In the city of Ulm, Germany, a group of people recently started a “problem solving” collective to help work on problems in their community. One of the major problems? The amount of homelessness.
This group, which brainstorms ideas and takes pitches from locals, then tries to formulate solutions.
The collective came up with a temporary solution to help people experiencing homelessness during the winter that sounds quite cozy: the Ulmer Nest.
In an interview with Bored Panda, Florian, a representative from the collective, said:
“…we chose some experts whose task was to decide which of the submitted problems we actually would have to work on, for 48 hours each. And then, the city of Ulm basically submitted their ‘problem.'”
“‘We’ve got homeless people who can’t go to shelters, and we don’t want them to freeze to death—can you do something about this?’ And our experts selected this as a task for us to work on,” Florian said.
The collective started to work on ideas and basically came up with a novel solution in under a week.
The Ulmer Nest is a pod outfitted with solar panels specifically designed to house people who need a place to sleep during the winter.
They are only to be used in emergency situations, like when a shelter is full or other housing falls through.
“For this winter, we modified details of our door in an effort to improve usability both for the people sleeping in the Nests and the social workers checking in on them. Also, we spent a good deal of time improving insulation and climate management, to be able to keep humidity and temperature at the best possible levels while operating on a limited budget of energy,” Florian said.
Florian also said that there are instances of neighbors, who, upon seeing someone use the nest, will offer them a cup of hot tea in the morning.
There are currently no plans to mass-produce the nest. Florian says, though, that if there is a high enough demand, that option is a possibility. But for now, they are only used during the winter, and when the winter is over, they are taken from their locations, maintained, and saved for the next winter.
Lead image: Facebook