“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great” – Nelson Mandela.
Homelessness is a devastating problem that faces every country in the world. While they may not be able to eradicate the problem, two best friends from the Netherlands are trying to help in any way they can.
Spurred on by the death of a friend’s father from hyperthermia due to exposure, best friends Bas Timmer and Alexander de Groot came up with a novel idea to try and assist people sleeping on the streets.
The end product is the Sheltersuit that upcycles abandoned tents into a jacket/sleeping bag combo for the homeless.
Lending a helping hand to those most in need
Sheltersuit is a simple, yet revolutionary idea that could help a large homeless population stay warm. Sheltersuit is a water repellant and windproof jacket that can be transformed into a sleeping bag at night, by simply zipping it onto the jacket.
The outside fabric of the Sheltersuit is durable and of the highest quality to ensure the homeless person is protected from all of nature’s elements. While the high quality insulating material ensures the Sheltersuit will ward off hyperthermia and keep the person warm against the most extreme weather conditions. While not in use both the jacket and the sleeping bag can be stored in a waterproof duffle bag.
The team has grown to 20 individuals, including volunteers, homeless, long term unemployed and mainly Syrian refugees. In exchange for their efforts the refugees receive assimilation courses, driving lessons, and assistance with accommodation.
To produce a complete Sheltersuit it costs $164 (approximately AU$233) However, the Sheltersuit Foundation provide Sheltersuits at no cost to the homeless people and rely on donations. If you are interested in making a small impact on a growing problem, then visit the Sheltersuit website to make a donation.