Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor, HGTV.ca
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:07 PM EDT
Homeless Shelter Bench designed by Spring Advertising as part of an awareness campaign for RainCity Housing for the homeless, in Vancouver, Canada. At night, the bench’s slogan changes to an incandescent “This Is A Bedroom”, inviting people to lie down (more photos below).
Last month, a clear message was sent to the homeless in a neighbourhood in London, UK: not welcome here. Menacing metal spikes were installed in the nooks around a posh London apartment complex, to deter homeless people from taking shelter there (similar spikes were found in Montreal and Calgary).
Anti-homeless spikes on Southwark Bridge Road, London, UK. Image courtesy of mic.com
As outrage around the insensitive spikes rose to a pitch on social media, a petition was started by London residents against the spikes, and the spikes were removed (no such action has been taken in Montreal or Calgary as far as we know.)
Shortly after, in Vancouver, a very clever and pertinent campaign on behalf of RainCity Housing, took its own stance on the subject. Regular public benches were transformed into welcoming makeshift shelters for people needing a place to sleep. One version had a bench glow with a welcoming slogan at night, inviting those in need to lie down without fear of being chased off.
Another bench actually transformed into a makeshift shelter via a folding flap that could be propped up over a sleeping person.
Conceived by Spring Advertising, the benches were intended to send a clear and compassionate message about the need to treat homeless people with dignity and respect, while raising awareness for RainCity Housing, a not-for-profit that works to provide specialized housing and support for the homeless.
Guess homes come in all shapes and sizes. What’s your stance on homeless people taking shelter in public places?