Ed’s Sleep Pod – Homeless Shelter?

Ed sent me this today and I thought it would make a great homeless shelter. At $50 each surely we could afford to do something like this for the homeless in America and elsewhere. I’ll let Ed tell you more about it.

I wanted to share with you my mini cabin-sleep pod I built for a recent 4 day music fest I went to. With decent tents costing up to $100, I built this for around $50.

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The dimensions are 4 foot by 6.5, with a 3.5 width bunk inside with storage underneath and room for me to maneuver in. (IE, change clothes and sponge baths. Heh) Being 6 feet tall, I was quite cozy in it. Its a little heavy, but it was fairly easy for me to simply tip it and slide it into the back of my truck. I got a number of compliments.

I ended up using the really cheap chipboard as I wanted to keep the cost under $50 (the paint was $5 ‘oops’ paint) so its not something that would last years and years outdoors, but it was good practice until I want to build something a little longer-lasting. For the bed I just put down a yoga mat and a sleeping bag, it was plenty comfy.

The roof is just a thin sheet of plywood. A while back I had built a simple wooden boat called a ‘bolger brick’ and while doing that I learned one of the properties of thin plywood is it because stiffer and stronger when it is bent, thus made a surprisingly solid roof.

(you can see pics of my boat attempt here and my little adventure, it was ugly but functional)

http://www.weblamer.com/2_19_2007_From_hippies_to_punks_in_a_single_day.html

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Randy - October 30, 2009 Reply

What did Ed use for roofing?

    Kent Griswold - October 30, 2009 Reply

    Hi Randy – I’ve sent Ed an email and I will respond once I have the answer…Kent

ginmar - October 31, 2009 Reply

You know, if you can make these for only fifty bucks, with a bit more better material, you could really spiff them up. I love these!

    Kent Griswold - October 31, 2009 Reply

    Yes, you could really take them to a higher level. Have your entry level and your Tumbleweed level 🙂

ginmar - October 31, 2009 Reply

Also, how tall is it?

Dave K - October 31, 2009 Reply

Kind of looks like the low rider shelters that http://www.madhousers.org/shelter.shtml build in Atlanta, GA.

Bill - October 31, 2009 Reply

It looks like an interesting design, but I wonder how a homeless person would move it around. Most would not have a truck. If you added wheels, it could be more mobile. Or, like Michael Janzen had suggested in a post, have a bunch of these set up in an area for rent or use during a short term stay. Not sure it would pass any building codes, but interesting design and plan.

Andreas - October 31, 2009 Reply

Reminds me of an idea i have about a small “house” in the form of a cube at only 1,5*1,5*1,5m. I just love how the first reaction is that you wouldn’t be able to lie down straight in it. But think about it… I have done some tests in google sketchup. You can watch a few pictures in the link.

Becky - November 1, 2009 Reply

You know it wouldn’t take much to make the bed drop down instead of fixed and it would make it much more versatile. Awesome idea!

Kent Griswold - November 1, 2009 Reply

Here is Ed’s reply on the roof, I’ll also add the information above shortly:

The roof is just a thin sheet of plywood. A while back I had built a simple wooden boat called a ‘bolger brick’ and while doing that I learned one of the properties of thin plywood is it because stiffer and stronger when it is bent, thus made a surprisingly solid roof.

(you can see pics of my boat attempt here and my little adventure, it was ugly but functional)

http://www.weblamer.com/2_19_2007_From_hippies_to_punks_in_a_single_day.html

brian mcclure - November 1, 2009 Reply

WHAT A GREAT LITTLE SHELTER

clarence hale - November 11, 2009 Reply

there have been many attempts at housing for displaced persons. the problem is not lack of compassion and resources but that there are too, too many people who will fight against any shelters built for ‘those people’. the usual excuse is ‘unsanitary’ conditions. but how sanitary is living out in the open? how mean-spirited must someone be to deny access to shelter for anyone? (rant over)

clarence

karen - March 22, 2010 Reply

Ed keep it up! This is a wonderful idea. Have you tried to promote with your local homeless shelter agency? It will be nice you hear about your progress.

Deek - December 26, 2010 Reply

Very fun/cool- and heck, if broke, it does work…
-Deek
Relaxshacks.com

elaine - November 9, 2011 Reply

So many people are homeless this is rather sad.

elaine - November 9, 2011 Reply

This is rather sad.

jack - January 9, 2016 Reply

Great build.
I wonder if lighter-weight panels (eg foam sandwich), and possibly flat-pack knock-down construction would make it a bit more transportable, and a viable alternative to a tent, even without a truck (I’m thinking roof-rack).
Re: homeless people, I don’t think the issue is lack of actual shelter, as there is usually adequate provision of homeless shelters etc. But those have rules.
You have to willing to “be part of society”, at the very bottom no less, and follow it’s rules – in fact often much more stringent “Christian” rules, such as no alcohol/drugs etc.
Open air freedom beats comfortable subjugation I think.

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