“Crating” Hope for the Homeless

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
Photo credit to statepress.com

Photo credit to statepress.com

By Jacob Gallagher

Recycled shipping crates can be used as affordable housing units.

The temperatures that cause us to complain about walking from our dorms to Tower Hall is deadly to the homeless of Duluth. Amputated extremities and frostbite are no strangers to Duluth's homeless community. Organizations in the area, such as CHUM, do their best to house the homeless, but it is hard to provide a shelter for everyone. The thriving economy in Duluth has created jobs, but the lack of places to live caused in jump in house prices. This pushed even more people to look for affordable housing to no avail.

Executive director of Center City Housing Corp., Rick Klun, and principal partner of the Wagner Zaun Architecture firm in Duluth, Doug Zaun, might have an idea to help-shipping crates. Shipping crates used in the shipping of goods in and out of the Twin Ports could also produce affordable housing. The crates can be purchased for $1,000 to $2,000 dollars, and using volunteers for labor, the transition from crate to housing unit would be around $30,000 to $50,000 per unit, which is half the expense of a conventional affordable housing unit.

Right now, the idea is in the development stage. Klun and Zaun are hoping to have the first prototype done in the spring or summer of this year. Zaun is hoping to gain community support with this prototype so that more units can be developed. If the community gets involved and gives enough support, the project would have crate housing either in a neighborhood of its own or spread individual houses throughout the community. (Source: Duluth News Tribune)

For more developments in this story, look for more articles in the Cable.