In Hawaii, buses are re-designed to house homeless people

Hawaii, its postcard landscapes, waves adored surfers, blue lagoons and many … homeless! In an attempt to provide a solution to the worrying increase of people without roofs in Hawaii, an architecture firm has embarked on the restoration of old buses to make them homes for the homeless.

Many people are unaware of it, but Hawaii (like a series of popular tourist areas) is full of homeless people. Poverty particularly prevalent in Honolulu, the capital, where tents and supermarket shopping carts are growing along some beaches. The island authorities had been heavily criticized for their policy of hiding misery by displacing the poorest through a series of bans. A private initiative will try to help the homeless of the island by exploiting old unused buses.

Nothing is lost, everything is transformed !

With the support of the City Housing Manager, the architectural firm Group 70 International has embarked on a generous project to turn the old Honolulu buses into homes for the homeless. In practice, the positive transformation of these old vehicles will be done by LIFT, an association of volunteers. Objective: to design at least two operational buses this summer and five 2015, where homeless people will benefit not only from shelters but also from showers and a living space.

A project that could lead, in the long term, to the adaptation of a total of 70 dwellings. Indeed, the city agrees to give up about seventy old buses, still functional but unused, with the aim of making them places of life.

In principle, each bus will have a particular function. Some will serve as dormitories or relaxation areas while others will provide a sanitary area with showers. What give a new meaning to the term “bus shelter”!

The first model is expected to be operational this summer and, with the help of voluntary associations, others are expected to follow soon. A desperately needed solution in Hawaii that has the highest rate of homelessness in the United States. According to the Washington Post , the island has more than 465 homeless people per 100,000 inhabitants. Jim Trevarthen is among them and is protesting against local laws that forbid people like him from sitting on the benches and urinating. One way to force these people to exodus. The Group 70 buses in particular respond to these prohibitions.

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