It is also my assertion that, in time, it could become more than just a humanitarian aid; that it will become a basic accessory for people experiencing homelessness, tucked into a back-pack along with the other ‘essential items’. We need to be very cautious about how this kind of superficial quick-fix solution is integrated into our society; and, more specifically, into our community services.
Yes, it’s a neat idea, and I do applaud the effort and ingenuity of the students that designed this satellite shelter. These thermally insulated, compactable, and portable tent-beds would make a great addition to emergency service vehicles, and even in an arctic adventurers’ survival kit. Still, it’s a temporary emergency solution at best, and it should only be used and distributed as such.
So, until the City of Barrie resolves our affordable housing crisis, let’s not go that route. Instead, we should maintain and support our existing shelter services like the Barrie Out Of The Cold (BOOTC) program that helps with emergency overnight winter shelter, and runs out of the David Busby Centre 7 days/week, between 5-7pm. We also have the Salvation Army Mens Shelter, Carah House, and the Womens & Childrens shelter as other emergency shelter options too.
I do sincerely hope that I never see these tent-beds filling up the supply shelves of our community groups, organizations, or outreach service providers alongside their inventory of hats, and gloves. If so, it will serve to amplify our existing crisis with the lack of decent affordable housing, and, become the epitome of our lethargic political and social service systems.