In 2012, Kev Polk’s life was flipped upside down. He and his wife lost their foster children to a different placement, and soon after, they chose to end their marriage. In the wake of major transitions, Polk opted to create a new home for himself. Now he steps out of bed every morning into a space no larger than ninety-eight square feet, built on wheels and entirely off the grid. While the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, Polk’s tiny home is anything but conventional. He says that living simply and efficiently has brought him more freedom, comfort and time to focus on his new direction in life: building tiny-house communities to encourage more people to share in the lifestyle he chose and created himself.

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Emily Harger is a third year photojournalism student at Ohio University who has previously interned at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Instagram.