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Homeless Housing Solutions: Wooden Pallet Homes

Updated on June 19, 2014

BACKGROUND

In recent years, as many as 3.5 million people have been homeless each year in the United States. On any given week, there are over 800,000 homeless in America.

The largest percentage of these is made up of families with children, which account for 23% of the homeless.

On any given week, as many as 43% of the homeless are Veterans.

Homelessness is a national shame, a cancer that few want to talk about and yet is seen by most citizens on a daily basis.

Fact: last year there were 150 million discarded pallets in landfills across the United States.

What Is Being Done About It

Well, very little as a matter of fact, and if the economic predictions are correct, homelessness will increase rather than decrease in the coming years.

Yes, there are homeless shelters, but they are not nearly enough. Nightly across this country, homeless citizens are turned away from shelters already overflowing past their planned capacities. Budget cuts invariably target Social Services when money is tight, so to think that suddenly that trend will be reversed is a fool’s dream.

So what can be done?

I suspect, and I have no data to back this up, that most cities are at a loss for a solution to the homeless problem. The city where this writer lives, Olympia, Washington, is the capitol of the state. Government buildings are everywhere that you look, and so, sadly, are the homeless. In a city where government is the number one employer, the sight of the unemployed and homeless is the sight one remembers when walking the streets.

So what can be done?

Building Homes With Pallets

Pallets to the Rescue

Watch the video to the right of this page. It chronicles one group’s idea of building alternative housing using discarded pallets. It is ingenuous and it is doable. A two or three person team can build a 300 square foot home in four or five days, and the cost is ridiculously small because the pallets can be found just about anywhere. Remember the figure from earlier in this article: 150 million discarded pallets in landfills across this country.

Using 150 pallets to make a home means that in this country, right now, are the resources needed to build one million homes for the homeless.

So How Would It Work?

I don’t have a clue, but all solutions begin with ideas, and this is an idea that has not been tried in the United States, so why not? I can envision cities setting aside property for a pallet housing project. Let volunteers and the homeless build the homes; bring in port-o-potties, and pipe in water for a community kitchen like you see in many parks. Sure there would be an expense to the city, but it would be made up for by having less social services needed in the cities.

Give people a reason to live; give them something to be proud of; give them a chance to rise out of the gutter and get their lives back in order. No, it does not put them back to work, but it takes the first big step of giving them some dignity. From there, who knows what could happen.

There Will Always Be Naysayers

Of course there are; you can find them every single time a new idea is proposed. They are not solution-oriented but rather they are pontificators of the negative.

Don’t tell me something can’t possibly work; give me ideas on how we can make it work.

What I know for a fact is that what we are doing as a society is not working, so here is an idea that can work. Right now our proposed solution is to do nothing. City governments adopt a blind philosophy to the homeless; as long as they aren’t panhandling too much or committing crimes, then they are just ignored as part of the landscape. There is no solution in that attitude; we step over and around the problem rather than doing something to eliminate the problem.

I will always remember arriving in Beaverton, Oregon for a teaching assignment. I arrived on a Friday in August, got settled into my new apartment, and then drove around town to get acclimated. When the drive was over I was left with a feeling that something was missing. It took me several days to realize what that something was: there were no homeless on the streets of Beaverton. I found that so amazing because I had come from Olympia, Washington, where the homeless are a part of the everyday landscape.

Of course I had to find out why there were no homeless. I mean surely there were poor people in Beaverton. Where were they?

It took me several weeks to find the answer. One of my student’s parents was a police officer, so I asked him about the lack of homeless, and he told me that there was a city ordinance that forbid them being in Beaverton. The city had, in effect, zoned out the homeless and sent them on their way to another city, and sure enough, during another of my drives, you could find homeless right outside the city limits of Beaverton.

In other words, the city officials of Beaverton dealt with homelessness by forbidding it and shuffling it off to another city. My friends, that is not a solution; that is a knee-jerk reaction that solves nothing other than to make the business owners of Beaverton happy.

Cob Construction

Let’s Be Realistic

Homelessness is not going to disappear! It will only increase until something is done with the economy that makes it possible for more people to find employment.

