Would anyone be interested in volunteering for a free place to stay in New Orleans? (1 Viewer)

Raging Bird

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This wouldn't happen for a few months, but I just want to gauge interest......long story short,, I bought a house in New Orleans and I'm trying to start a cheap DIY hostel in the lot next door. I got a trailer that sleeps 6-8 people and have now commenced the absolute shitload of work I will need to do to get this of the ground. I want it to be a totally green space with big trees, grass, giant plants, shade, basically the opposite of 90% of New Orleans. I want to put a tiny house on stilts to make a treehouse, and build an earthbag house out back to sleep 2-4 more people.

I think there's a lot of opportunity for fun and experimentation with alternative housing and planting here, and I'm really psyched by what I've been doing already (planting 100 year old heirloom banana trees and a weird breed of elephant ear plants with leaves that grow to be 5 feet long....it's really cool.)

So just out of curiosity, do you think anyone would be interested in like, one week volunteer opportunities where you have a place to crash in exchange for doing some work on the project with me? I've got water and I'm getting electricity turned on soon. It's about 6 blocks from St. Roch Tavern, if anyone is familiar. I just wanted to post here in advance to see if anyone thinks it sounds cool or if I'm just totally out of my mind.
 
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Matt Derrick

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i've been fantasizing for several years now about starting a hostel as my 'retire from traveling' plan in the far off future, so that sounds pretty fucking rad. frankly i'd be shocked if a bunch of people didn't jump on this, considering how many folks ask about farms and woofing stuff on here.

as for myself, i'd definitely be interested, but are you trying to limit most folks to a week? i've been away from new orleans for almost 6 years now, so i'm thinking about moving back there after the jamboree. i'm not insisting i move in or anything like that but i'll be around if you wanted someone that was going to be in the area for a while, and also interested in helping you build stuff (and maybe make some youtube videos if you're doing shit like tinyhouse/treehouse stuff, etc).

i guess my only caveat is that i'm definitely busy until the jamboree, and after that i was going to spend a few months in the slabs finishing a book im working on. of course if something interesting enough came along (i.e. your project) i might cut that timeline a bit shorter.
 
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Raging Bird

Raging Bird

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i've been fantasizing for several years now about starting a hostel as my 'retire from traveling' plan in the far off future, so that sounds pretty fucking rad. frankly i'd be shocked if a bunch of people didn't jump on this, considering how many folks ask about farms and woofing stuff on here.

as for myself, i'd definitely be interested, but are you trying to limit most folks to a week? i've been away from new orleans for almost 6 years now, so i'm thinking about moving back there after the jamboree. i'm not insisting i move in or anything like that but i'll be around if you wanted someone that was going to be in the area for a while, and also interested in helping you build stuff (and maybe make some youtube videos if you're doing shit like tinyhouse/treehouse stuff, etc).

i guess my only caveat is that i'm definitely busy until the jamboree, and after that i was going to spend a few months in the slabs finishing a book im working on. of course if something interesting enough came along (i.e. your project) i might cut that timeline a bit shorter.
Well, I'm pulled in two directions with this, and I have a couple reasons for even saying the one week thing. One is that with a set amount of time like a week or a month, that could be a trial period so if someone is working out I could just say to hell with it, stick around...but I could still make a clean break if someone gets a little too New Orleans too fast, if you know what I mean. That's if I even do a volunteer thing at all.

The thing that's on my mind now (my brain kind of races when I mess around with big ideas like this) is whether to even bother with a hostel or whether I should just make it a little freak village in St. Roch...you know, build a tiny house, build an earthbag cottage, come up with space for 15 people and charge somethjng stupid cheap like $100 a month to just live here...basically make it halfway between a commune and a normal renting situation.

A hostel would make a lot more money, but I'm not really trying to get rich here...when it comes to what my actual goals are for the life I want to lead, I'm mostly interested in building a community, and as long as I can pay the mortgage and fund the repairs the house needs, I'm not too hung up on things past that.

It would be very cool to have you, because the best squats or collective houses I've lived at all seemed like they had a million projects going on and a passionate person at the heart of them...it'd be cool to have a podcast or YouTube show based here just like the pirate radio station was based out of Hellarity in Oakland, or Plan B at common ground back in the day.

I've just been sleeping in the trailer. The house is already rented to two guys from the hood and I think they'll probably stay. I would feel weird kicking them out or raising rent.
 

