Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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A home for those without

Build rooms and be a decent human
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Anti-homeless architecture includes such things as spikes on the ground, sprinklers on pavement, and hoops on benches, all intended to keep anyone from resting there. I, for one, consider it evil for the obvious reason.

Proposed is a kind of room for the homeless. A two and a half meter long, one meter wide room with a tiny sink and toilet and one outlet. It doesn't have to be pretty, well-insulated, or anything else, except that it can't be designed to prevent or discourage occupancy.

Proposed is a law making anti-homeless architecture illegal except where the architecture offers some reasonable density of homeless rooms. (for example one room per 15 meters of road facing storefront) The law would also render immune from litigation or prosecution the land owner, specifying that the room's resident is not a tenant of any kind and doesn't have squatter's rights, renter's rights, or the like. Harassment of the homeless by the owner can be prevented by existing laws. Collecting rent of any kind is, of course, forbidden as is telling anyone they may not live, move, or rest there.

Obviously there would be drug use, fights over territory, overcrowding, and the like but no more so than if the homeless were left out on the street without these rooms.

EDIT: So who cleans these rooms? The same people who clean cardboard boxes and under bridges. How are they secured? The same way tents are. Who brings out the dead? The same people who bring the dead out from behind dumpsters.

There will be a small, unavoidable additional maintenance cost in cleaning out and repairing abandoned or vandalized rooms but the primary objective here is to minimize the cost of providing a basic level of privacy and dignity to someone who is already homeless.
Voice, Jul 04 2022

https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Capsule_hotel [a1, Jul 06 2022]

Bus_20stop_20capsule_20hotel [a1, Jul 06 2022]

https://www.seattle...-homeless-in-japan/ [a1, Jul 06 2022]

Living in the Tunnels Beneath New York - Mole People https://www.youtube...watch?v=ZlK3QbPAE-I
Carlos was evicted some time after this video was published. [Voice, Sep 12 2022]


       I share the sense of weary horror at anti-homeless architecture, [Voice], although I'm not sure that this idea would make things better.   

       Part of the problem is overcrowding, especially in certain parts of the world, which include the South-East of England. For practical purposes, there is no environment there except the built environment, and the built environment is busy trying to do other jobs besides being a sleeping place of last resort. You can't sleep under a hedge where there are no hedges, or where they are all some kind of bonsai privet, or are just far too close to someone else's private space.   

       My contribution to a solution was to emigrate.
pertinax, Jul 06 2022

       I'm gonna bun anything at least trying to address the vexing problem of homelessness. [+]
doctorremulac3, Jul 06 2022

       So you propose upcycling of current architecture to house a homeless person, perhaps an unleased unit in a strip mall? Would certainly be nicer to look at than the current practice of utilizing shipping containers.
whatrock, Jul 06 2022

       //upcycling of current architecture to house a homeless person, perhaps an unleased unit in a strip mall?//

A strip mall typically has a lot of street-facing space so under my proposal they'll have to to better than one. About one per two shops, perhaps. The space used by a typical strip mall shop could house six in the proposed conditions.
Voice, Jul 06 2022

       One huge barrier to fixing the problem is a pervasive idea that if a person isn't doing all he can to afford at least basic housing he should be homeless; that basic dignity is something to be earned.
Voice, Jul 06 2022

       A few problems with this one.   

       Security will be an issue so locks would be needed. You'd want to make sure that these locks are on a timer because a small percentage of residents will die on any given night and their little apartment would be a tomb.   

       Who's going to clean them?
The units, not the homeless, that's a separate issue.

       //Security will be an issue so locks would be needed.//

You've misunderstood the idea. It's not to provide stable housing, it's to provide public spaces where homeless people can rest. Actual housing needs a huge amount of administration, maintenance, and other expenses.

The idea is not an attempt to solve homelessness (so perhaps the title is bad) but an attempt to alleviate the worst of the suffering it causes. People will still be homeless. They will still be living rough. There will still be most of the unpleasantness that comes with that. So who cleans these rooms? The same people who clean cardboard boxes and under bridges. How are they secured? The same way tents are. Who brings out the dead? The same people who bring the dead out from behind dumpsters.

