Above are SoloHaus homeless pods. In Seattle, City Pods are assembled in a few hours to convert vacant offices and warehouses into fire-compliant housing (with air filters and keyless door locks). These last 10 years and are fully-furnished with bamboo flooring (and double-pod options for couples).
Finland has almost reached zero homelessness thanks to Y-Säätiö, a nonprofit landlord that works with councils to build on-demand M2-Kodit homes that are safe, fully-furnished and energy-efficient, with access to green space, public transport and laundries.
England alone has around 270,000 people registered homeless. Most people do not choose to live on the streets as it’s cold, boring and scary. Most people find themselves homeless due to family problems, mental health issues or even falling behind with rent/mortgage payments.
Homeless people do qualify for benefits. Councils and shelters can download a free SWEP toolkit to create a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol to set up accommodation for winter, for people (and dogs) sleeping rough. Also read how to help dogs of homeless people.
Greater Change goes beyond giving money: notify StreetLink of a rough sleeper then local charities find the person to help with benefits, services and accommodation. Billy Chip credits local shops with the cost to sell chips to local people, who can then give these to homeless people, to redeem for food or a hot drink.
The Social Bite Village is an innovative community in Scotland for up to 20 people, with 10 ‘NestHouses’ (shared by two residents) where residents can cook, eat and socialise, and also get training and support, rather than just sticking people in hostels.
Buses 4 Homeless converts disused London double-decker buses into 8 sleep pods. Surrounding buses are converted into kitchen/dining areas, learning spacess and a wellness bus to offer medical care and support.
Green Pastures buys properties to house homeless people. The great idea here is that it then asks churches to invest in their upkeep (rather than putting money on the stock market). Jesus would be proud! Residents offer around 10 hours a week help, in return for housing and help to get their lives back together.
JFD Architecture created ‘floating pods’ (after the founder was appalled at councils installing spikes and armrests in bus shelters, to stop people being able to sleep). Made with prefabricated timber A-frames and polycarbonate panels, thes are affordable and easily relocated, with heating coming from the air-flow attached to the buildings.
MADI (Italy) builds affordable flat-pack ‘folding’ furnished homes that are easy to move and designed to last 50 to 100 years. With high standards for safety (fire, wind), these are even earthquake-proof so good for homeless people abroad during natural disasters. A great ideal for councils to invest in, they can be built and sent in 3 months, and ready-to-move into within 6 hours.