Shipping containers to replace homeless tents in Florida

PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – A homeless shelter in southwest Florida wants to replace most of the shelter’s 300 tents with 50 repurposed shipping containers.

Pinellas Hope, a shelter run by Catholic Charities that provides housing, food and other resources for the county’s homeless population, is starting a $1.25 million fundraising campaign to pay for the containers.

The Tampa Bay Times reports  the 8-foot wide, 20-foot long containers, are strong enough to sustain Category 4 hurricane conditions. They cost about $25,000 each to repurpose, a one-time cost that’s cheap compared to the roughly $50,000 a year the group spends on replacement of the tents.

The containers, which the shelter coined “Hope Cottages,” are insulated and air conditioned with three separate units that include a bed, window and lockable door.

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