Buses could be converted into housing for homeless

Buses could be converted into housing for homeless
Published: Jun. 11, 2015 at 8:05 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 11, 2015 at 8:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Where the layperson sees a room, the architect sees space.  Where the layperson sees a building, an architect sees art, and where a layperson sees a city bus, a Honolulu architect sees a home.

Ma Ry Kim of Group 70 International is spearheading a plan by Jun Yang, the City's Executive Director of Housing, to convert five donated, decommissioned city buses into transitional shelters for homeless.

"The idea is to convert them into living, sleeping, showering, recreational facilities," she said.

Like the buses, supplies for the refurbishment are being donated by a host of organizations.  Labor will be on a volunteer basis.

"The entire design is based on the premise that you could walk in to a hardware store, buy everything you need in one go and build everything with no trade skills," she said.

The buses are designed to work in fleets.  As opposed to an RV, which is more or less a house on wheels, buses will each have a specific purpose.

"We're fitting some out to be bathrooms and showers, we're fitting some out to be sleeping areas, and the design completely folds away like a little Japanese tatami mat." 

While every detail of the buses has been accounted for, the reaction to them was not.

"It's completely organic, and we when we started did not even realize number one what a need there was for this, and number two how people can benefit from it...but mostly how many people want to help."

Kim is hoping to complete the first two buses this summer, and have the first five done this calendar year.  Details on who will operate the buses and where they will be deployed are still being finalized.
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