Paul Mason, the Program Manager for Campbell River Housing Resource Centre in British Columbia is the man behind the idea to build temporary shelters out of shipping containers for the homeless in the area. The converted shipping containers will provide safer and more dignified housing for the homeless by replacing the cardboard boxes, tents, and dirty blankets the homeless sleep in. Hundreds of thousands ISO shipping containers lie disused in Canada and North America. Turning these containers into eco-friendly, low cost and safe housing for the homeless and others in need is only logical.
Mason is working on a project to provide up to 16 homeless people a safe place to stay inside a single 40-foot shipping container. The container rooms are heated, lit and provide hot water, while they also come equipped with smoke detectors and bathrooms that are accessible to the handicapped. The shipping container is subdivided into eight rooms for the homeless with two beds per room. There is also an office for two trained staff members so someone could be on site to admit and care for the homeless seeking shelter.
The shipping container rooms will be open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. preventing people from freezing to death in the harsh winters, or succumb to other dangers of living on the streets. The homeless wishing to stay the night can bring all their belongings and even pets. The nearby Radiant Life Church serves them breakfast at 6:30 a.m.
The company behind this idea is Shadow Lines Transportation Group of Langley, which has a unit ready to go. The project will be financed by BC Housing through the CR Housing Resource Centre and will not be a burden on the taxpayers. The shipping container unit they hope to use for this project has already been used to house people who lost their homes in the Hay River flood in Alberta in early 2013.
One of the main reasons why Mason and his organization is working so hard to get this project off the ground is the fact that there is only one homeless shelter in the area and they have a very strict policy of who they let sleep there. The shipping container shelter will have a no barrier policy and will be open around the clock to let the homeless in.