Simple Solar Homesteading

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Pushcart Survival Shelter

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Pushcart Shelter Design


We have all seen the pics of homeless people with all their worldly possessions in a shopping cart and sleeping in a cardboard box and it got me to thinking that these people need a better cart if that is how they want to live (some do choose that lifestyle).


So I designed this Shelter pushcart that is not much bigger than a shopping cart and rolls on casters like a shopping cart. It has an extendable 6 foot insulated R10 sleeping area. A large covered kitchen unit on top for a butane stove and dish pans. A thinfilm 30 watt solar panel for recharging a phone or using an Ipad. An ice chest cooler and storage baskests for extra gear and the bed top becomes a food prep and table when extended.


This could be made easily from 2x2 lumber sheathed in 1/4" plywood and insulated with R10 foamcore rigid board and would be heated by body temperature.


Many homeless people freeze to death or get sick in the winter and hot summers so this would provide them a safer place to sleep and shelter in harsh weather plus a way to cook a meal.


This could be built by churches and organizations that help the homeless and would also be useful in disaster relief situations when there are lots of victims that need shelter and not enough beds to go around. I estimate the wood and insulation material cost to be around $100.


This is a work-in-progress and if you are an organization that helps the homeless and want the plans I will provide them free if you contact me at

This is how they are currently living

Categories: Homeless No More!

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Reply Nancy Westrick
12:00 PM on February 5, 2015 
A wonderful project, as this is something that is needed by many.
Reply Rachel
9:21 PM on October 24, 2014 
Very intelligent design! I was wondering if fat dolly tires would make it easier to maneuver up and onto curbs as well as through grassy terrain. It would also be good to have something to lock the tires so that it couldn't be pushed while someone is inside. I commend you, this is so well thought out. Kudos!
Reply Jimbo Triplett
9:26 AM on July 25, 2014 
I think the Pushcart Survival Shelter is brilliant. I think something like that would be useful to homeless and others as well. I was homeless for about 6 or 7 month's following my time in the service (Army). After getting an Honorable discharge at the end of my service obligation, President Clinton was beginning to close many of the military bases (including the base I was at) With the closing of the base, I soon found myself with little money, and no where to call home. I was too proud to "go home to Momma", so I toughed it out. One of these shelters would have saved me from the awful conditions, police harassment, etc. The one thing I remember the most was not having anywhere to bathe. I would wash up the best I could at a bar's bathroom or gas station (yuck).
Good design LaMar. If I were allowed to customize one thing, it would be to make the sleeping area at least 3 feet wide. (some of us are "chunky"
I would buy one for somebody in a heart beat as I have personally "been there" as you have.
Excellent idea. "Homelessness can happen to anybody at any time"
Jimbo T
Reply Valora B Abbett
12:33 PM on July 19, 2014 
Amazing! You really think of everything.
Reply jonnie
12:43 AM on July 18, 2014 
Can't wait to see the final design. I was thinking about people like me and mine. I am not allowed 'prolonged' exposure to the sun, because of medication I have to take, and heat, affects me and my family negatively. Yeah, and we live in California. When we lived on the coast we dealt with it better, but now in the central valley, it's bad. We are all moving north to cooler temps soon, but a lot of people are affected as we are, and they can't just up and move. In other places they deal with heavy rains, and snow. There should be something that would work, no matter where you resided. I know, if wishes were horses, we would all be riding. At least you try thinking about others, a lot of people don't do that much. Thank you for your efforts.
Reply Bomun
3:11 AM on July 15, 2014 
Wow. This takes tiny to a whole new level. Great Idea. Love the extending feature.
Do you think bigger wheels would be helpful for say going off-road? I've seen some cool bike trailers made using scrap bikes. If I was living on the streets, I'd love the option of heading into nature a bit.

You could host a whole design contest on this category!
Love you work.
Reply simplesolarhomesteading
7:03 PM on July 14, 2014 
The final design will have hooks on the side, and interior and baskets. You don't want people cooking inside such a small shelter. This is designed similar to a tear drop camper with the kitchen outside. There will be other modifications in the final design.
Reply jonnie
10:43 PM on July 11, 2014 
Nice, but they need hooks, shelves, etc... to store their belongings. One that will be easier to access, than their current mode of storage. Is there any way they can cook, without being exposed to the weather? Maybe fix the top where it could be lowered down, inside the quandary, used, then pushed back up, when they finished? Adding a small shelf, for a small basin, for cleaning up in the mornings? You are definitely on the right track, with your thinking. It's more than a lot of people would do. Your thinking of others is what keeps me returning to your site. Thank you, for that and sharing your information, and giving folks ideas, that you know will work for someone.


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