The most terrible season for every homeless person is the winter wondering whether he or she will survive it. Most people do not reconnect with the people who are outside in the gutters trying to survive the winter. Some may feel sympathy but that this is not enough as actions speak louder than the spoken words.
There are more than 3,000 homeless people in France, and in this period of the year when the temperatures are very low most of them are without a shelter or even a blanket during freezing cold nights.
A French engineer, Geoffroy de Reynal, MSc in Energy Engineering, has come up with an amazing idea how to help these people in such distressing times. He has invented a pop-up igloo that can be easily set up and thus fit a person.
Geoffroy was a quality manager on wind construction sites, and he used his technical knowledge to help the homeless people in France.
On his porch in Bordeaux, he created a prototype of an “Iglou” that could protect people during harsh winter weather conditions. He tested this small structure in a cold chamber on a friend’s farm in order to see its efficiency in cold temperatures.
His igloo has been produced from polyethylene foam that has been covered with aluminum foil, and the double layers protect against the freezing temperatures. In fact, the igloo is about 15° warmer than the temperature in the outside. Moreover, they offer privacy, and are waterproof, compact, repairable, and recyclable. They have the ability to absorb the body heat and solar lighting and thus naturally elevate the temperature inside the shelter.
These igloos were tested in squats around Bordeaux, France, and the homeless people who have tested them did not want to leave them. Not only that these shelters protected them from the cold windy nights, but as well as kept them safe from violence and theft.
Geoffroy De Reynal funded this project from his own financial resources, but later on he initiated an online funding campaign that provided him with about $20,000. Thanks to this funding campaign and to his own finances he managed to build 20 igloos. They have been equally distributed in Bordeaux, and as well as in Paris.
This engineer for some time had been living in Montenegro; a country less economically advanced form France, but did not have so many homeless people. When he returned to his homeland he was surprised by the number of people living outside, and because of that he decided to do something to help these people.
He designed the igloos for the people living on the cold Paris streets and for the ones who “cannot benefit from the official homeless program.”This is the first step to help people in need, in fact, the inventor tends to make these igloos bigger in future and to put showers inside of them. His goal is to create thousands of igloos by 2020.
Geoffroy de Reynal helped many homeless people with his invention and has showed us that only one person can do something to make a great change in someone else’s life.