This holiday season, the Mosaic Christian Community grounds are transformed. The church’s wooded campus in Saint Paul, Minnesota, now harbors six tiny homes connected by a narrow footpath. Four homes are for people transitioning out of homelessness, and two homes are for neighbors working to support that transition. In 2021, three civil engineers from Barr joined hundreds of volunteers, Mosaic, and Settled—a nonprofit organization that addresses chronic homelessness—in making this barrier-breaking community a reality.
Barr’s annual charitable-giving program funded time for Rachel Leier, Josh Philips, and Whitney Hansen to work with Settled on a site plan to guide grading, drainage, construction access, and erosion control. The site plans helped to obtain local permits required for development.
Settled’s vision rests on the idea that an intentional community of support is vital to ending homelessness. In order to reflect this “Full Community” approach in the site plan while also meeting local ordinances, the team carefully designed flat gravel pads on hilly terrain for the closely spaced homes. The site plan also minimized tree removal so that the homes blended with the surrounding neighborhood.
Each year, Barr contributes at least two percent of our net annual profits to STEM education and charitable organizations. “Civil engineering is important on its own. But it’s important for me personally to use my profession for the greater good, and I find Settled’s work to be inspired and necessary,” says Rachel, who assembled the Barr team. “I don’t know how many places I could work and have complete support toward charitable projects.”
Contact us to learn more about Barr's charitable-giving efforts.
About Rachel Leier
Rachel Leier has nearly 10 years of experience with projects involving civil layout and design, cost estimating, and construction services, including construction quality management.