We cannot adopt a policy of turning a blind eye; that kind of myopic thinking is beneath us as a civilization. The homeless are made up of people just like you and me. Of course there are alcoholics and drug addicts among the homeless, but I can say with all certainty that there are also alcoholics and drug addicts in the “normal” population as well.

Also among that homeless population are former teachers, former soldiers and former housewives. There are people from every walk of life out on the streets, and it is a pox on the collective soul of this country.

Pallet housing is a solution. Someone recently suggested building homes using cob construction, as it is sturdier and very inexpensive. I’m all for it. I’m all for any forward thinking that is aimed at ending this blight on society.

I am of the opinion that it is time to stop putting bandages on cancerous tumors, and work on curing the cancer. It is the only thing that makes sense from an economic standpoint, and it is the only thing that makes sense from a humanitarian standpoint.

Humanity One World; we are all in this together.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Collegedad, I agree completely. First, that nobody should have to live like that and secondly, maybe we need to shame some of these local governments into action. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, I wish I had that pile of pallets. I'm heading out tomorrow to pick up some free pallets that a friend has at her business. I can't wait to start building things. Thank you for the visit and have a great weekend.

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      I've done quite a bit of pallet construction from decks to chicken coops and out buildings. They really do come in handy and they are FREE!

      As for the homeless, maybe if a few pallet communities would pop up here and there our States would be shamed into doing something about homelessness. No one should have to sleep in the streets or shelters. We should all have a roof over our heads.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      I have a whole pile of pallets in my driveway. Some whiles ago there was a hub on making gardens out of pallets. I will do that with some of them. The rest my children are breaking up for firewood. (therapy, their beloved grandfather died last night)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jesmo, thanks for that. We are in the process right now of making a chicken coop and it's going to seem like a palace to the chickens. :)

    • Jesmo profile image

      Jesmo 4 years ago

      Pallets are a great resource, I´ve been using them for years as furniture. A couple of years ago ,we made a super delux chicken house and many a festival bar has been constructed and withstood weeks of drunken assault. It´s a great idea and I love your attitude.... "Don’t tell me something can’t possibly work; give me ideas on how we can make it work."...Fair play.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you are not the first to mention the empty houses in the UK. I find that very interesting and I wonder what the government plans on doing with them. Such a waste when so many could use them to get back on their feet and find some self-respect.

      Thank you, Irish. I always smile when I see you stop by.

      Have a great weekend my friend.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Apologies for being late to respond on this serious subject and what an excellent solution you propose. I agree whole heartily that recycling pallets into dwellings would be a powerful positive towards helping the homeless. Ireland and Dublin where I have lived most of my life, are no strangers either to large numbers of homeless from every walk of life.

      It is frightening and here it is a very real and rising problem. We also have huge numbers of empty houses, flats, apartments like the UK that are sitting unfinished or unused. Pallet housing is such an excellent idea every community, government agency and local council should drive forward with and make positive and real changes affecting real people. Actions speak loud but words are powerful so we ALL need to stand up and share this important message.

      Thank you my friend for writing this with a very real solution.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lady! This really is a very simple project and I say that because I am able to do it. :)

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      WAW what an interesting hub the pallets seems to be a great idea i never thought of it ,the house would go up even quicker :).

      Thanks for sharing

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made...:)

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      That sounds like a great idea. Thank you, you too! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Made! I love working with pallets. We are building a chicken coop next month using them. I'm excited to see how it turns out. :) Have a great weekend.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      This is so interesting! I once built an outdoor bar using wooden pallets and I'm thinking of building a table this summer. Wooden pallets are great! It's even greater if they could be used for building houses for homeless people. What an inspiring hub, Bill. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, there is probably some good money to be made there. :)

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Ship them to Cali?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, that is interesting. They are in landfills here...people don't know what to do with them.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Hey billy, I was in Oakland, an industrial part I don't frequent often; there were signs on just about every corner offering to buy pallets. I wouldn't have noticed them if I hadn't read this hub last week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travel, I would think in countries such as yours, this idea would be perfect. It is so easy to do. I know that because if I can build one then it has to be easy.

