A curious ad campaign recently popped up in Vancouver. The backs of park benches have become billboards for Raincity Housing, a non-profit that helps the homeless. But they’re not just advertisements for a homeless shelter. Some of the ads actually transform into little shelters.
“Find Shelter Here” reads the convertible billboard. When you flip it up, you can see the address of the homeless shelter. Or if whomever is seeking shelter doesn’t want to walk all the way across town, he or she can stay dry under the sign. Another ad reads “This is a bench” during the day, but thanks to some glow-in-the-dark paint, lights up at night to read, “This is a bedroom.” The Raincity logo also appears.
It’s a nice thought. Helping homeless people is a Good Thing to do. But it’s also a little bit counter-productive, or at least inefficient; people aren’t usually stuck out on the street because they aren’t aware of a homeless shelter. It’s more likely to be choice, or some either reason, but probably not lack of awareness. And it’s one thing to avoid making benches impossible to sleep on, but another to actively encourage it.
Still, it’s clear these folks mean well. The ads will be up in Vancouver for a month. After that, well, it’s back to getting wet for some of the city’s less fortunate residents. [Pop Up City via Archinect]
Images via Spring Advertising