Matt Derrick

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Well, I'm pulled in two directions with this, and I have a couple reasons for even saying the one week thing. One is that with a set amount of time like a week or a month, that could be a trial period so if someone is working out I could just say to hell with it, stick around...but I could still make a clean break if someone gets a little too New Orleans too fast, if you know what I mean. That's if I even do a volunteer thing at all.
i totally understand that; it's one thing to be friends with someone, it's another thing all together to live with that person. i'm going through a terrible roommate situation right now that i can't wait to get away from. i'd say stick with the week (maybe 2?) thing so you have an 'out' if someone isn't working out. most good punk houses i've been to work that way and it seems to work well.

The thing that's on my mind now (my brain kind of races when I mess around with big ideas like this) is whether to even bother with a hostel or whether I should just make it a little freak village in St. Roch...you know, build a tiny house, build an earthbag cottage, come up with space for 15 people and charge somethjng stupid cheap like $100 a month to just live here...basically make it halfway between a commune and a normal renting situation.
i don't really know the space you're working with here, but i'd suggest maybe doing both? like, have the hostel as the ultimate goal, but start with a collective group of people working together (and with cheap rent) and use that to build up the space to the point where it's ready to be opened as a hostel.

another reason i think the hostel is a great idea is because you can organize events and stuff for people in the hostel to do, i know if i had a hostel i'd do pub crawls to crappy dive bars and bike dumpstering excursions or other new orleans experiences you wouldn't get anywhere else.
 
E

etpyh

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whether to even bother with a hostel or whether I should just make it a little freak village in St. Roch...you know, build a tiny house, build an earthbag cottage, come up with space for 15 people and charge somethjng stupid cheap like $100 a month to just live here
You could also have like a core of ten people who are living long term for cheap and the remaining spaces for travelllers just passing through at a higher rate. That way you would always have new people while still having the commune aspect.
Depending on space you could also especially in summer just let people pitch up their tents for a few bucks and if you provide some communal space showers etc.
Whatever you will do it is probably going to be pretty awesome. Getting a house or at least some property and building up some kind of commune is probably something everyone has dreamed of. Congrats on making it!
How are the prices on New Orleans? I thought about doing something like this in the very far far future somewhere in europe, but it is just so fucking expensive and building stuff like earthhomes is usually a pain in the ass if you want to stay legal.
 

petergreen

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Once I complete Operation Desert Lizard and deliver these books and pick people up for the Jambo I can head to NOLO and help with construction. I have lots of tools. In fact I am a tool. But I do have experience pouring concrete and building Earth Ships.
 

Matt Derrick

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Once I complete Operation Desert Lizard and deliver these books and pick people up for the Jambo I can head to NOLO and help with construction. I have lots of tools. In fact I am a tool. But I do have experience pouring concrete and building Earth Ships.
maybe i could catch a ride with you to nola after the jambo?
 
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Raging Bird

Raging Bird

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i totally understand that; it's one thing to be friends with someone, it's another thing all together to live with that person. i'm going through a terrible roommate situation right now that i can't wait to get away from. i'd say stick with the week (maybe 2?) thing so you have an 'out' if someone isn't working out. most good punk houses i've been to work that way and it seems to work well.



i don't really know the space you're working with here, but i'd suggest maybe doing both? like, have the hostel as the ultimate goal, but start with a collective group of people working together (and with cheap rent) and use that to build up the space to the point where it's ready to be opened as a hostel.

another reason i think the hostel is a great idea is because you can organize events and stuff for people in the hostel to do, i know if i had a hostel i'd do pub crawls to crappy dive bars and bike dumpstering excursions or other new orleans experiences you wouldn't get anywhere else.
Yeah, this is exactly what I'm kind of envisioning...The space isn't massive, but it's big by New Orleans standards...the house has a backyard of maybe 15x20 feet, and the lot next door is about 32x100 feet. I attached a picture.

It would be great to take have events there and do some real shit for tourists...it'd be even cooler to do weird skill shares and host classes in alternative housing or urban agriculture...stuff like that. I don't know, I'm not black but it's a black neighborhood, I'm really conscious of that and maybe it's naive, but I'd like to try and give something to the neighborhood instead of just profiting / exploiting the cheap housing and lax code enforcement.
 