      Thank you Sir!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      DIY Wooden Pallet Homes? It's cool and I will no longer see (perhaps only few) homeless people sleeping along the pavements of commercial buildings and parks or even under the overpass or bridge here in the Philippines. I hope the scheme or program will be adopted here.

      Thanks for sharing this info, Sir Bill. It helps to inspire to adopt this program here in my country.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      You are very welcome! I look forward to reading more from you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cygnetbrown....LOL...I know; I would live in one of these in a heartbeat....I think they are really cool AND they could solve a huge problem in society.

      Thank you for the visit!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I love the idea of building simple houses from pallets! I wouldn't mind having one myself!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, because of the reason you gave, I'm pretty sure this would never happen, but I also believe until society is willing to think outside the box for solutions then nothing will happen.

      Thank you kind lady; have a great weekend.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a fabulous idea if any land owner is willing to allow the home to be built on their property. Fixing the problem involves more acceptance, caring, and understanding then our society currently has. This could work if businesses or owners of public property were offered money or tax breaks to allow the houses to be placed in town. But, I love the way you think!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, this is what is so maddening about society today; everyone wants to complain but nobody wants to consider a solution. This is doable but it takes progressive and compassionate thinking to accomplish it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I agree, Bill. The cities would probably also rather see the revenue they can earn off the land rather than see it as a tax write-off and a solution to the homeless problem by donating!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I just toss out ideas; the cities will have to figure it out. Heck, most cities own abundant land; seems it would be worth it to donate some to rid the city of the homelessness problem....but that's progressive thinking that we rarely see in politics today. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is an ingenious idea. Not only is it socially responsible, but environmentally responsible. The pallet video brought up a good point, tho: land. Where would these built? Would the land be donated?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that's an interesting idea too. I've never heard of that. Cool comment; thank you!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Interesting idea. Last summer I met a farmer from here in Iowa who has been building homes in Haiti with grain bins.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I think the biggest problem with this hub is that it makes sense. LOL

      Thank you dear lady; have a wonderful day in your little corner of Wales.

      love,

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Billy and will again bring hope to many I am sure as your hubs always do.

      This seems to be a great idea.

      I vote up,across and share all around.

      Havea great day and lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aurelio, they really are a wonderful asset to have for someone with projects to do. Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What a great idea. We sometimes bring home wooden pallets to turn the wood into something useful. Glad to see that entire houses are being made from them. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rosemay, and you are right.....there are towns that have just dried up. There are alternatives to just stepping over these people like they are not there.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I've just read that US is full of ghost towns, any possibilities of bringing at least some of these to life again, resources, facilities etc?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rolly! It would never work for a myriad of reasons, the most obvious of which is that it makes sense. LOL

      hugs back atcha buddy

      bill

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Heh Billy... interesting stuff here and a novel idea. We are so wasteful here in North America when we think of the possibilities of what could be done.

      Well done and very informative... love the idea.

      Hugs from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have to start calling you Megan; sounds better than Learning. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Learning, they really are amazing. We are making a chicken coop this spring out of them. The framing for any structure is done once you connect the pallets....very simple construction.

    • Learning in Life profile image

      Megan Sisko 4 years ago from SW Florida

      This is amazing! I think I might have to make a fort for my daughter with this stuff!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Cam! I was fascinated by the whole process when I first saw it, so much so that I'm building a chicken coop and goat structure out of pallets. If I do that correctly maybe we'll move on to bigger challenges.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      By the way, the video is excellent. This actually folds in nicely for my own future. I know the article is about the homeless so I won't elaborate here, but it did give me an idea.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cam, I happen to agree with that old sentiment, but I also know that it is impossible to do so without a basic foundation to begin the re-building process. Thank you for an excellent comment my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, you are right on with that assessment of the situation. Quite obviously the government does not care, and that is the biggest crime of all.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Linda! It is an endless cycle; how do they find work when they can't clean themselves up, or when they don't have an address for mail or an email address for job searches? Impossible, and yet the government wants to believe they do not exist. Inexcusable in this country.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Agusfanani, yes they can, and it is very doable and logical, which probably means it will never be done. :) Thank you!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      There is a sentiment about that I happen to agree with. It is summed up in the adage, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps." I do think that adage has validity in our society. Free everything gets us nowhere. Having said that, I agree fully with your article. Many of the homeless would gladly pull themselves up by the bootstraps if they had bootstraps, or boots. This housing idea is interesting. Building codes could easily sidetrack it, but that is no reason not to pursue it. At least force those who oppose doing the right thing to blatantly outlaw such constructions. Eventually we, as a society, will wake up and demand that we take care of our own.

