For years, Liz Diaz, MFC, has been fabricating custom high-end marine canvas exteriors and interiors from her North Beach Canvas shop in San Francisco’s North Beach. Always on the lookout for ways to improve her business, Diaz took continuing education classes, which focus on helping people bring their passions and talents together to create a positive impact. As a result, Diaz is developing a product to provide housing for some of San Francisco’s homeless—a single-owner occupied fabric-covered tiny house. “There are more than 7,000 homeless people in San Francisco, and I think it’s our duty to try to find a way to provide housing for them. The city already spends quite a bit of money dealing with the issue,” she says.
Diaz founded Canvas Houses in late 2017 with a vision to help solve homelessness by providing the most functional, pre-engineered micro-home kits for metropolitan areas. Diaz launched the first 5-foot-5-inch-wide prototype at the San Francisco Marina Small Craft Harbor Third Annual Tenant Event in September. “Zebra Awning Co. is working with us to develop the structures,” Diaz says. “We’re working on improving the design, and the City of San Francisco invited us to put one on city property. We’re excited that the project is moving forward.”