An engineer has come up with an innovative shelter for homeless people which retains body heat and ensures they’ll be able to keep warm in winter.
Geoffroy de Reynal, a French engineer, was inspired to build the igloo-like structure after spending some time working overseas.
In 2017, Reynal returned to Paris and took in the city with a new perspective. He was shocked at the number of people who struggled to stay safe and warm as they slept on the streets.
Speaking to Global Citizen, the engineer explained:
I noticed how many people were sleeping rough in the cold in Paris streets. The contrast with Montenegro was striking, even if France is a more advanced country economically.
In most cities, the official homeless help program is saturated, even in winter time. Every one of us have seen people unsheltered sleeping straight under the snow.
The Frenchman decided to take action, and used his experience in construction to try and come up with a solution to the growing homelessness issue in France.
Working from his own porch in Bordeaux, he created a prototype of the small structure, which was later dubbed the ‘Iglou’.
He tested out the first model in a cold chamber on a friend’s farm to determine its efficiency in cold temperatures. As the structure is made out of polyethylene foam and aluminum foil, it’s waterproof and insulated against the cold, making it a preferable place to sleep for those living on the streets.
Reynal began constructing and installing ‘iglous’ in Paris and Bordeaux, with the hopes of providing shelter for anyone who needed it.
The mission is to shelter every person who cannot benefit from the official homeless program.
The idea was praised by people around the world, with many pitching in donations to help build more Iglous.
The engineer commented:
Every night a person sleeps outside in the cold affects the whole society. Providing Iglous to this person won’t make it perfect, but at least it’s a first step, a first help we have been able to provide.
It’s helps the society as a whole.
The incredible invention is sure to help dozens of homeless people – amazing!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.