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

      Great hub! This would work IF the country really cared to help the homeless, which it obviously does not. Like this hub though.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, this was really creative and an excellent write. I keep thinking about homelessness and am quite aggravated that the homeless are so often perceived as "dirty little trolls". I want to ask those with the attitude how a homeless person is supposed to keep clean and tidy? There are some really bright minds living under bridges and behind dumpsters and we need to find solutions. You've certainly come up with some excellent ideas.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      Wooden pallet homes don't look bad at all and still can be humane solution for homeless people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Arthur, you make some valid and exceptional points. I do believe this issue will only intensify in the next few years; we are headed in a direction that will be difficult to detour, but detour we must if society as a whole is to benefit.

      Thank you for you insights.

    • profile image

      Arthur Bundy 4 years ago

      billybuc:

      Thank you.

      Some more food for thought.

      The fundamental difference between the rural society of yesterday and the urban society of today, is that a rural society had the means to fend for its itself. The United States was rural society, going into the Great Depression. You hunted to survive. Today that is primarily illegal, except during hunting season.

      The issue about the homeless, is the need to recognize that interdependence is what must be developed for our society to be to the benefit of all.

      We hear lot about a socialized society. Corporations have established well oiled and well financed control over our political process. They fail to understand that their methods are socialistic. A government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation, is not "of the people, by the people, and for the people", but the many being dictated too by the few.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Arthus, I was homeless as well, and I can tell you, attitudes would change if the lawmakers had to live on the streets for a month. You make an interesting point, and a valid point, that homelessness is seen as a natural by-product of a free enterprise system. Just the cost of doing business, and as such is not really seen as a problem.

      I happen to disagree, and I'm going to keep speaking out about this important subject.

      Thank you!

    • Arthur Bundy profile image

      Arthur Bundy 4 years ago from Colorado Springs

      I know many homeless people in Colorado Springs. At one time I was one of them. I know what it means to be disillusioned with society.

      Our so-called enlightened Major has established a law that prevents homeless people from panhandling in the downtown area. And, then a federal judge is challenging the constitutionality of the law as we speak.

      It won't go into effect until there is a ruling.

      Even when the unemployed are at 5% of the workforce, it's like people see that as a consequence of the free market and not the black eye it reflects of itself on our indifference as a society.

      Good work.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, they are so incredibly easy to build; literally can be built in a week at a very low cost.

      Thank you again for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, I am all for teaching and then letting someone do their own work. The homeless need to feel a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. That will only come from earning their way, but they need a hand to get started.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marcia, those cob houses are like out of the Hobbit....and they are cute and very easy to build.

      Thank you Marcia!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Building a pallet house is a wonderful idea, Bill! I've heard of cob houses before, but not of pallet houses. They could be a great solution for people without a home.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Bill, I really like how you put in there to get the homeless to build their shelter. We could help, but to give them the tools to do it. Reminds me of the Old Testament laws of leaving the edges of your fields for the homeless and needy to glean from. Gleaning requires work to procure your own food. It inspires self-reliance on self and God. It also makes a person to feel good to enjoy the fruits of their labor.....self worth. Great hub and I appreciate the great ideas!

    • profile image

      mours sshields 4 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Wonderful ideas! Amazing! I agree. I especially love the cob construction. I think it's charming, like something out of a fairy tale!

      Marcia Ours

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, ideas like sending the homeless to Hawaii curl my innards. It reminds me of the idea before the Civil War to take all blacks and send the to their own country....Liberia....so the problem would disappear here in the U.S. It's that kind of myopic thinking that perpetuates the problems in this country.

