There are just shy of 85,000 people classified as homeless in the UK, 500,000 homeless people in the US and over 78 million homeless people in India. In total there are over 100 million people across the world without a safe, warm, secure place to call home. The streets are so overpopulated with the homeless that they’ve pretty much become invisible. We go about our days ignoring them, not usually out of malice but due to the sheer acceptance that they are as much a part of our surroundings as our skylines are.
There are a number of charities from Unicef to Crisis continually making efforts to take people off of the streets or provide help to as many of those that they can. With that mentioned, it is important to note that there are also a growing amount of individuals with innovative ideas and inventions with a specific mission to solve social problems, such as homelessness. As a result of this there have been a medley of innovative products created to support those without shelters.
COCOON– Designed by the Royal College of Art student Hwang Kim
The Cocoon was originally created to be a shelter for the homeless. It is cut from pre-folded cardboard with plastic buttons allowing it to be adjusted to the size and body position of the owner.
Shelter in a Cart
This cart was designed by Gregor Timlin and Barry Sheehan for the Shelter in a Cart competition. It doubles as a shopping cart for the homeless to carry their belongings but also shelter for them to keep safe and warm at night.
The Duffily bags inventor Emily Duffy is a young student who saw many flaws with the much used cloth sleeping bags. With the her chosen materials the Duffily bags are warm, fire resistant and waterproof.
Tiny Homes Village Seattle
This initiative goes beyond the product. The tiny homes village was created with both shelter and community in mind. It was built on a plot of land with one single family home but now hosts 14 tiny homes for the homeless.
Homelessness isn’t something that people seek, it just happens and unfortunately it can happen to any of us. Unfortunately it is probably not something that can be eradicated in the next 24 hours but there are steps that can be taken to help as much as we can and these creative shelters are definitely a step in the right direction.