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Hawaii turns old city buses into shelters for homeless people
Nell’isola hawaiiana di Oahu gli autobus dismessi, ancora in buono stato, verranno convertiti in alloggi confortevoli per senzacasa.
City buses with lots of kilometres travelled are destined to be retired due to the ongoing servicing they would need. The idea of giving new life to urban means of transport, turning them into homes, could be a wise choice, both for people and the environment.
Group 70 International, a Honolulu-based architecture company, is in fact working on turn retired city buses into a fleet of mobile shelters that could provide homeless people with everything from a place to sleep to an equipped space to wash up.
Homelessness has increased dramatically in recent years in Hawaii. “Hawaii has the highest rate, in terms of percentage, of homeless people,” said Vicotr Geminiani, director of Layers for Equal Justice, non-profit organisation dedicated to face such issues. The high cost of life and low wages are the main causes that led to the phenomenon onset. In the past, Hawaiian institutions tried to solve the problem, by repatriating all those who couldn’t afford a place to live in, but the initiative triggered many dissents.
Reusing public transports to provide needy people with a decent accommodation is a perfect solution. To start, Honolulu municipality will give 70 old buses to Group 70 International.
The architecture company will provide the renovation of buses’ interior, replacing old seats to make space to typical home accessories. A network of volunteers, including people who will economically contribute to the project realisation, will provide beds, sheets, and towels. Moreover, a humanitarian organisation will organise activities to entertain buses’ tenants.
The initiative is thus really interesting from the social point of view, and it is possible that other countries will take it as an example in order to face homelessness. Reuse is a winning strategy, as demonstrated in Hawaii.
Cover picture © www.heleonbus.org
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