German Town Installs Solar Powered Sleep Pods To Give Homeless People Protection

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How awesome are these things?

The tiny cabins, called ‘UlmerNests‘ are made of wood and steel, and fit up to two people inside, protecting them from cold and rain while circulating fresh air throughout the unit.

Solar panels on the top provide the power to do this, while a radio network allows people to communicate even if they don’t have mobile phone signal or data.

When they’re opened, a social worker will be notified. That way, they can visit the pod in the morning, and hopefully encourage people to engage with homelessness services if they haven’t already. Aside from that, sleepers in the cabins will remain completely anonymous to promote their usage. The charity who run them – Caritas Ulm-Alb-Donau – repair and clean each ‘nest’ for visits the following night.

The initial project began two years ago with a few prototypes designed by tech entrepreneurs, and was such a success that Ulm installed the latest versions on January 8 this year.

One of the UlmerNest creators, Florian, told BoredPanda: ‘We’ve even seen some effects that we didn’t dream of, like neighbors providing the overnight guests with hot tea in the morning and such. ‘Also, city officials were always very supportive and positive about the project, which helped us a lot.

And then there’s a lot of those small moments when working on the Nests out in the city, and people come up to say thank you (homeless and not homeless alike). That also means a lot actually.’ What look like sculptures dotted around Ulm provide a potentially life-saving sanctuary for someone without a room to stay in.