From benches to bedrooms: How some organizations provide better shelter for the homeless
In response to the backlash surrounding anti-homeless spikes in a London convenient store, a Canadian charity organization has come up with a solution that provides the opposite: benches that turn into shelter for the homeless.
Measures to prevent homeless people from sleeping or sitting in public areas, sometimes called "defensive architecture" were not well-received back in June when a photo of anti-homeless spikes outside a convenient store in London went viral. Cities' efforts to stop people from lying down on benches or sidewalks have been called "inelegant" and "heartless." But some are changing that mentality by creating homeless-friendly architecture in public places.
RainCity Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides support for homeless people in Vancouver, have built benches that have instant pop-up shelters for people to sit or sleep under.
"During the day, the innovative design simply works as the back support to benches where people might sit and eat lunch or while waiting for a bus," The Independent reports. "But at night, the boards fold out upwards, providing emergency cover in what is — like London — a notoriously rainy city."
"This is a bench," the bench reads in the day time. In the dark, though, those words disappear and glow in the dark words on the bench read, "This is a bedroom."
And the Gregory Project, a nonprofit that thinks of advertising solutions, have come up with the idea to use billboard advertisements into a living space. The architectural design exists in Slovakia, and the billboards "feature two surfaces that face oncoming drivers in both directions — creating a triangular space in between. The Gregory Project would build small two-room apartments in those spaces — one room with an entrance hall, kitchen with a small desk and a raised bed with storage underneath, and the other room being a bathroom," Ad Week writes.
"Such an object would need just a minimal maintenance cost which could be partially paid through the rental of its advertisement space," the Gregory Project website says.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter | @amymcdonald89