[image credit: takepart.com]
Homeless have fewer places to sleep than ever before
A trend of draconian laws and policies have negatively affected the homeless around the world. Norway hopes to make begging punishable by jail time. Earlier this month, anti-homeless spikes sparked controversy in London; a posh apartment building had installed the pointy pieces of metal in an effort to keep people from sleeping on its grounds.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., cities have installed transit seats with dividers or have turned to impossible-to-lie-on curved benches to keep homeless folks from sleeping on them.
Solution: Convert bus benches into covered sleeping areas
It rains a whopping 200 days out of the year in Vancouver, which isn’t terrible if you have a cozy pair of galoshes and a warm, dry sofa to curl up on every evening. But what if you’re homeless and spending the night sleeping on an exposed bus bench?
That’s where some tricked-out transit seats are helping to save the day. Equipped with a pop-up “roof,” the benches keep residents of the Canadian city with no place to go from getting drenched.
The benches were created in 2013 by local advertising agency Spring and grassroots advocacy group RainCity Housing, which provides progressive services to Vancouver’s homeless. During the day, the benches serve as seating for those waiting for the bus to arrive. At night, the front lifts up and out to create an overhang. The back of the bench tells homeless people, “Find a home here,” and it gives RainCity’s address.