Canadians Make Us Look Bad by Building Nicer Benches for the Homeless

The homeless have it hard lately, what with all the anti-homeless measures municipalities have implemented to keep them off benches and sculptures and sidewalks. Except in Vancouver, where one charity is building "pop-up" shelters that invite the weary in.

It's a timely show of altruism in a summer of fear and loathing, marked by a London supermarket's recent implementation of "anti-homeless spikes":

As the Guardian pointed out, the spikes were but the most recent—and controversial—manifestations of a grand movement in public architecture that's hostile to transient huddled masses.

RainCity Housing, however, made good use of the public controversy with its new series of urban shelters in Canada. Via Mic.com:

The company specializes in accommodation and support services for the homeless in Vancouver. They used designs that feature welcoming slogans on the bench backboard. During the daytime, the benches are places to wait for a bus or sit. At night, they convert into usable shelters where the backboard lifts up to provide shelter.

The daytime city bench uses UV rays from sunlight, so the bench reads, "This is a bench." Then at night, glow-in-the-dark wording appears, saying, "This is a bedroom," and drives people to the RainCity website.

Canadians Make Us Look Bad by Building Nicer Benches for the Homeless

Leave it to the Canadians to make the rest of us look like uncharitable oafs. This is a country where even the shirtless dudes yelling at politicians on the street are nicer than most Americans.