WATCH: Legos & Rubik’s Cube Inspired California Teen’s Homelessness Solution

Renee Wang’s Rubix is a tiny prefabricated home complete with a kitchen, a bathroom and other necessities.

There are more than 180,000 unhoused people in California, and only half of them can be accommodated by the existing shelter system. That’s why Renee Wang, a rising senior at The Bishop’s School in San Diego, California, wanted to find a better solution.

Her project, Rubix, inspired by the Rubik's Cube and Lego, is a tiny prefabricated home complete with a kitchen, a bathroom and other necessities.

“It’s intended for independent living with dignity for the homeless population,” Wang said.

Rubix is entirely off-grid, powered by solar energy, and uses bamboo and recycled plastics as its main construction materials.

Unlike any of the other tiny home products that are available on the market, Wang said, “it’s an innovative design that makes manufacturing, transportation and installation cheaper, faster and far more efficient.”

Rubix has an independent plumbing system, so it can also be used in natural disaster relief.

Wang has been communicating with city council members and nonprofits that are interested in seeing Rubix being implemented in San Diego.

She is also fundraising to create a full-scale prototype. Wang says she’s aiming for a one-time purchase cost of $30,000, compared to the $50,000 per year San Diego shelter beds cost to maintain.

For her work on Rubix, Wang won a $25,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for accomplished young people to make a positive difference.

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