In preparation for a blizzard slated to to rip through the Northeast, there are school closings and flights cancelled. There will be thousands of individuals without shelter as well, despite missions and shelters doing their best to provide safety. At Carnegie Mellon’s Impact-a-Thon, students were tasked with providing the homeless with low-cost temporary shelter that could keep them safe through the winter. The “Satellite Shelter” was what one group came up with. It’s an insulated sleeping bag that actually converts into a tent! Mylar, a reflective material used in greenhouses, as well as wool blankets were used to ensure the shelter would withstand the outdoor cold.
“We wanted to make sure it was super-portable and durable, so that it’s easy to carry,” said student Linh Thi Do, who worked on the project. “We have wheels on it so it’s easy to move from place to place.”
While these are excellent inventions for emergency shelter, the city of New Orleans’ has had success in providing long-term housing solutions for it’s homeless veterans. Really, the only solid solution is providing permanent structure based shelter where house-less individuals can go at night to stay safe and warm.