PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of Rhode Island teenagers is spending part of their summer giving back to the community in different ways.

Members of the Teen Apprentice Program at the Center for Dynamic Learning in Providence put together more than 140 care packages containing PPE, cleaning supplies and other items for families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 26 teens also built a house out of a 40-foot shipping container to raise awareness about homelessness among veterans.

“This is a container that’s suitable for a living space for one to two individuals,” said Beth Cunha, the center’s co-founder and executive director. “It has a kitchen, it’s off the grid, it has solar panels, a self-composting toilet.”

“Just looking at the storage container, I was like, ‘how are we going to make a tiny house?'” recalled Crystal Ortiz, a recent Met High School graduate and rising freshman at Roger Williams University. “I felt like it was going to be really cramped, but the finished project is like really open and looks beautiful.”

Students hope the project can be used as a future model. Their ultimate goal is to work with local cities and towns to build more tiny houses for the state’s homeless population.