Mickey Byrnes, a name he gave himself after he left home, lived in Allenspark as a young teenager. A very dysfunctional family life led to alcohol abuse and nineteen years of living on the streets and under bridges in the Boulder area. He referred to himself as, “working homeless,” surviving on the odd construction job when and where he could find it. 

The second time he woke up naked, in January, Mickey decided to take charge and make a change. He stopped drinking, and has been sober for seven years. Using his talent for drawing cartoon characters (that's where he took the name Mickey) he sold his art on the street corners of Boulder, and continued to work odd jobs and cut firewood in the Allenspark/Estes area.

Mickey always had a dream of being an actor. One afternoon, while standing in line at the Post Office in Estes Park, and softly singing to himself, the director from Old Gallery in Allenspark heard him and invited him to be in a play he was casting, Fiddler on the Roof. As they say in the business, “A star was born.” A role in My Fair Lady followed, and then a part in South Pacific at the Guild Theater in Estes Park.

Doing work and odd jobs for Dr. Rick and Mrs. Claire Beasley, of Allenspark, Mickey became friends with the couple. Impressed with his determination and work ethic, Claire agreed to help finance a car to help make getting steady work, and thus life, a little easier for Mickey. The loan, Mickey proudly notes, he has been paying off each month. This eventually led to a job with Byron and Dot Fears who own SimBLISSity, a Lyons (just east of the Rtes. 36/66 intersection) company that builds tiny homes. Mickey works for SimBLISSity, and acts as the caretaker, when needed, for the couples' home up Rte. 7 between Lyons and Allenspark.

Not long ago, Mickey approached his friend Claire about the possibility of financing a van, so he might have a place to call home. Not wild about the idea, Claire got together with Byron and Dot to develop a better alternative. The SimBLISSity crew and Mickey would supply the “sweat equity,” and Beasley would finance the materials for a tiny home. The idea gained traction among all the parties involved, and last week the framing of the tiny was begun. By Monday morning the exterior walls were up, and work on the interior continues apace.

I'm sure all would agree; a heartwarming story for a cold January day.

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