We live in a world where authorities have spikes on benches so that homeless people cannot sleep on them. Anti-homeless structures are a problem in many cities.
But authorities in Germany’s Ulm have made a drastically opposite and thoughtful gesture. The city where the current temperature is one degree Celsius, often gets freezing in winters. In an attempt to provide shelter to the homeless in this rough weather, officials in the German city have installed ‘Ulmer Nests.’ These are specialised units made out of wood and steel that can be used in parks and other public areas.
These pod houses have a capacity of two and come with the facility of thermal insulation in beds. According to a LadBible report, there are no cameras in the house. However, sensors are activated when the house is in use. The authorities have installed two Ulmer Nests so far.
The official Facebook page of Ulmer Nests shared pictures of the pod houses. They informed that the two have been repositioned after a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the houses were put on January 8 which was in time for cold nights.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fulmernest%2Fposts%2F875730836587030&width=500&show_text=true&height=771&appId" width="500" height="771" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe>
They have introduced several upgrades to make the stay of rough sleepers more comfortable. Solar panels have been installed on these nests which will let people use energy during the day. They are also working to come up with energy saving measures.
Rough sleepers will also be able to easily operate the pods as the locking and other mechanisms have been completely revised, according to Ulmer Nests.
Most important modification in the house is that climate optimisation has been done to improve thermal internal isolation.
The house has been designed by Flaco Pross who said that they are easy to use and that people don’t need to fill in any forms in order to access the Ulmer Nests. Made out of wood and steel, the sensors in pod houses are activated when it is opened and closed.
Ulmer Nests function in association with a charity named Caritas Ulm-Alb-Donau. Everytime the house opens, the members of the two organisations are notified. They visit the house the next day to see if they offer any kind of support to the person who used it the previous night. The members also check if there are any damages and fix them right away so that the shelter is fit to be used again.
According to a report in the Borgen Project, the 2018 statistics by the Federal Association of Homelessness Help shows that there are 678,000 homeless people in Germany. While most sleep in emergency quarters, the report says that 41,000 of them sleep on the streets.