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Raging Bird

Raging Bird

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You could also have like a core of ten people who are living long term for cheap and the remaining spaces for travelllers just passing through at a higher rate. That way you would always have new people while still having the commune aspect.
Depending on space you could also especially in summer just let people pitch up their tents for a few bucks and if you provide some communal space showers etc.
Whatever you will do it is probably going to be pretty awesome. Getting a house or at least some property and building up some kind of commune is probably something everyone has dreamed of. Congrats on making it!
How are the prices on New Orleans? I thought about doing something like this in the very far far future somewhere in europe, but it is just so fucking expensive and building stuff like earthhomes is usually a pain in the ass if you want to stay legal.
Yeah thanks man, I'm pretty psyched about the whole thing. Tents are an idea, another thing I thought of was having a total lean to with nothing but 4x4 supports and a tin roof with mosquito netting for walls and hanging hammocks in there for two or three people to rent for like, $10 a night. New Orleans is actually the opposite, the summer is the only time of year you couldn't do that, ha ha. It gets insanely hot down here.

New Orleans has gentrified incredibly quickly over the past few years, so in some ways it's the worst place to attempt something like this -- housing prices are skyrocketing yet crime remains the same. I just got extremely lucky and found a stupidly cheap house by keeping my eyes out for over two years. To give you an idea I qualified for a loan for the thing and I make around $10K a year. I think you could get away with earthbag stuff just because the city doesn't have time resources or motivation to enforce shit like that. The neighborhood associations in historic districts like Bywater or Marigny are extremely overzealous, but in a neighborhood like St. Roch, I don't think anyone will care.
 
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Raging Bird

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Once I complete Operation Desert Lizard and deliver these books and pick people up for the Jambo I can head to NOLO and help with construction. I have lots of tools. In fact I am a tool. But I do have experience pouring concrete and building Earth Ships.
Sick man, give me a shout. I'd really like to build at least a shed or cottage in the back earth home style, a friend of my mom's teaches classes in how to do it, but I've only been to one workshop before. It would be awesome to have more people on board with experience.
 
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I think you just convinced me to go to New Orleans. I was planning on staying away but this sounds far too bad ass to not go.

I can travel out there as early as September. I can convince people to join. Tell me what I need to do and I'm yours.
 

Aleus

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I will be in New Orleans in early August sometime and I am definitely interested. I will shoot you over a message when I have a better idea on the dates. Sounds like a great idea though!
 

OstrichJockey

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I'm in the 8th ward right now, and may be here as late as September. If you are going to have this started before then, let me know and I'd be down to volunteer full time. I'm a carpenter, and I have tools here, as well.
 

TMG51

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I got a trailer that sleeps 6-8 people and have now commenced the absolute shitload of work I will need to do to get this of the ground. I want it to be a totally green space with big trees, grass, giant plants, shade, basically the opposite of 90% of New Orleans. I want to put a tiny house on stilts to make a treehouse, and build an earthbag house out back to sleep 2-4 more people.
Do you know if your plans meet whatever zoning regulations are in place? I don't know anything specific to the area so I'm not saying it's a problem, but I know some places where the stuff you describe could be a problem.
 

Straps

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This wouldn't happen for a few months, but I just want to gauge interest......long story short,, I bought a house in New Orleans and I'm trying to start a cheap DIY hostel in the lot next door. I got a trailer that sleeps 6-8 people and have now commenced the absolute shitload of work I will need to do to get this of the ground. I want it to be a totally green space with big trees, grass, giant plants, shade, basically the opposite of 90% of New Orleans. I want to put a tiny house on stilts to make a treehouse, and build an earthbag house out back to sleep 2-4 more people.

I think there's a lot of opportunity for fun and experimentation with alternative housing and planting here, and I'm really psyched by what I've been doing already (planting 100 year old heirloom banana trees and a weird breed of elephant ear plants with leaves that grow to be 5 feet long....it's really cool.)

So just out of curiosity, do you think anyone would be interested in like, one week volunteer opportunities where you have a place to crash in exchange for doing some work on the project with me? I've got water and I'm getting electricity turned on soon. It's about 6 blocks from St. Roch Tavern, if anyone is familiar. I just wanted to post here in advance to see if anyone thinks it sounds cool or if I'm just totally out of my mind.
My car has been telling me to go to nola for a while now and seems to collect nola themed things... I'd be down to help set things up but won't be free til mid July or mid August or so headed from socal mid June to Oregon then I think I'm open (and looking for road dogs)
 
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Raging Bird

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Do you know if your plans meet whatever zoning regulations are in place? I don't know anything specific to the area so I'm not saying it's a problem, but I know some places where the stuff you describe could be a problem.
Yeah, I thought of this. I'm gonna try to get licensed as a bed and breakfast. The way it kind of works here is there's historic districts where you can't do anything, and outside of them, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want. Talked to some of the neighbors and everyone's attitude was basically "Yeah, no one gives a fuck."
 

TMG51

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Alright I'd just actually check with the city instead of the neighbors before putting money or mortar into it. Just sayin'.
 

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