I live in a city, like most in America, where there are a lot of homeless people. They stand on corners near the freeway exits, or by grocery stores holding signs asking for anything you might be able to spare. I will give them money if I have any on hand, and sometimes I even bring them food or water. I once gave a 5 lb bag of dog food to a man sitting on a corner with an older dog. I can’t say I donate every time I see someone in need, but I do what I can. Yes, they might use my money to buy alcohol but they might not. It’s not my place to judge. I don’t know their story or how they ended up on the streets, but I imagine I would be grateful if someone helped me if I were in that situation. That’s why I’m so impressed with what the Executor of Housing, Jun Yang, in Honolulu, HI has decided to do with decommissioned buses to benefit the homeless.
Honolulu has 5 buses that will no longer be used for transportation. They are being decommissioned and instead of auctioning them off or taking them to the landfill, Jun Yang, the Executor of Housing has come up with an amazing idea to use these buses as transitional housing for the homeless!
Ma Ry Kim who works with Group 70 International, a firm that will be working on the project says, “The idea is to convert them into living, sleeping, showering, recreational facilities.”
Ma Ry Kim continues, “The entire design is based on the premise that you could walk in to a hardware store, buy everything you need in one go, and build everything with no trade skills.”
The buses are being donated by the city and all labor will be volunteer work which should really keep costs down. Supplies and furniture are also being donated to the cause to turn these buses into temporary housing for the homeless.
This is the idea of what the sleeping spaces will look like, with some storage up above. Each of the 5 buses being donated will have a different purpose. some for sleeping and some for showering, etc. Ma Ry Kim explains, “We’re fitting some out to be bathrooms and showers, we’re fitting some out to be sleeping areas, and the design completely folds away like a little Japanese tatami mat.”
They are still working out some additional details as to where the buses will be and who will be operating them but they hope to have them up and running within the year.
This is such an amazing idea that will go a long way to helping people. Although I have never been homeless myself, I can imagine that being able to shower and having a clean place to sleep can go a long way to improving your outlook on life. And with an improved outlook you may be able to pull yourself out of your current situation and improve your life with a more permanent place to live. Hopefully more cities follow suit and start thinking of ways they too can help the local homeless!