Vancouver ad campaign turns bus benches into homeless shelters

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bus bench homeless shelter vancouver

In a move made to counteract the recent installation of spikes on London streets aimed at deterring homeless people from seeking shelter near businesses, a Vancouver organization is using city bus benches to promote compassion for those who have nowhere else to sleep.

Vancouver’s Spring Advertising has created a campaign for RainCity Housing that uses five city bus benches to make a simple, but bold, statement about homelessness. To promote the work that RainCity Housing does in finding living solutions for the city’s indigent population, Spring modified each bus bench and utilized simple statements, together achieving significant impact.

One bench reads “This is a bus bench” during daylight hours, however the special black paint is not visible at night, when the bench is lit with glow-in-the-dark paint and bears the message “This is a bedroom.” Similar modifications and messages appear on the four other benches in the series.

The innovative campaign is already making waves back in London. “We don’t know if they have been used by homeless folks, but probably,” RainCity’s Bill Briscall told The Telegraph, adding: “In a park one block from my house I see people sleeping overnight almost every month throughout the year.”

Locally, the campaign has already inspired one person to initiate a crowd-funding endeavour to help RainCity. “This story absolutely blows me away because it’s a beautifully executed testament of the power architecture and smart design plays in our communities,” explains Matthew Daniels on his Bountier page for the project. “It’s socially conscious projects like this that make me love Vancouver,” he adds.

bus shelters homeless shelters rain city housing

bus shelters homeless shelters rain city housing2

 

Images via Spring Advertising

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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