Several months back my ‘bicycle camper’ was recognized by quite a few web sites. In some of the comment sections several people were thinking it would be a good idea to make a similar push version for a homeless person. After surfing the web I came across a site called ‘Designboom’. This site had a challenge for designers. It was called ‘Shelter-in-a-cart’. The challenge was to design a cart that would meet the demands for the ever expanding homeless society, creating a substitute for the common grocery cart sort of speak, where as this new cart would be a recyclables collection cart by day for an income, then transform into an enclosed shelter at night for sleeping.
In LosAngeles a philanthropist, after seeing the cardboard box living conditions of a homeless person, decided to create and give away his version of a homeless cart. So far he’s given away 70 carts. These are steel frames covered with a tough durable canvas. They have storage compartments for personal belongings inside and have fold-down collection baskets on the front and back for collecting bottles and cans. He calls it the EDAR, ‘Everybody Deserves A Roof.’
Al thought the EDAR and many of the competition design ideas were great, like my bicycle camper, I decided to go down the rabbit hole a bit further…
My original intent was to design and construct a simple, light weight, insulated box on wheels geared for the northwest climate that an urban street person could reside in (with all the comforts of home of course) and have an area to display and sell handmade wares. I’ve seen seen the homeless make wire sculptures, wood carvings etc. One could also make alcohol stoves from aluminum recycled cans and peddle them as emergency stoves.
Many homeless people are actually more creative than you might think, and not all want to beg or go rummage around in trash cans all day for a living. Homeless people have pride too! Also, this I think would make a better connection with the public.
What we have here is the Cadillac of homeless shelters!
Wayno is demonstrating the proper way to push the shelter. All 225 pounds of it, empty. The roof acts as a rain catcher. When it starts raining, I turn a valve to stop the flow to the collection tank. This then drains to the ground flushing any crap on the roof. A few minutes later I turn the valve back on to collect free water. Once the tank is full it has an over-flow feature that allows excess water to drain to the ground. Two screens filter the water. This water is not intended to drink, unless filtered more, bleached or boiled.
This unplanned arrangement of the cushions turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Two people can sit comfortably together.
Originally I was just going to use the spigot on the 5 gallon container, but after some thought I installed a spigot over the sink (bread pan).
This view shows all the doors open.
The two vents in the rear will soon have some sort of louver adjustments in case strong winds blow too cool of air in.
Cutting board storage under food shelf.
Removing the sink, or bread pan, reveals the trash can. By removing the propane stove you can access an extra propane cylinder, paper towel, two rolls of toilet paper and trash bags.
To remove the tank and fill in case there’s no rain, I unscrew the copper line, rotate down and slide the tank out. An easy disconnect located above the tank is on the inlet line.
This cooler was made from a two gallon water dispenser. Two inches of foam surround the container. To the right of the divider (caulked with white silicone, hey, it’s what I had..) you dump in a few cups of ice, compliments of McDonalds or any other fast-food joint. The original spigot then drains the melted ice-water to the ground.
This little area acts like a night stand. Storage above for maybe a laptop computer, and underneath for dirty clothes or whatever.
These two sketches were focused more on creating minimal waist in materials, but didn’t lend much in storage space.
The Homeless Shelter measures 78″ long, 36″ wide and 51″ tall. The sitting room is 42″wide. The wheels are 8″ in diameter and lockable. The unit rides 9.5″ off the ground.