There will be a small, unavoidable additional maintenance cost in cleaning out and repairing abandoned or vandalized rooms but the primary objective here is to minimize the cost of providing a basic level of privacy and dignity to someone who is already homeless. More permanent and humane solutions are outside the scope of this idea.

Maintenance can be minimized by building the rooms with easily replaced material (eg. a wooden box of appropriate size that can be swapped out as needed) or very sturdy material (eg. reinforced concrete)
Voice, Jul 06 2022

       Ah. I see. I'm not sure there is a cure in the short term.   

       The way I see it homeless people might make up a majority of humans in the not too distant future. Even many of those who own property outright will not be able to pay their property taxes as inflation outpaces worth, so for myself, I'm shooting for a passively powered self sustaining permaculture/village type approach, paid off and bill-free... other than taxes.   

       ...if we can hold on by the skin of our teeth long enough then the collapse I see around me will render this place sovereign and the only taxes will be local and paid to me to hold all this shit together until I die. Hopefully I've found a successor by then or folks are smart enough to elect a decent one instead of this shit-show we're being subjected to.   

       People in cities are in for a rough ride. I see soup kitchen lines for miles and folks not caring what's in their bowl-of-brown as long as they eat for another day.   

       It makes me sick the things I've seen coming for decades... and all because we're the species that forgets, and so we cycle until we remember.   

       Sad really.   

       I've been homeless twice. Once because of drugs and drinking, and the second time because I was jobless, homeless, and waiting for the government to extend Unemployment Benefits I was in San Fran with no car, and I didn't know anyone. My last job had been a "live-in" situation, and until the government got going I was without a penny.   

       Finally, I found another live-in position, and yes, that's when the checks restarted and I was rolling in the dough then. Ha.   

       I'm so blessed that neither time was now. Currently, in San Fransico, I wouldn't have had even the Shelter to go to for a bed and a meal. I would have been on the streets.   

       Looking back it scares me. "A two and a half meter long room," would have been a castle to me.
blissmiss, Jul 10 2022

       Wow Blissy, I had no idea. That sucks.   

       I'd be curious to ask your opinion of passing a law that people can't be moved off the street unless they've been given an alternate place to live with adequate food, shelter and medical care. The idea, in theory anyway, is it would incentivize cities to not sweep their homeless problem under the rug by just moving them to another city, which is what currently happens quite often.   

       Santa Cruz has a famous homeless problem that's gotten at least a little better and I was asking a resident what happened. Turns out the surrounding cities were just sending their homeless to Santa Cruz till Santa Cruz told them to knock it off.   

       The idea is that you can't do that. You've got homeless, you can only move them to a safe place to live, nowhere else. It would be a simple law but it would profoundly change how the homeless are dealt with. Would it help? I have absolutely no idea.   

       Your opinion on this matters much more than somebody who hasn't experienced homelessness so I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts.
doctorremulac3, Jul 10 2022

       Please watch Voice's posted documentary. Carlos is my hero.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2022

       I feel bad for people like Carlos, but when I hear stories like that, my analytical mind can't help but wonder what's being left out of his narrative. He says he just can't seem to keep a job, but that's only a partial answer. Why can't he keep a job? He didn't say he can't find work, he said he can't keep it. I went through a period of many years where I struggled to keep a job, but it never stopped me from working. If I lost one job, I'd find another and I always kept a roof over my head. What keeps people like Carlos chronically unemployed? He's clearly hardworking and industrious.
21 Quest, Sep 12 2022

       I thought the same thing, just assumed there's some flaw in him that keeps that from happening.   

       But I swear, part of me saw the appeal of his lifestyle. I spend so much of my life working to provide for others, which I've sworn to do, it really does give my life meaning and I know without that life is, well, meaningless.   

       But I pictured myself sitting in a little private cave like Carlos and my reaction wasn't one of horror. Maybe I'd spend my time there writing a novel, or working on a new invention of some sorts, curing a disease.   

       Anyway, back to reality. Bills to pay, biz stuff to manage. Close the thought with: "How much of Carlos' time belongs to Carlos, how much of my time belongs to me?"
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2022

       //What keeps people like Carlos chronically unemployed?//   

       As a chronically unemployed person I can answer that. It's a combination of an uncaring society, bigotry, disability, and cascading failure. ("hitting the skids")   

       Bigotry: It's de facto legal to discriminate against me in my country, and such discrimination is done. It has lost me jobs and it has kept me from getting jobs, even when I'm a great match.   

