An alternative to the installation of ground metal spikes to thwart homeless individuals from sleeping in front of luxury buildings in London has been developed in Vancouver.
RainCity Housing, which provides help to the homeless in Vancouver, has begun setting up pop-up shelters in the form of a regular park bench, reports The Independent.
During the day the benches function just as a bench normally does for anyone looking to take a seat.
The benches read: “THIS IS A BENCH.”
By night, they have an alternative function.
A board across the back of the bench folds out upwards providing cover from the elements.
The nighttime sheltered bench reads: “THIS IS A BEDROOM.”
The words glow-in-the-dark.
The benches also include the phone number and address for RainCity to encourage the homeless to seek help and shelter from the organization, reports The Telegraph.
“We don’t know if they have been used by homeless folks, but probably,” said Bill Briscall of RainCity. “In a park one block from my house, I see people sleeping overnight almost every month throughout the year."
Only a handful of the benches exist in Vancouver at the moment, but they are helping to raise awareness of the serious homeless issue in the city.
Whether the city of London’s mayor Boris Johnson will take note of this alternative solution to providing shelter and help to the homeless is unknown. Johnson called the metal spikes being used in his city “ugly, self-defeating and stupid” when pictures were released.