GERMANY: The city of Ulm has introduced a special solution for people who have nowhere to sleep during harsh winters.
Ulm, which is near Munich, provides warm pods for sleeping in parks and other spaces where homeless people often sleep. The project is called the ‘UlmerNest‘.
The cabins are made of steel and wood and can house two people, shielding them from cold and rain while circulating fresh air.
The roof is fitted with a solar panel and this is where all its power comes from.
There is also a radio network that people can use to communicate if they don’t have access to mobile data.
The cabins can be opened without the need to register, and can then be locked from the inside.
Once opened, a social worker will be notified. They can then visit the pod in the morning and hopefully encourage people to engage with homelessness services if they haven’t already done so.
The pod sleepers also remain completely anonymous.
The Caritas Ulm-Ab-Donau charity – which runs the pods – repair, clean up and care for the nests every day after usage.
The project took off a couple of years ago with a few prototypes designed by tech experts and was such a success that the city installed the newest version earlier in January of 2021.
Florian, one of the UlmerNest creators, told BoredPanda:
‘We’ve even seen some effects that we didn’t dream of, like neighbours 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 are your thoughts on project UlmerNest? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.