       Disability: My disability includes a social aspect: I can't cope with or understand social situations others deal with without thinking. So I'm always the odd man out. The weird one. The one it's okay to put down. "Not a good fit" is the primary reason for firing me.   

       Cascading failure: Who wants to hire someone with large resume gaps and a suspicious lack of solid references? Who is going to give him a chance once hired rather than looking for reasons to let him go before he becomes a liability? Who is going to see how he performs if his co-workers already don't like him? The answer is "very few employers" How can I apply for work when I don't have transportation? When my phone doesn't work due to non payment? When moving just isn't possible unless I want to live rough at my destination? When I have legal problems stemming from poverty itself? You hit the skids. A problem causes another problem, which causes another problem. I thank God I'm not living rough right now, but I'm close to it. And when I am living rough? How will I get a job when the above are compounded with difficulty getting a clean suit for an interview, transportation even to an interview, no shower, and loss of sleep?   

       Uncaring society. My country has some help, but available help is far outpaced by the number of people in trouble. I get free medical care and that's an immense relief. I get a lot of free food. But the biggest part of society that's uncaring is the part that may hire someone. Being unemployed is a powerful reason not to hire someone.   

       So that's about me. Carlos probably is an illegal immigrant in America. It's actually illegal to hire him. He probably also faces discrimination, and worse than I face. And he may well have a disability. I have bad knees that keep me from working many, many entry level jobs. No idea what Carlos can't do, or tries to do and has to quit because he can't.   

       On top of all this there are the many people who have this suspicion that their own success is proof that success is possible for literally anyone. That's not how reality works. Congratulations (I'm not speaking to you specifically, [21]) on your hard work paying off. Many people work hard and end up in the gutter for many different reasons.
Voice, Sep 12 2022

       The problem with that thinking is, you are always at risk of being kicked out of any place you're not paying for. Does anyone know what became of him after he lost his beloved cave?   

       (This was in response to Doc Rem, not Voice)
21 Quest, Sep 12 2022

       Hey, part of me has that in the back of my head always. The difference between me and Carlos is a series of events, that's it.   

       I think that's why I have some kind of weird reaction when I see homeless people, "There but for the grace of god goes me."   

       Maybe that's why I like the idea of helping them, purely selfish. That could be me.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2022

       One of the things that really warms my heart to see is technology like smartphones becoming more affordably available to the public. My first smartphone was the HTC G1, the very first Android phone made. I bought it for myself after a nasty breakup as a birthday present to myself. It took every penny I had in savings, and at the time I thought to myself this is a stupid indulgence, you can't afford this. About a year after that, I went through a period of that sort of cascade failure you're talking about. Car got repossessed, lost my job, and I couldn't keep the phone turned on. I found out I could get a free Google Voice phone number, and could make outbound calls from my computer. I couldn't figure out how to get calls in that way, but I could get voicemails and text messages, and could check those on my smartphone anywhere I could find a free wifi network. Google Maps was a life saver for me, because it included public transit routing which enabled me to find my way around by bus. As long as I plotted my route while still on wifi, it would keep navigating for me even after I lost the data connection. People were blown away how efficiently I was able to get around without a car.   

       When I see people complain about poor folks with smartphones, I think back to the days when I cursed myself for buying one, then later thanked my lucky stars I had it, and just shake my head. People don't realize what a powerful, life saving tool a good smartphone can be if you know how to leverage the technology to be more than a mere luxury. There's nobody who needs it more than a poor person.
21 Quest, Sep 12 2022

       Hey Voice, thank you for sharing your hardships with the team. We're on your side, let us know if there's anything we can do to help. I like to think of the HB as a family. I kind of dysfunctional family sometimes but a family nonetheless.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2022

       What he said ^
21 Quest, Sep 12 2022

       Well, I don't know how much of that sentiment is genuine, how much help you're able to offer, or how much the help you can offer would help, but I appreciate the spirit and I'll put my email address in my profile for a bit. It would be nice to trade emails in any case.
Voice, Sep 12 2022

21 Quest, Sep 13 2022


       Need someone to talk to, go ahead and drop a line.   

       Stay strong brother.
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2022


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