If the architectural firm Group 70 International is successful Hawaii will soon transform old city buses into mobile homeless shelters. The plan is for the vehicles to operate in fleets, with different buses serving different purposes from living spaces to public recreation rooms.
In recent years Honolulu has been put in the hot seat due to their lack of programs for the homeless community. In fact, local police officers have been called out for citing the homeless with an assortment of pedestrian violations. One city council proposal even suggested relocating the homeless to a remote island without tourists.
Clearly, turning old city buses into mobile homeless shelters is a much more humane way of handling the situation. Group 70 International plans to have at least 2 volunteer-built LIFT bus facilities ready to go and out on the road this summer with another 5 to follow within the calendar year. These awesome buses will provide Honolulu’s homeless population with a place to rest, hang out and even take a shower.
The city has already donated around 70 buses to be converted into homeless shelters. The buses used for the project are still in good condition and are retired due to mileage.
May Ry Kim from Group 70 International told Hawaii News they are working to create elegant spaces “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 purpose of this is to enable unskilled workers to quickly and easily assemble the busses into their new life form.
“It’s completely organic, and we when we started did not even realize number one what a need there was for this, and number two how people can benefit from it…but mostly how many people want to help.”
The busses will be renovated with different designs, some serve as a shower and cleaning facility, others include beds and screens for shelter and the third design will be used as a recreational space. The bus used for sleeping and shelter can be split down the center so that two families can reside there in privacy.
“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.”
Group 70 International has successfully secured a quality design, a fleet of busses, and some monetary donations. Now all that they need to see the project through is a non-profit organization that will take on the implementation of the project. Habitat for Humanity has expressed great interest in lending a helping hand, and as a result the team hopes to have the first LIFT bus shelters out on the road within the next few months.
Photo Credits: group70int.com