It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that the homeless situation still hasn’t been properly addressed and rectified. In this page, I hope to give realistic ideas of how to create a shelter that also develops the people who need to stay there.
First of all, you would need to find a large unused building, like a warehouse, that could house a number of people (maybe 15-20 at the most). This can be done with the help of the council to either secure one for free or to get a good deal where the costs would be lower than normal (funded by donations when possible).
It doesn’t need to be in perfect condition, just with a good basic structure. The reason for this is that the people that you find who could stay there should be required to help to restore it. This is to give them a sense of purpose and the responsibility that they need to be an active part of creating something that they will benefit from personally.
In terms of the people who could stay there, those who have mental problems might not be good candidates as they would require more professional care and so more should be done to try to secure this but this is a separate issue. You would need to go and find the homeless people and tell them about this shelter, of course, but that is also simple to do.
To build extra walls and paint them, and to get furniture and appliances, again, donations would be the best way and it is not very difficult to get things like this. Bricks from derelict sites could be used (they need to be dried out thoroughly first). The idea would be to make the building as self-sufficient as possible so if there was a garden space, farming is another skill that could be developed. To keep energy costs down, go to the energy section on this site and see the project ideas there. Other simple jobs can be done like those listed on here to provide them with income and a start to their future life.
There would need to be a few volunteers to supervise all of this but that shouldn’t be difficult to organise.
The ultimate aims of this project should be to provide shelter, develop skills for the residents and help them to get back to a position where they can move into a place of their own. It would require teaming up with different homeless services in any location as there are many different issues to address for each individual.