A series of futuristic wooden and steel cabins, which can accommodate up to two people, protect the homeless from the cold, wind and humidity.
While waiting for all governments to evaluate the Finnish model of Housing First to give homeless people a real home, Ulmer Nests are tested in Germany, hi-tech capsules to protect them.
A shelter from the cold, a place to sleep: the frost of recent weeks only gives us back cases of homeless people who died from the cold. "Ready" solutions seem not to be enough. Opening stations is not a remedy worthy of civilized countries, and normal shelters are saturated.
On the project website the makers of the Ulmer Nest capsules say they have come up with this solution with those who cannot access regular homeless shelters in mind. Sometimes for psychological factors, in other cases because they have a pet, for example.
It is not, and will never be, an alternative to staying in a more traditional hostel or accommodation facility, but it is definitely an emergency alternative to sleeping outdoors. One last important resource.
Ulmer Nest: minimal technology to protect
The homeless capsules are equipped with solar panels and connected to a radio network that allows the occupants to communicate without depending on mobile networks.
To ensure privacy, there are no cameras in the Ulmer Nest, but opening the doors triggers a motion sensor that alerts social workers and volunteers. They will be able to check the capsules after use to make sure they can be cleaned, and also to provide assistance to anyone using this temporary form of accommodation.
The pandemic slowed the installation of the capsules, but in the parks and other locations of the test site (the city of Ulm, kilometers west of Munich) the volunteers were able to install them in time for "the coldest nights" .