Entrepreneur Introduces Cardboard Tents For The Homeless In Brussels

In order to protect homeless people from bitter cold, a Belgian entrepreneur has introduced a new shelter model: Origami-style cardboard tents.

Since most homeless people in Brussels are unable to have a safe place to sleep because the material tents are banned on the streets, one entrepreneur came up with an idea of origami-style cardboard tents with an initiative called the ORIG-AMI project.

The tents are as big as to accommodate two people but on the other hand they are also small enough to be folded and carried on someone's back. According to the entrepreneur, Xavier Van den Stappen, the tents can last for a couple of weeks before needing to be replaced. 

Stappen, in collaboration with L’Appel du Coeur (a group that distributed tents, as well as day-to-day essentials: an underwear, a blanket, a toilet kit and a T shirt), handed out 20 tents for a start at one of Brussels' train stations on Dec. 29. He said, "Cardboards are light, they keep the heat, and if they don’t get wet, they are pretty resistant."

According to La Strada, Brussels had around 2600 homeless people in early 2017. However most of the shelters get overcrowded during winters according to Olivier Vanden Avont, the president of L’Appel du Coeur, the charity that distributed the tents.

Temperature in Brussels gets down from minus 1 to minus 10 Celsius in December. However, homeless people in Brussels are most vulnerable to the extreme winters. "If the cardboard tents can last for a month, this will be a victory already", said Vanden Avont.


The raw materials that were used in the cardboard tents were distributed by a local factory meanwhile, the tents were assembled at Lantin prison by a work initiative.

"We live in one of the most comfortable countries in the world. I find it difficult to accept that human beings are spending the night on the streets, on the pavements, outside our windows", Stappen stated. 

Thumbnail/Banner : Reuters

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