      Thank you as always my friend; I will visit your new hub shortly.

      love,

      bill

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I would imagine that Habitat for Humanity would be interested in repurposing pallets for housing, Bill. The mayor of St. Louis has spent resources on driving the homeless out of downtown St. Louis. He is more concerned with consumerism and tourism than broken human beings. The Rev. Larry Rice, a community activist for the homeless population, spent a few days before Thanksgiving in jail for a peaceful protest, similar to an event endeavoring to help the homeless during the extreme heat of the summer. Another state bought one-way tickets to Hawaii for the homeless. Some of their beaches are now packed with tents occupied by the poor. They were considered unsightly so they hussled them to a warmer clim, not caring whether they could afford to eat while in Hawaii and with no means to get back. Homeless dogs have a better chance of finding a forever home.

      Great idea, Bill, that needs the clout, know how and experience of many to put your idea to action. Thank you for caring, my friend. Everything positive begins there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Glimmer! I'm sure there are those who will say this is impractical, but in my mind so is homelessness. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      What an interesting and useful idea for repurposing pallets. Pinning so more people can see this and possibly get ideas for their own communities.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I have no doubt it has to do with budgets in cities, but that simply is an unacceptable excuse, as if human misery should be part of a budget! I will never understand that way of thinking.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, I always gauge something by whether I could do it, and I know for a fact I could build one of these houses, and if I could do it then anyone could do it. :) I hope someone listens. Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deepak; they are very economical and quite easy to build.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, that kind of thinking drives me crazy. It ignores the bigger picture, one of humanity, and treating others with compassion. I think every politician should have to live on the streets for a month. It might be an eye-opener for them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I have heard about them. Thanks for reminding me of them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Vellur; thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Mary, I was hoping for funny! LOL It obviously will have its detractors who will say it is not practical, but how practical is it to have millions living on the streets? We can't ignore this problem; it is beneath us as human beings.

      Thank you for your compassion!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I do not know why someone had not started doing this back when so many people lost their homes and were forced to live on the streets. I agree with Sunnie, there are many empty buildings that could be made into shelters. Great hub Bill...Thank's.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is a brilliant thought to use discarded pallets and put them to good use housing the homeless. As you said, all of the homeless people trying to live on our streets is a cancer in our society and shameful. The video showing the building designs and what it takes to put these type of houses together is really good. I am sure that there would be many homeless people willing to build them if only given the land space and the materials and someone to guide them in the process. Hopefully more people will see this hub of yours and get the ball rolling in the right direction. Up votes and definitely sharing. Thanks!

    • Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

      Deepak Chaturvedi 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Some good information here to share with others who keen to know about the options to build house.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Australia (Melbourne) have a unique way of disposing of the problem. If you are homeless and not an Australian citizen then they buy you an air ticket back to where you cam from. If you are a woman married to and Australian and have children born in Australia and the family is homeless then the woman AND her Australian children are sent back to where she originated from. There have been big debates on the fairness of this, some think it the best thing way while others think it is wrong especially sending the children who are citizens away.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. SF is still mulling over those "spaces" you may have heard about.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      This is great information and as you say we have to cure the cancer instead of putting bandages over it. Thank you for sharing this information, did not know about it at all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, that is unbelievable! Two years! We still have people displaced from Katrina and that's been three years I think. I simply don't understand governments....probably never will. :) Thank you once again!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless....exactly right! LOL Thank you again!

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      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This is a great idea Bill, I don't know anything about your planning regulations, I am sure there would be problems and lots of red tape over here. But this idea would kill 2 birds with one stone, housing and less landfill so why not, it would be a win/win all around.

      The Salvation army and volunteers are building homes her for the homeless, mostly kit sets but it is a start to getting someone back on their feet. We still have families who lost everything in the Sept 2010 earthquakes here STILL homeless.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      We waste money like it is useless paper...sending aid to countries that do not need it just so they will like us, bankrolling pork barrel spending so we can find out how fast ketchup comes out of a barrel...and yet, we allow people to live in the street and I say this tongue in cheek since they are not living but existing in a hopeless void.

      I have read articles about the success of pallet houses and your suggestion of using this concept to provide housing for the homeless needs to go write to the top! Pallets are thrown out every day....what a perfect solution..pure genius Bill.

