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How about making large water-resistant boxes for the homeless? Keep the elements off of them for the night and still be portable enough to move around the city.
Baked, I say
Except at $250 a pop, I imagine half the homeless people would immediately sell them for drugs, and then go on to mug the other half for theirs. [DrCurry, Jul 04 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]
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||Waxed cardboard would be cheap, waterproof and reasonably environmentally-friendly, but I would worry about the fire hazard. These would also be good for earthquakes and other such disaters. But I can't help thinking that the real answer is to help the homeless into proper accomodation, not perpetuate their indigent lifestyle. Well meaning, but (possibly) misguided.
||pottedstu: How and where do you put the tent pegs in ? Besides, these things need to be VERY cheap, practically disposable. Even the cheapest tenst cost £10 - £15. I can see a cardboard box shelter being made for about £2 in quantity. Also, better insulation. Less likely to blow away.
||How about refitting a bunch of large dog kennels/houses to give to the homeless? I have one that is large enough for a person to sit in quite comfortably.
||This is a good idea. Just because giving them jobs or actual housing is a better solution doesn't mean something like this couldn't cheaply and easily improve their lives. As was said, how much does waxed cardboard cost? I say stock them and give them out to homeless people that refuse shelter. Many of them do you know. I might also want one myself as a one-time-use tent. The kids would love them too. (Kids already "camp" in boxes, now they actually provide shelter!)