A Man Invents Igloo Shelters for the Homeless That Can Retain Body Heat and Keep Them Warm All Winter Long
It’s really terrifying to imagine the magnitude of homelessness worldwide. French engineer, Geoffroy de Reynal, created a light, foldable, and portable igloo-like construction for homeless people and immediately became a “modern hero,” receiving a huge amount of support from people all over the world.
Inspiration for creating igloo shelters
A few years ago, after working abroad, Geoffroy came back to Paris and was dazed by the amount of homeless people in the city — not all of them could find a warm and safe place to sleep, so they slept on the streets. That`s when Geoffroy started to think about how he could help and decided to try creating a shelter from light, inexpensive, and warm materials.
Thus with his own money de Reynal constructed his first igloo shelter from polyethylene foam — which helps conserve body heat. The inside of the igloo is covered with aluminum, so the temperature inside the shelter can reach over 50°F higher than outside temperature. The igloo shelter is also waterproof.
Fundraising and worldwide support
After creating a prototype in his own backyard in Bordeaux, Geoffroy started a crowdfunding campaign online, thanks to the support of people all over the world, he received much more than he expected — approximately $20,000.
The igloos don`t solve the problem, they just make life on the streets a bit easier.
The main advantage of this construction is its light weight and portability — about a dozen of these shelters can fit into a minivan, as you can see in the picture above.
It is important to note that de Reynal doesn`t consider these shelters a final solution of the problem — as he shares, it`s rather a temporary option, so that living on the streets, especially in cold weather, becomes less difficult. Living in this igloo doesn`t mean you`re not homeless anymore.
Future plans and perspectives
Among his future plans, de Reynal wants to streamline production and create hundreds or even thousands of these igloos, as well as improve the design — add wheels for easier transportation and create larger module shelters for families. He also shares that it would be great to extend this practice to other countries.