If you live in any major city, or even smaller ones, you've surely seen a homeless person huddled up on a park bench for much needed sleep. Or someone settling in for the night under a shelter of newspapers on a bus bench. It's a sight no one loves to see, because it's an encounter with obvious struggle, and destitution. Some cities are so ashamed of their under-served homeless, that they try to herd the unsightly population out of town for major sporting events or the Olympics. While serving homeless populations certainly isn't easy, it is easy to be compassionate. In Vancouver, one advertising agency pointed out just how ridiculous it is that people have to sleep on park benches to begin with. Rather than shoo the needy away, they came up with way to provide them the shelter they seek.
In 2013, Canadian firm Spring Advertising approached the RainCity Housing and Support Society, a local shelter and advocacy organization in Vancouver, with an idea for modifying bus stops and park benches. Instead of trying to discourage the homeless from sleeping on them, they’d welcome them to stay. The new design, allows the benches to fold out, providing a roof for the person sleeping on the bench.
The benches are printed with information about where to go for assistance. While it's not an encompassing solution for homelessness, it does address the immediate need, and direct them to additional resources.