Paul Elkin's "Cadillac of Homeless Shelters"

elkins shelter cart photo
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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?)

elkins shelter cart photo inside

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 shelter cart photo interior 1

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."

elkins shelter cart photo interior 2

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