Much of the worlds’ population do not have a safe place to call their own – they inhabit small temporary shelters that barely keep the elements out, let alone provide a safe place to raise a family or enjoy solitude away from the world. Others have a solid building but due to space restrictions, raise entire families in a single room. Not to mention those who, due to circumstance, find themselves with no home at all and have to resort to living in hotel rooms, in their cars or, most extreme, on the street.
Imagine for a moment having nowhere to go tonight. No place to kick off your shoes and sit on a couch. Nowhere to brush your teeth or shower. Nowhere to sleep safely and warmly.
In Ireland, most of our homes are at least solid, but many are still substandard. Cold, full of mould and damp; conditions not suitable for a healthy lifestyle or state of mind.
I am only aware of these issues now that I’m a bit older and have a broader outlook on the world; when I decided to study Architectural Technology in college, these concepts were quite distant as my primary objective was to design lovely new buildings with big budgets. While this has not fully materialized, I still enjoy the privilege of creating new homes or extending homes for my varied clients. I love working with homes as it is incredibly personal, and of a scale that one person can manage.
However this is still only for the privileged few who can afford it; there are so many more who can’t, and I want to find ways to equally meet their needs. Using creative thinking and modern technology, I believe we can. But we need to act now, before our housing crisis gets even more out of hand.
PHOTO CREDIT: I met this gentleman and his humble home while delivering food hampers on a mission trip in Uganda. Photo taken by Conor Buckley of Piquant