Session: Advanced Design/Build and YWDBI Weekend Extension Workshops, After-School Winter and Spring 2021

Builders: 29 participants

Materials: Redwood 2x4s, pine 1×4 spacers, exterior paint, paintbrush, drill, driver, speed square, chop saw, coated wood screws.

Description: In our spring session, our teen girls* and gender-expansive youth constructed 23 colorful benches for local organizations serving our unhoused communities.  Initially, our goal was to create 16 benches for the Youth Spirit Artwork’s Tiny House Empowerment Village in East Oakland. But as we dropped off the benches at the Village, a nearby neighbor—Operation Homebase, an RV park for older folks experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic—asked us if we could build benches for them, too! With our May Young Women’s Design and Building Weekend Extension crew, we built 4 more benches and delivered them to Homebase. In a serendipitous twist, the benches were immediately used the next day for the organization’s 1-year anniversary BBQ! Finally, our June weekend workshop participants built 3 more benches for the unhoused residents of People’s Park in Berkeley, a local landmark of mutual aid and activism.

We adapted our benches from this building plan, which you can purchase for just $3 on Etsy!

*“Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth, and any girl-identified youth).

Girls build benches for Operation Homebase at Girls Garage
Girls Garage benches at People
Benches at Tiny Home Empowerment Village Youth Spirit Artworks