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Could shipping containers be used to house the homeless?

13 February 2019

With a staggering number of homeless people around the world it is vital that we find a sustainable housing solution. There is a myriad of reasons that can cause people to be left without a home, from poverty and unemployment, to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.

Homeless people are a part of our society that we all too often overlook and turn a blind eye to. More than 100,000 individuals are homeless in Australia and scarily this number is only growing. It is evident there is a homeless crisis in this country that needs to be addressed urgently.

Television shows like SBS’s Filthy, Rich and Homeless have helped to put the issue of homelessness in Australia into the spotlight and spark an important conversation. The series exploration of homelessness helped to break down myths and misconceptions by showing what it can really be like for people roughing it on the streets or staying in crisis accommodation.

An attainable housing solution

It’s a sad state of affairs that there just aren’t enough shelters to accommodate every homeless individual. Even if it were the case of there being sufficient beds, it would only be a temporary fix, rather than a sustainable long-term solution. Shipping container could quite possibly be the answer to this colossal problem.

There are examples where they are already being utilised to combat homelessness in the UK cities Bristol, Brighton, London and Cardiff. In Bristol a group of social entrepreneurs started a project with the goal to provide accommodation for homeless people for a whole year. They successfully transformed the containers into liveable spaces, featuring a kitchen, bathroom, lounge and bedroom. A number of local businesses got onboard with the project to help with different areas like electricity and development. Individuals being accommodated also had opportunities to develop skills through assisting with the creation of additional container homes.

Putting a roof over the heads of people in need

Life without a home can be terrifying, every day is a struggle for basic necessitates such as food and water. Shipping containers provide safe shelter to homeless people in a way that other types of dwellings, including tents and boarding houses can’t. They are structurally sound, durable, reasonably spacious and able to be converted fairly quickly. With millions of shipping containers sitting unused after competing their journeys overseas, recycling for the purpose of housing is fantastic from an environmental sustainability perspective.

The team at CBOX Containers would love to see our shipping containers put to more uses, especially if they can be part of the solution to the complex problem that is homelessness.


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