Raymond Stone has lived at Emerald Village Eugene (EVE) since April 2018. During construction, he had a hand in helping to build six of the twenty two houses at the village. He built forms for the foundations, helped with the framing of the walls, and countless other tasks to help get the village ready for occupancy.
These days, Raymond does a lot of work with the house & grounds committee to help maintain the village as a pleasant place to live. Some recent trees he and other villagers planted will help create an edible landscape – apples, cherries, figs, and more.
Raymond has already lived in two of the tiny houses he helped build. The first was a SIPs house, built with pre-fabricated structural insulated panels. Three months ago, when another resident moved out to live with their partner, Raymond moved into the “100 Mile Home” (pictured above).
Describing Raymond’s new home explains the names for it. The house is built with natural, non-toxic, reused and local materials. Local in this case means most of the materials were sourced from within 100 miles of the house. The wall system is made of loose straw in a mixture of clay and glue. Kentrel (the first resident), Raymond and others worked for many hours to pack the straw and clay mixture into a wooden framework. When the clay dried, the wooden frame was removed to reveal a flat wall that was then plastered with a different type of clay mixture.
The result is a unique, naturally insulated 200-square foot house that has the look and feel of an adobe home you might see in the Southwest. To Raymond, the result is a house that “feels like me, like my home.”
Raymond had been unhoused for a number of years prior to moving to Emerald Village. Most recently he lived in a tiny home without plumbing as part of the overnight sleeping program at the Church of the Resurrection. He loves his new straw & clay home and likes contributing to the community with the work he does – where, he says, “I feel like I belong to something.”
With stable affordable housing on a modest fixed income, he's been able to once again pursue hobbies. Lately he’s been carving custom walking sticks from interesting pieces of wood he finds or that friends give to him. He sells them to earn some extra money at the Whiteaker Community Market on Sundays.