      Voted all the way across(except funy of course)

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      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Right you are about gov. buildings. LOL Government is never creative. Look at the tax code.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eileen, I have no answers as to why governments don't take care of their own needy people, but I think it is a shame. Yes, there will be those do gooders who want to stop it, but this is just basic human kindness. We can't let people live like this. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, my sarcastic side tells me that not much is done in government buildings even when they are working there. LOL I think it's about time the government looks at creative solutions to this problem.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      What is wrong with using government buildings for the homeless. Most government buildings are empty except for 40 or 50 hours a week. All musing aside this is a wonderful idea. I saw a hub last year where they used pallets for a bunch of things. Absolutely love creative solutions.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I used to work at a warehouse and we would have hundreds of pallets sitting outside not being used. What better use for them, right?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sunnie! I'm sure there are many who will say this is unrealistic, but I don't see anything else working. If we have money for helping other countries then we should have money for helping our own homeless.

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      Eileen Hughes 4 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      The trouble is the do gooders or somebody would stop it in many cases. They would find some reason for not letting it happen.

      In Australia, we are selling our land to other countries to do their own thing . Yet those same countries would never let us buy properties in their countries.

      This always makes me wonder. We are not the smart country we give our money to other countries instead of helping our own needy people.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is so awesome! My husband used to work at a bottling company that had stacks of these outback just going to waste. I can't think of better use for them. Loved the video and the people who discovered this way of recyling for the homeless. I am going to share this with our outreach center for the homeless. I think I could live in one of these -- very comfy and just right.

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      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      I read this hub yesterday and even wrote a comment but must of got side tracked as it looks like I did not follow through..hehe

      This has always troubled me, why so many go without shelter when there are so many empty building across the USA. We are forever building new and bigger, leaving old buildings behind to rot. I honestly cringe when I see so much waste. I think we have to offer ideas and we should never stop putting them out there. Some may even take root. Thank you for always trying!

      God bless,

      Sunnie

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, there is so much wrong with the system that I fear I will become a raving lunatic in a padded cell. There is no justice in this country until our Veterans are off the streets and given the care that they deserve. 43% of the homeless are Veterans! How does that happen?

      Okay, I'm going to go have a cup of tea and settle down.

      Thanks Paula; you can hang in my neighborhood any old time you want.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I have no doubt that you are right about the zoning; it makes no sense to complain about the homeless and then complain about a solution for the homeless. What, then, is the solution? To continue doing what we have been doing, which is ignore the problem while more die?

      It's enough to make me a crazy man, if that hasn't happened already. LOL

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, without a doubt there would be opposition from some of the taxpayers; most likely the same taxpayers who complain that there are too many homeless beggars on the streets of their cities. :)

      Thank you for a valid comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is my hope too; until it happens, I'll keep shouting from the mountaintops and hope someone listens.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michele, and I agree. The important thing is to give the homeless some dignity and safety, and a roof over their heads is a start.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I do wonder, and then I get mad, and then I look for solutions. I'm not sure if anyone is listening to my solutions, but at least I feel like something is being done, as opposed to what the government is doing, which is practically nothing. Thank you my friend; have a great weekend!

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      "that kind of myopic thinking is beneath us as a civilization...." powerful words, that not enough people accept, much less believe sincerely. Oh, but it IS, in fact beneath us, if in fact we count ourselves amongst the humans who inhabit this earth.

      No need for me to go near the subject of our Veterans....I promised myself, "no rants today." Perhaps tomorrow...for we really must not allow too much rest....which in turn, becomes laziness..and in turn to a lack of empathy and compassion......And the latter, Lord knows, is why we have homeless in the United States of America.

      Shame, disgust and anger, literally consumes me, when I read of the billions, the thugs in power send willingly and freely to those who HATE us and wish us total destruction.................UP+++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, your praise humbles me. Thank you! I'm just a man who has seen too much suffering and is tired of it. Every single thing that you wrote is true. I have had some rather heated discussions with Bev about the space program. I'll tell you what: when we can guarantee that everyone who wants a job can have one, and when we can guarantee that nobody is homeless, then I'll root on the Mars probe. Until then, nobody can convince me of its worth.

      Thank you for sharing, but more importantly, thank you for caring so much about your fellow man and woman.

      bill