half Helen Blog

Why a Tiny House?

Vision impairment has been on the rise for many years. When the pandemic struck, it became even more important for us to launch our mobile vision clinic, Optical Prime, in early 2021 to help give students the tools they would need to see clearly in an ever changing education setting. But turning the clinic into a reality wasn’t going to be an easy task.

Photo from Optical Prime Jr pop-up clinic in February 2020.

When we first began dreaming up Optical Prime, we planned to purchase and retrofit an RV with all the equipment necessary to provide quality eye care to children in low-income communities. After years of meeting with vendors, attending trade shows, working on business plans, and securing the funding needed to kickstart our adventure, we thought we were on the right track. Our plan had been in the works for nearly 4 years and everything was finally coming together. 

Then, 2020 hit. 

Vendors were shutting down, production was delayed, and many of our partners had to make the difficult decision to scale back and focus on Covid relief. Likewise, we found ourselves needing to adapt and rethink our program.

Realizing that an RV would mean waiting nearly a year longer than our original planned launch date, we came to the conclusion that we would need a new way to deliver care to students in need. 

Putting our core value of ingenuity to use, we partnered with Small House Solutions and Chupik Designs to develop the clinic as a tiny house on wheels. Through this action, we decreased our costs and found a way to minimize the delay of our clinic launch. While the appearance of our clinic has changed, we know that we will continue to provide the highest quality of care to the community. 

Be sure to check back next week for our latest Optical Prime updates!