DOUGLAS COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- Despite it being such a different year, many of students at the University of Kansas were able to accomplish incredible things.

That includes some students within the School of Architecture, who spent the last twelve months making homes for those in need.

The sound of ribbon being cut was a sound many of the KU architecture students were waiting to hear, the sound of a project completed.

“It’s pretty surreal,” says architecture student Brennen Hall.

The students, in partnership with the Lawrence Community Shelter, converted 12 storage containers into homes for homeless families.

“In the closing weeks everything kind of looked the same but seeing it come to life and so many people here enjoying the space that’s what it is all about,” says Hall.

Right now, the Lawrence Community Shelter houses 45 single adults.

Due to COVID, and the difficulty of social distancing they stopped sheltering families, the city moved them into permanent housing and would periodically put them up in hotels.

“That’s really expensive it’s far away it’s hard to support families from a hotel,” says Renee Kuhl the Executive Director of the Lawrence Community Shelter.

This new project will allow them to serve six to 12 families, right in the backyard of the shelter.

Starting next month, families in need will start to move in.

“At all different places in our community people really care about ending homelessness. People really want to see people experiencing homelessness in Lawrence treated with dignity and respect,” says Kuhl.

As for the KU students, they hope what is happening to help the homeless in Lawrence can jump start a movement that goes beyond the city limits.

“I know the project does way more than I can ever speak on. I hope the ripple effect of what we are doing here can spread further away from Lawrence,” says Hall.

They build one single family home and sell it on the market, but they decided to do this instead.

An incredible group of students that will also be graduating on Sunday. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

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