We are pleased to announce that the Commonweal Pods have been shortlisted for the Innovation category in the 24Housing Awards. This follows the Pods receiving a runner up award at the Homeless Link Under One Roof Conference in July.
Designed by Reeds Watts Architects, the Pods are the winner of our Starter for 10 competition, held last year in response to research carried out by leading homelessness charity Thames Reach into migrant workers living in tent encampments.
They are an affordable, deliverable option for reusable, short term accommodation that can be easily adapted for multiple scenarios and deployed across underused buildings. They have also shown to be adaptable to various groups, having been trialled at a shelter in Hillingdon and now in the 999 Club, a shelter in Deptford. By making use of empty buildings and providing privacy and security, they are an innovative, emerging solution to issues caused by homelessness. We hope the Pods will provide simple human dignities such as privacy and space to vulnerable people.
For example, Mark, a 48-year-old with a history of mental illness, stayed in one of the Pods in Hillingdon. Prior to this, Mark had been sleeping rough. He noted that having somewhere to return to at the end of the day gave him a sense of normality. He told us that this, coupled with the privacy, had an aspirational impact, reinvigorating his sense of worth, providing him with an additional drive to work towards finding more permanent accommodation.
The winner will be announced on October 18th at the 24Housing Awards ceremony in Coventry.