An architecture firm has come up with an innovative solution to alleviate the problem of homelessness in Hawaii.
Up to 70 retired, old city buses in Hawaii could be converted into homeless shelters if architecture firm Group 70 International is successful. The vehicles are to operate in fleets, with different units dedicated to different purposes, from living spaces to recreation rooms.
“The idea is to convert [the buses] into living, sleeping, showering, recreational facilities,” Ma Ry Kim of Group 70 International told Hawaii News Now.
Such shelters will differ from recreational vehicles (RV), trailers or cars which are equipped with living space and amenities found in a home.
“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.