UBCO engineers design hi-tech version of shopping cart for homeless
(GLYNN BROTHEN / iNFOnews.ca)
January 20, 2016 - 9:00 PM
LIGHTWEIGHT 'PERSONAL POSSESSIONS CARRIER' DESIGNED TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR STREET HOMELESS
KELOWNA - Everyone has seen a homeless person struggling to push a shopping cart piled high with all their worldly possessions down the street.
Now some engineering students are hoping their work with composite materials can make life easier for them in the form of a hi-tech “personal possessions cart” built from lightweight composite materials.
The cart will solve some of the problems the homeless face in Kelowna constantly moving about and trying to secure their possessions, Metro Community Church representative Sandy Shier says.
“One major issue associated with the homelessness lifestyle is members of our community cannot secure their belongings and leave them in a safe place while they attend appointments, get a meal, or access other support services,” Shier says. “As such, they are stressfully forced to live from minute to minute around securing their belongings. This limits their ability to get a hand up and the problems further compromise their quality of life. This is a first small step in restoring their dignity.”
Metro is one of the partners in what UBC Okanagan describes as a 'unique industry-university-community project' that also includes local company Waterplay Solutions, the City of Kelowna and Kelowna RCMP.
The project involves both first and fourth-year engineering students from the university’s School of Engineering working on design and manufacture of the cart while some graduate students are researching the optimal materials for its construction.
Hopes are the low-cost carts will be ready for distribution in 18 months.
More stories on homeless in Kelowna.
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