Officials in Ulm installed the units, known as ‘Ulmer Nests’ to give shelter to rough sleepers during the cold winter months.
German City Installs pods to protect the Homeless from the worst of the winter
The ‘Ulm Nest’ is an attempt to supplement the existing frostbite protection in the city of Ulm, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is an emergency refuge in the form of a sleeping capsule, which is intended to protect homeless people from life-threatening temperatures, wind and wetness on cold winter nights. In particular, it is intended to cover those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to use the existing measures such as collective accommodation or overnight shelters.
Ulm Nests offer a better alternative to an overnight stay in the open air
The makers of Ulm Nest say the pods offer homeless people who have fallen through all safety nets an emergency instrument in the last instance. The low-threshold protection for life and limb is considered a preferable alternative to an unprotected overnight stay outdoors.
The designers and local officials are keen to stress the Ulm Nest is not an alternative to an overnight stay in a homeless shelter or a similarly well-controlled environment — it is an alternative to an overnight stay in the open air.
Here, the closed, insulated design is intended to minimise or reduce the negative environmental influences such as wind, wet and cold. Nevertheless, life-threateningly low temperatures can still occur in an Ulm nest, and it is therefore explicitly to be regarded as the very last option, as already written above.
Testing the concept offers a variety of opportunities for those affected and for the city of Ulm
It can be evaluated Ulm Nest is suitable as a measure for frostbite protection. The city of Ulm acts as a pioneer and source of ideas in a remarkable role model function – both with regard to the technical aspects, such as the use of the city-wide LoraWan for the digitisation of the processes around the Ulm Nest, and in the efforts to find answers to the challenges of modern urban coexistence.
If the Ulm Nests prove to be an appropriate means of frostbite protection, especially for those people who reject existing measures for a variety of reasons, the solution can be presented and used supra-regionally. Otherwise, an important question of urban social responsibility could be investigated and answered in a reasoned manner.
In either case, the evaluation gains important insights into the effects of mobile emergency sleep capsules for frostbite protection on those affected, but also on the environment and residents. Click HERE for technical details.
5 WAYS TO HELP THE HOMELESS (WITH PICTURES)
There are lots of other ways to help homeless people. Donating food and clothing to homeless shelters is a great way to help. You could also volunteer your time with such an organisation. Educate yourself and others about homelessness and share facts about homelessness with others. Use letters to your local newspaper, blog posts, and social media to spread the word about how homelessness is a problem and what others can do to help.