CLEVELAND — For Derrick Childs, life hasn't always been easy. At a young age, Childs entered the foster care system, where he struggled for basic necessities. 

What You Need To Know

  • Derrick Childs builds container homes for Container Homes USA

  • Childs believes container homes are a way to solve homelessness

  • Childs also feeds the homeless through his nonprofit organization Operation Hope USA

"I grew up very poor so during the school time I remember going to school and we had things but we didn't have as much as everyone else. Like a pack of paper, everyone else had the whole pack we had to divide the pack up with six kids," said Childs. 

His upbringing inspired him to create his own non-profit. Operation Hope USA works to feed the community.

"We made 100 meals and we took them out to the community and gave them out. Lasted probably less than 15 minutes. Then the next year we did 250. And then the next year we did 500. Then we did feed 1,000. Then we did feed 5,000 and we've been doing 5,000 for the last, I think we're going into our 4th year."

But Childs isn't on a mission just to provide food, he's also finding a way to use his business to end homelessness in the city.   

"Then we start cutting them up and fabricating would probably be the better word to be used fabricate and preparing them for either a residential product, a commercial product, an industrial product, or a recreational product."

Photo courtesy of Derrick Childs.

Childs is the director of construction and design for Container Homes USA. He and his team turn containers into homes complete with kitchens, baths, beds, and more. He said container homes are the way to end homelessness.

"If you have 100 people that are homeless in the city and you have 100 of these units available for them now you can put them in a unit, let them have a unit, get back on their feet and once they get back on their feet they are able to stand." 

Childs hopes to find a way to connect with city leaders to use container homes to get people off the streets. He also hopes they can be used to help kids aging out of foster care have somewhere to live.​

Photo courtesy of Derrick Childs.