Providing Shelter, Safety and Security to Those in Need
Back in August of 2016, I started thinking about what I could do to help people in need. I first thought of disaster relief for victims of natural disasters. But when I considered my talents and abilities, I began to think more along the lines of building shelters that would be portable and could be set up or taking down quickly. I was in the designing stage when my wife showed me an article in the Akron Beacon Journal about the tent city on Broad Street. I went down to see first hand how they were living and preparing for Winter. I was shocked at what I saw, but amazed by the grateful attitude of those living in the village. I asked if they would be interested in shelters versus tents and they were enthusiastically in favor of shelters. I told them my plans and went home to finalize my plans.
My first shelter was designed to hold 1 person and had a few features I felt would be appreciated. It was lockable, had a large door in back for nice days, insulated walls, floors and ceiling and was on skids to keep it off the ground. I have since modified the design to accommodate 2 people, and it is lighter for easier portability. I now have 5 nearly completed shelters and the plans are being drawn up for a patent.
With a desire to work with the City of Akron to create a legal village of shelters for the homeless, I have worked to design a conditional use campground that will have sites that can handle up to 42 shelters. There will be a main building with bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities and a kitchen. Electricity will be run to each camping unit so small heaters, fans and other electronics can be used and charged. A proposal has been submitted and I am waiting for approval.
- Dave Murray, Founder