Friday, January 9, 2009


Tree Hugger - In New York City a lot of artists live in warehouses, almost in boxes; James Westwater tries to make it greener and more comfortable with his Homeless Chateau. It is designed to be used inside, but provides some privacy and security. He says that it has "cooking and toilet facilities" but both are pretty sketchy in a small unventilated space. He writes: "Homeless Chateau 2008, is a prefab one person living module, measuring approximately 4 x 8 x 4 feet and made from certified and recycled materials. It is designed to be used inside another building, such as a warehouse, and is fully self-contained, including a bed and cooking and toilet facilities. There are hooks for clothing and towels, and a built-in shelf unit, made from a pallet, for storage of food, books and other items. A rubber flap over the entrance provides privacy, and one end of the structure is made from translucent polyurethane to let in natural light.


At January 9, 2009 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bottom line is: "how much is one of these going to cost"?

Also, I don't see too many warehouses and disused airplane hangers offering up indoor spaces for the homeless to park of these things in.

Ultimately this sounds just about as stupid as most of these types of'creative' solutions to housing the homeless.

How about spending a little more energy and effort on demanding creation of genuinely affordable permanent housing for those in need who are capable of living independently, and more energy and effort poured into finding humane solutions for those homeless who are too mentally incapacitated to live on their own?

Well, I won't hold my breath waiting to see that happen.

At January 10, 2009 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From 'Tiny Houses' to this? What's next Sam? A cardboard box over a heat grate?

At January 10, 2009 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Sam. Because the reality is that for renters in New York there is no bailout. It's urgent that New York elect a mayor who walks among the people rather than one who lives next door to Silvio Berlusconi in Bermuda. Craig Ferguson's map of Manhattan is accurate: it's all "DeNiroland" & "Trumpistan" now. . .

At January 10, 2009 3:08 PM, Blogger Suffolk said...

I will give the Homeless Chateau prototype to the first benefactor who will provide a safe, warm, dry space in which to park the Chateau and ensure that a homeless individual will benefit from it. Said benefactor will also need to provide transportation of the Homeless Chateau from Beacon, NY, where it is currently located.

I am also considering a sponsorship program in which donors will pay $500 per Homeless Chateau, to cover materials and fabrication costs. Others will donate transportation of the Chateaux and donate spaces in which homeless people will live in the Chateaux.

Homeless Chateaux can also be easily "cloned" at remote locations, i.e. almost anyone can make them, almost anywhere. The materials are basic, standardized and readily available from local lumberyards and big box hardware stores.

I encourage people around the country to build Homeless Chateaux, or something like them, and urge their local municipalities and landlords with appropriate vacant spaces to donate those spaces for homeless individuals to live in the Chateaux.

Alternatively, give a homeless person a house, or a room in your house. Or, at the very least, a warm coat and a warm sleeping bag. It's cold out there.

Thank you, James Westwater, Homeless Chateau designer

At January 11, 2009 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, did I say that I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a solution to the homeless problem?

The solution is to get a bunch of hipster 'artists' coming up with 'solutions' like Westwater's.

If we go that route we should have the problem all taken care of within about 200-300 years, easy.

Best part is the government can go it's usual route of 'serving the people' by not doing jack.


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