who designed the home before graduating from Summer Creek last year. “They risk everything they have for our safety and for our freedoms, and just to be able to give back to them means the world to me.”

The project is part of Humble ISD’s "Students Helping Veterans: Big Heroes, Tiny Homes" project. Andrade is now in college, but she helped launch the project as a 16-year-old at Summer Creek.

“It was like 2018 when we started,” she said. “It’s now 2020, so it’s just been a rollercoaster, but the best rollercoaster we could have asked for.”

Humble ISD officials say the tiny home will be delivered to a plot of land in Liberty County where a landowner has donated the space specifically for Rodriguez and other American military veterans.

The students plan to start work on their second tiny home immediately and are planning to donate that one to a veteran too.

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