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16 December 2008 @ 08:39 am
E.D.A.R. [Everyone Deserves A Roof]  
I live and work near DC, and as I leave the Silver Spring Metro, I pass by a lot of homeless people since we have a "Progress Place" shelter about a block and a half from where I work. DC has a lot of these wanderers who camp out at night. I hate it when people call it "a homeless problem," because that always seems kind of like dividing by class. Not all of these people are a stereotype of the homeless as presented by the media. Sure, a lot of them are mentally and physically ill, without family and discarded by society, but the homeless are not all the same person with generically the same story. Some are homeless by choice, some are in between homes, and some just have no real plan. But the are our brothers and sisters in humanity, and deserve the same respect and kindness as everyone else.

This designer came up with a way to give these people shelters, and it's pretty cool.

feyandstrange on December 16th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
I have been wondering if people's attitudes towards the homeless will change as the economy gets worse; there are already people formerly "middle class" who have lost homes to the mortgage crisis and are living out of their cars or worse. Maybe people will be a little more understanding of the problems of the poor when they start to feel the pinch.

Of course, people who are feeling the economy tighten are also much less likely to donate to charity. But they may not vote for laws which criminalize the homeless or otherwise screw then over, either.

I wonder how much one of those things costs? THey do look like a pretty decent solution, although I wonder if the police would seize then in a raid. THey might also not work versus the really cold conditions further north, but there's a reason warmer cities have more homeless; they are less likely to die from hypothermia.

IT also looks like these cart-tents would be at least moderately usable by the physically disabled, who make up a far larger percentage of the homeless than the "normal" population. And I don't expect a solution like this to be fully accessible, it would be totally impractical.

I notice that the news doesn't mention the other problems with homeless shelters, like insisting on splitting up families, not allowing pets or even service dogs, and serious issues like violence and sanitation problems. Lots of people sleep on the street because it's a lot safer than their city shelters. And many shelters turn away sick or crippled people because the shelter can't provide for their needs or won't accept the "risks" of having them. (Drunks are okay, but we can't have you having a seizure in here.)

Years ago I saw a design for a sort of weatherproof sleeping bag which zipped or snapped up into a long coat for day wear. People were being encouraged to sew them and donate them to charity.
Sister Straight Razor of Toleranceninjacooter on December 16th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
This is simply fantastic. Linked and posted. Thank you, good sir.
Darkevilpassion8 on December 17th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
a prime example of what just one person can do when putting their mind to it