This novel idea is providing a space for the homeless while at the same time re-purposing a retiring vehicle.
With an estimated 100 million people living on the streets on any given day, and as many as 1 billion people believed to lack adequate housing, it is fair to say that the concern of homelessness is an issue that affects everyone.
And although True Activist reported positive news of self-less individuals ‘being the change’ and creating secure housing for others in the past, the problem persists and is very real.
For this reason, Honolulu, Hawaii has decided to remedy this concern – or at least reduce it drastically – by reconditioning old buses to provide shelter, security, and comfort for those without.
Having received immense pressure in the past year for not doing enough about the homelessness issue on the island of Oahu, Jun Yang, the City’s Executive Director of Housing, has presented an ingenious idea: to retrofit retired city buses as transitional housing for the homeless.
As The Huffington Post reports, the Architecture firm Group 70 International picked up the design challenge, and now has the ambition to have at least three volunteer-built LIFT bus facilities on the road this summer. The renovated buses will provide shelter, showers, and recreation for some of the homeless population in Honolulu.
The LIFT buses are still in well-functioning order; they’ve only been retired due to their advanced mileage. And the City has agreed to donate around 70 of them to be converted into shelters.
Different than an RV – which is basically a house on wheels – each renovated bus will be outfitted to serve a distinct purpose: some will have beds and screens to provide shelter, others will provide showers and basic hygiene facilities, and a third design will provide recreational space. The layout of different buses have been formatted for different designs, and those with doors in both front and back will be divided in the center for privacy so as to house two families.
The design principal of Group 70 International, May Ry Kim, told Hawaii News Now that the design of the elegant spaces “is based on the premise that you could walk into a hardware store, buy everything you need in one go, and build everything with no trade skills.” She also states that the renovated shelters can be constructed by a team of untrained volunteers.
With the buses secured, the design in place, and some monetary donations received, Group 70 is now looking for a non-profit to take on the implementation of the project. Reportedly Habitat for Humanity is one organization that has expressed interest.
With all the requisites in order, Group 70 International aims to have the first LIFT “bus shelters” in place in the next few months.
This novel idea is providing a space for the homeless while at the same time re-purposing a retiring vehicle. Perhaps other cities will soon follow suit with this fascinating idea.