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They are called tubular shelters. Simple concrete pipes with doors fitted and a platform bed. A skylight circle brings in light in the daytime and a small solar powered lamp in the night.  A similar structure works as a composting toilet that requires no sewage or water connections.  A simple mini-wood stove provides enough warmth even on bitter winter days. A one time cost of $1000 to equip a shelter and $1000 to equip a toilet facility.  They can be camouflaged and painted to blend in with the environment.

More importantly, they provide the BASICS, not a luxury reward to the poor like section 8 housing. In britain the islamic family with 12 children because of the sharing bedroom rules, get a FOUR MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR 5,000 square foot MANSION.  In the USA things are not much better, beautiful apartments and houses all given away to poor people. Being poor should not be a luxury life. Getting back to the basics is what makes these tubular shelters so appealing.

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Let’s compare. $2000 for a shelter with bathroom. There is no shower, there are public places where people can shower. There is no kitchen. there is no luxury, just a place to keep stuff secure, and a safe place to sleep.  Two pop down beds on the sides make space for stuff or a bed for kids.   If that same family of three were to go to an apartment that’s $25,000 a year just for housing.

The family has to learn how to gather materials and safely make fire. If they burn the place up they get kicked out of housing for two years. They will learn.

Built out of mostly concrete, there is nothing to steal, rip off, or sell. Except maybe a mattress. They can be fumigated easily. And they will last years and years without paint or maintenance.

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The composting toilets are a bit different. They require some training and effort to make sure they stay functioning and emptied. So people should be hired for that. Other large concrete structures will hold the compost during it’s six month digestion time.  Then it can be sold to farmers and used to buy sawdust and pay for toilet servicers.  We are turning the homeless population into compost producers. Good organic and eco.

The shelters don’t look so bad. Strict rules about no pets and ZERO allowed outside and around the units would be enforced.  Yes they might be a bit dark, cold drafty and electricity free. Primitive. But really that’s part of their charm, there’s less to break or get trashed by the rugged clientele.  It encourages people to get off their duff and work. Or for those long term disabled it gives them a safe place.

So consider the minimal option. Concrete and lots of it. Its the new solution and will save billions from section 8 housing payments.