Paul Elkin's "Cadillac of Homeless Shelters"


Images by Paul Elkins

A couple of years ago, inventor and bike maker Paul Elkins noticed the "Shelter-in-a-cart" competition, challenging designers to come up with decent portable housing, and clever designs for living with less. TreeHugger covered it extensively; there were so many creative solutions for living in small spaces.

Paul took up the challenge, describing on his website the goal to "design and construct a simple, light weight, water tight 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....So, what started as something that was suppose to be simple and cheap, well, let's say I got a bit carried away...What we have here is the Cadillac of homeless shelters.."

(Which makes him of a certain age; who says the Cadillac of anything these days?)

It has a sophisticated rainwater collection system with charcoal filters, a full kitchen and convertible sleeping area, all in a 225 pound package. It is built more like a yacht than a homeless shelter; put a better chassis on it and it would make a fine camper trailer.

Elkins believes that "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."

But I wonder if this isn't just a bit too high end for the market. More at High Mileage Trikes via Tiny House Blog

More shelters in TreeHugger:
One For The Road: A Home in a Shopping Cart
Portable Shelters for Homeless or Refugees Designed by ZO_loft
30 Different Ways to Put A Roof Over Your Head In These Tents Times
Cart and Shelter for the Modern Recycler
Shelter in a Cart Competition

Tags: Designers | Less Is More | Living With Less

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