Last year almost half a million people in the US experienced homelessness on any given night. Many of the major cities around the country have tried alternative solutions to this growing problem but a few have taken hold as an inexpensive possible temporary solution to keep people out of the weather and exposed to the elements of the street. One temporary solution is a tent that can keep occupants warm and comfortable and is powered by the Sun. What are Portable Tents for the Homeless?
Tents for the Homeless:
- Provide space for people when Shelters are filled
- Are Warm-Water-resistant
- Easy to set up and break down
- Portable-easy to carry
- Some are Solar Powered
- Able to charge devices like phones, fans & run lights inside & outside tents making it safer
- Sit on wooden pallets above the ground
Having a tent when you’re homeless and sleeping on the streets is almost a necessity. It can provide protection from the elements and other people, as well as a feeling of seclusion that many humans need in order to feel comfortable and relieve some of the stress that being homeless causes.
A group of High Scool girls from Los Angeles decided to do something about the homeless people in their community by developing what they call a Solar-Powered Tent which some help from community leaders developed a shelter that a specially designed and assembled by the girls to not only provide the shelter needed for the family but function with help of Solar power to run devices for the folks inside.
Twelve students there teamed up with DIY Girls, an organization supporting girls in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to create solar-powered tents for the homeless that can fold into a backpack for easy travel. The project forced the students to learn how to code, solder, and sew.
They said that the people in their community were so used to seeing them in the neighborhood that the homeless were starting to seem normal and that’s when they decided to focus on them and came up with the Solar Powered Tent Project. The Tent is
- A Solar Power Box charges the Tent
- Powers a USB Power Port
- The Solar Box that hangs from the center of the Tent also operates a UV light that sanitizes the Tent
The top of the tent is a mesh where the Sun’s Power is able to reach the Solar Box that has Solar Panels attached to it. Using the USB connectors to charge small devices and charging their cell phones. The girls have even patented this very durable material for the Solar Tent.
It can fold up easily into a backpack that is easily carried to other locations. Some of the girls that have been involved in the Solar Tent program now have aspirations of continuing their education in the field of Engineering.
Solar Power For Tent Cities
Lots of volunteers from Universities are using their knowledge and giving time from different cities that are finding that populations of homeless people are being given tents from churches, organizations, and even National Guard units to make what are called Tent Cities. A Tent City is a pretty familiar word these days, unfortunately, but new ideas are coming in as a way to combat people sleeping out in the cold exposed to the weather. Saturday to install 15 solar panels at Tent City.
The panels are the size of small television screens, but it only takes one Solar panel to power two tents. Tent City resident Heather Hotchkiss says the panels will be very helpful. Most new Homeless Tents contain small Solar Systems that can light the areas up and charge USB devices. In the Tent Cities, there are showers, bathrooms, and free meals, and the tents sit on wooden pallets that keep the tents off the ground keeping
“It’s very exciting,” Hotchkiss said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a while. We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when, so it was actually a shocker to know that it was going to be today.”The solar panels will take the sun’s rays and run them through a wire to charge a battery inside each tent. The battery will power lights inside the tent or provide power for other things residents may need.
“A lot of us have jobs starting early in the morning. Sometimes you don’t have light and trying to get ready for work is a hassle,” Hotchkiss said. Military tents do a great job blocking the wind and dust, but they also block the sunlight. That’s where the Energy Commerce Department at Texas Tech Rawls College of Business stepped in.
So pretty much all cities across America have tent Cities or at least one area in the city or town where people that are homeless stay near each other for safety reasons. One way is Solar Power to light the Tent Cities inside and out with solar power provided by the sun. Done at zero cost.
The manpower is provided by the tenants that live in Tent City. The instructors teach Solar Power installation and show the people there how to maintain the system which can last up to 25 years or more. Everybody wins, the areas around the Tents are safer simply by being lit up and people tend to congregate and associate with each other.
In some cities like Sacramento California, where homeless is a major problem for a lot of folks, Some Solar Installation Companies are donating their products and installing Solar panels and equipment to lower the cost of electric bills that Shelters like Grass Valley Homeless Shelter accumulate. The money that is saved on the electric bill cannot go to the people that really need it the most. Besides the Solar systems that were donated the Solar Companies provide training in Solar Installation.
In fact, some of the students are residents of the Homeless shelter and will help install the Solar Panels and go on to learn to be Technicians for these and other companies. The students on the job become Solar certified on the job as they learn to become Solar Technicians.
Everyone benefits from the experience. There is no doubt that Solar Power is here to stay and what used to need a lot of space now can provide more and more power with panels that are tiny in comparison to the size of what they used to be.
We’ll need technicians to install those panels and service those systems providing jobs for some of those same homeless that are jobless living in Shelters and Tent Cities today. What a great thought!
Training future Solar Technicians-Saving money-Helping folks who really need it! Sounds like a formula for success!