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Are Shipping Containers the Solution to Homelessness?

01 June 2022

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Within today’s economic climate, many of us face struggles surrounding our finances. However, the majority of England’s population are able to successfully get by, either with no external assistance or with the help of food banks and similar. Homelessness across the globe is a real social crisis that needs solving. Since 2010, estimates show that there has been an increase of 165% of people having to live on the streets. Surely, in modern day England, we should not have families having nowhere to turn to but the pavement.

So, what would a viable solution be? A cheaper alternative to housing and sheltered accommodation- adapted shipping containers! The versatility of shipping containers means that they can be transformed into self-contained micro flats, or built up and converted into shared accommodation buildings. This revolutionary idea has been implemented from Brighton to Cardiff, but the city of Bristol is now well known for using shipping containers as ‘moving on accommodation’ to aid its homelessness issue. In addition to these cities providing shipping container homes for the homeless, a Buckinghamshire town is creating these homes to prevent homelessness in one of the UK’s richest areas.

Not only will this type of accommodation provide a safe environment for families and individuals with nowhere else to go, but it will also dramatically increase the likelihood of them gaining employment, helping them to shatter the stereotypes of being homeless. Figures from 2018 show that around 55% of homeless families are actually in work. However, it is difficult for them to maintain a stable job and income, making it tough to secure housing. Yet, one of the many perks of shipping container homes for the homeless is that more than adequate shelter is provided, ensuring that jobs can be held down and that their chances of permanently getting off of the streets are raised substantially.

It is estimated that within the United Kingdom, over 300,000 people are sleeping rough- however, this figure does not take into consideration the ‘hidden homeless’, those who have nowhere to live but are not recorded in official systems as needing housing assistance. This number is staggering, and to do nothing about it would be ludicrous- especially with this solution sat right in front of us.

In addition to providing shelter for these people, shipping container homes would also offer a secure environment- allowing those who once worried about making it through the night a restful night’s sleep.
We are facing a real social crisis that needs a solution immediately. It’s neither humane nor morally right to continue leaving vulnerable people on our streets, regardless of their history. Each and every man, woman and child living on the streets deserves a chance to be welcomed back into society with open arms. Adaptable shipping container homes for the homeless offers a chance for these individuals to return to a happier and safer life, away from the daily fears that come with having nowhere else to turn to.

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