Meet our 10 finalists
Glen Curry has been a finishing carpenter for the past 35 years, prefabricating site trailers for mining companies, churches, seniors’ homes and shopping malls. For the past 10 years he has had his own business designing and building custom kitchens, built-ins, and furniture.
How is your project “smart” and aligned to the themes of Smart South Island?
The Personal Mobile Homeless Shelter (Home Pod) project provides a unique opportunity to introduce a needed and unique technology for the benefit of the homeless population in Victoria and beyond. Hopefully, these temporary shelters would also benefit the job of law enforcement officers as well as encourage the future rehabilitation of some of the homeless society.
How was the final concept determined?
The final concept was determined from my interpretation of perceived need. During the process of exploring appropriate options, my research turned up only models with poor design and function. After completing my prototype, I presented the model to Grant McKenzie, Communications Director of Our Place, and to several homeless clients, for comments. By consulting with my team, I have also discovered superior materials for the next prototype.
How does your concept name explain itself?
The word “Home” evokes a feeling of safety and belonging - exactly what is missing in a homeless person’s life. Because it focuses on the absolute basics for a home, the word “Pod” describes it as a small home or capsule.
Where else in Canada or the world could you see your project being effective?
This project could be of use in other provinces in Canada, and even in the U.S. While the start-up would be tested here, I have always envisioned that it could be relevant anywhere.
What was the biggest challenge in creating your concept?
The construction of the Home Pod prototype has been the easy part. The biggest challenge will be the funding for the project and the necessary goodwill of donors, government, and others.
What has been the most enjoyable part of creating your concept?
The most enjoyable part of creating a Home Pod has been the feeling of goodwill attached to it. Not only do I receive encouraging remarks from those with whom I share the idea, but I anticipate the pleasure and comfort that will be afforded to the homeless person.
If you could select any well-known person to endorse your project, who would they be and why?
I would choose Dr. David Suzuki. He is a calm and reflective voice of reason. He is not only an environmentalist, but also an advocate for the health and welfare of our human population.
If you could include partners within the concept, who would they be and why?
Partners who would enhance this project would include construction and building companies to supply materials, recreational vehicle companies for hardware items, outdoor equipment stores for clothing or sleeping bags, and, finally, the city or municipality involved, who would allocate safe space for pod camping.
What long term impact do you envision about your project?
In future, I would like to create a pod that could cope with colder temperatures are experienced here in Victoria.
Why is Smart South Island important to our Region?
Smart South Island is important to our region for helping to bring innovative ideas to fruition by engaging them in our region’s infrastructure, for the benefit of a more vibrant Victoria.