The result of a woman’s carpentry program in Tyendinaga was unveiled on Tuesday.
The finished product: two tiny homes that will be transitional housing for users of the Red Cedars shelter, a safe place for women and children leaving abusive situations.
These tiny homes, located across from the Red Cedars shelter in Shannonville, are the result of six months of hard work by an all-female carpentry team.
“Women can do anything, no matter what their ages are,” says Tammy McGuire, a landscaper with the program.
“I didn’t know anything about the trades, anything about building a house from start to finish, and to accomplish that and help out our community is a wonderful feeling.”
McGuire is part of a government-funded, pre-apprenticeship training program that involved five women receiving training in carpentry skills, resulting in the two tiny homes.
“The opportunity is amazing to come in here and actually get the tools in my tool belt to actually go out there and make a change for the future, for myself and my family,” says Tamrin Martin, who is new to the program.
“They need a safe place to transition, to recover from their trauma and to organize their lives so they can continue their lives on a better journey,” says Tyendinaga Chief Don Maracle.
The first of the two homes were unveiled on Tuesday — a success paving the way towards a larger project: a potential First Nation, net-zero tiny home village.
“The plan is to have these ladies segue into, perhaps, another year program to do phase one,” says Chris Maracle, project manager for the Women in Trades program. “I’m hoping 10 to 12 houses. We have the money set aside, we just need the political will, support of our Chief and council to make that happen.”
Chris Maracle says the tiny home village proposal is set to head to council for approval in the coming weeks.
Until then, these women aren’t slowing down.
“Women do make a change,” says Martin.
“We do have the ability to get out there and get our hands dirty and stuff like that and actually make things, like you can see the product of these homes. So I really want people to know that we are here, that we are going to make a difference and we’re not stopping.”
In fact, some of these women are planning on starting whole new careers, in the trades they’ve now learned, making this a new beginning in more ways than one.