Designing a shelter to meet the diverse needs of the homeless population is a challenge, but Paul Elkin’s fantastic concept makes due as both a mobile home and a store packed with goods to help support a livelihood. The inventor and bike-maker took up a challenge to construct a portable unit for the urban homeless population, and what he created was a secure and watertight structure for sleeping at night that could also be turned into an open space during the day to display and sell wares.

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The low-impact 225-pound structure is a mobile design kitted out with a sophisticated tank system to collect rainwater. The design maximizes the small space available, and is fitted with fold-away furniture to make it seem more spacious than its compact form would lead you to believe. The portable refuge also boasts modern-conveniences such as a humble toilet, a kitchen, and what looks like a cozy convertible sleeping area.

Elkin hoped the design might encourage creativity and a sense of pride as “not all want to beg or go rummage around in trash cans all day for a living.” Take a look at Elkin’s videoof his homeless shelter cart to find out more.

+ Paul Elkin

Images courtesy of Paul Elkins