Want To Shelter The Homeless With Bus Benches?

Many cities are faced with what to do about the problem of homeless people. Some are ignoring the issue and hoping it will go away. Others have gone on the offensive to make it hard for the homeless to find respite hoping that they will go away. The city of Vancouver, British Columbia has taken a simple and more compassionate step by creating benches that can double as shelters for the homeless.

Bus Bench Shelter for the Homeless (Image via The Independent)Bus Bench Shelter for the Homeless (Image via The Independent)

Homelessness is not an issue that is going to go away on its own. RainCity Housing in Vancouver is an organization that supplies help and services to the city's homeless population, and works toward creating housing. They have set up a number of bus benches around the city that offers a modest sleeping shelter for homeless individuals.

The benches each have an extra back on them that easily flips up and locks to offer a simple shelter. There may be no amenities or storage room, but at least it is out of the rain and snow. While it is primarily for nighttime use, undoubtedly it could also be used on seriously inclement days. 

The Bench by Day and Night (Image via The Independent)The Bench by Day and Night (Image via The Independent)

This movement makes cities like London where anti-homeless campaigns are trying to get the homeless to go elsewhere look seriously mean. Some places there and in other places have installed metal spikes sticking up from the concrete to keep the homeless from sheltering in those places. This sends a horrible message when something like a series of planters would do just as well without saying so pointedly, "We don't want your kind here!"

Other cities are working on plans to improve the lot of their homeless populations through the creation of special housing and communities. Of course, funding is always an issue. Trust the Canadians to come up with at least a temporary measure to help the homeless now, not just in some hoped-for future.

Sources: The Independent, Business Insider