Pop-Up Shelters: Micro-Housing for the Homeless

April 13, 2022 / Painted Rhino
Pop-Up Shelters: Micro-Housing for the Homeless

Some California communities and others throughout the country have demonstrated inventive techniques for re-establishing normalcy for our nation’s homeless. One solution that’s being explored is modern, pop-up shelters. They can offer safety, escape from the elements, room to organize essentials, and living space.

What Pop-Up Shelters Can Provide for the Homeless

A typical homeless encampment often consists of long rows of tents. Because they can be purchased comparatively cheaply, they’re a common choice for those without the means to obtain permanent housing.

Pop-up shelters, on the other hand, are durable structures that provide people with basic residential components and keep them out of the elements. They have hard walls that don’t blow around in the wind or leak when it rains.

Fiberglass is a popular material used to build pop-up shelters (it’s what we use here at Painted Rhino to manufacture ours). Instead of nylon and a zipper, four solid walls and a locking door create a more private space. And because fiberglass walls cannot be easily pierced or broken into, they offer improved security.

Pop-up shelters can also be equipped with electricity and built-in beds and shelving. Portable sinks and toilets can also be placed inside a pop-up shelter to make it even more livable. At Painted Rhino, we also offer optional flooring that has a drain, or they can be purchased without flooring if the pop-up shelter is going to be placed on a concrete pad, cement, or a trailer.

Other Benefits

Pop-up shelters offer people more than escape from the elements. They can also help promote dignity. Hard-sided shelters feel different from tents, even if they don't occupy much more footprint. They also present a less shabby appearance, which can be important for communities struggling with a recognized homeless presence.

For any community wanting to make an impact on homelessness, pop-up shelters offer temporary stability while more permanent solutions are sought. These small shelters can be installed, moved, cleaned, and reinstalled.

The swing toward micro-housing shows that small doesn't have to mean poor quality. On the contrary, the stability and durability of these options indicate the potential they hold for assisting the homeless population. 

Other Uses

The applications for pop-up shelters are wide-ranging and go beyond homeless housing. They can also be used for:

  • Emergency shelters in a disaster situation
  • Job site (i.e., to keep equipment covered, house conduit and electrical items, or for use as a tool locker)
  • Security guard shack
  • Office
  • Shed
  • Tiny home

At Painted Rhino, our pre-fabricated fiberglass pop-up shelters are designed for all the applications mentioned in this article— and more. They’re durable, waterproof, easy to clean and sanitize, and easy to assemble and disassemble. 

Contact us to learn more!