https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/mobile-shelters-homelessness-covid19-1.5777158
DIY

Carpenter wants to make sure people “don’t die” in harsh winter, builds tiny homes

November 16th, 2020

With winters in Toronto, Canada, dropping to single figure temperatures, many people’s thoughts have already turned to the homeless who have to spend excruciatingly long days and nights out on the streets.

In these kinds of temperatures, even taking a trip to the corner shop is an unpleasant experience, so our hearts go out to the people who are out in the cold day in day out.

In light of the coming winter, one man was determined to help in any way he could, and he decided to put his carpentry skills to the best use possible.

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CBC Source: CBC

Khaleel Seivwright is a 28 year old carpenter from Scarborough, who first had the idea of creating insulated little wooden houses for the homeless back in September.

“It just seemed like something I could do that would be useful because there’s so many people staying in tents,” Khaleel told CBC News.

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CBC Source: CBC

Although small, the houses are a much better option for homeless people than a tent. The walls are lined with a thick layer of fibreglass insulation, and there is even a door, a small casement window and spinning caster wheels at each corner of the base.

Khaleel decided to begin making the boxes as a response to the worsening homelessness crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve never seen so many people staying outside in parks, and this is something I could do to make sure people staying outside in the winter could survive.”

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CBC Source: CBC

Although the whole thing costs around $1000 to build, Khaleel doesn’t ask for a single penny for his hard work. He knows that homeless people are often struggling financially, and he just wants to make sure they’re more comfortable in the winter time.

Khaleel also acknowledges that although his boxes are a great upgrade from sleeping in a tent, they’re not the answer to Toronto’s homeless problems.

“This isn’t a permanent solution. This is just making sure people don’t die in the cold this winter,” Seivwright said. “At least some people.”

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CBC Source: CBC

Sadly, experts are concerned that in light of the COVID19 pandemic, more people will choose to live outside, for fear of being infected with the virus if they were to move into a communal homeless shelter.

“It’s going to be catastrophic. We have not yet seen the wave of evictions from people in unstable, unaffordable housing,” Cathy Crowe, a long-time street nurse, told CBC Toronto. “People are trickling into homelessness now, but it’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen in our lifetime.”

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CBC Source: CBC

For Khaleel, his tiny houses offer a safe, temperamental alternative for those who have decided that they don’t want to be at risk from catching the virus. He has already completed two houses, and dropped them off in different areas around Toronto.

Thanks to the thick insulation, Khaleel believes that his tiny houses will keep people warm in temperatures as low as -4 Fahrenheit.

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CBC Source: CBC

He has now started a fundraiser to help with the costs of building more shelters, and so far he has managed to raise an amazing $2,500. That means that Khaleel can build at least two more of his lifesaving shelters.

The selfless man will continue to build his shelters all through the winter, and doesn’t have thoughts about stopping anytime soon.

“This is what I know how to do,” he said. “This is what seems to be viable, so I’m going to continue to do this.”

You can watch his interview with CBC news below.

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Source: CBC News

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