icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

​Homes on wheels: Hawaii may turn old buses into homeless shelters

​Homes on wheels: Hawaii may turn old buses into homeless shelters
An architecture firm in Aloha State has come up with an innovative solution to alleviate the problem of homelessness in their locality. It is giving some retired city buses a second life by transforming them into homeless shelters.

“The idea is to convert [the buses] into living, sleeping, showering, recreational facilities," Ma Ry Kim of Group 70 International architecture firm told Hawaii News Now.

Kim added that the entire design of homeless shelters “is based on the premise that you could walk in to a hardware store, buy everything you need in one go and build everything with no trade skills."

Such shelters will differ from recreational vehicles (RV), trailers or cars which are equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.

READ MORE: Exiled from paradise? Hawaii to relocate homeless with one-way plane tickets

"We're fitting some out to be bathrooms and showers, we're fitting some out to be sleeping areas, and the design completely folds away like a little Japanese tatami mat.”

According to Kim, the company is planning to complete two buses in summer 2015 and to open the first five shelters by the end of this year.

Homelessness has increased dramatically in recent years in Hawaii, the Pacific island archipelago with a population of 1.5 million people that is one of the US’s major tourist destinations. According to the Hawaii Department of Human Services, homelessness in Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, has risen by 40 percent.

READ MORE: Hawaii lawmaker wages campaign against the homeless and their belongings with sledgehammer

In 2014, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell declared “war on homelessness,” saying that “the sidewalk is not meant to lie on.”

We cannot let the homeless ruin our economy and take over our city,” he added.

READ MORE: Aloha! Hawaii to offer homeless one-way ticket out of state

Hawaii city authorities’ attitude to homeless people hasn’t always been sympathetic. In 2013 the state embarked on a controversial “social cleansing” program to reduce the size of the state’s homeless population by offering them a one-way ticket out of state.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.