Giving Shelter: Re-examining the Traditional Approach to Addressing Housing Instability


An Alternative to Shelters

Found all over the world, homeless shelters are a common resource for those faced with housing stability issues.  However, people in need of long-term housing solutions are sometimes hesitant to utilize this option because of their many drawbacks, including lack of safety, availability, and overcrowding.  Luckily, there are advocates that are not satisfied with the status quo and have begun reimagining what short and long-term solutions to homelessness loos like.  

Sleep Trailers

Sleep trailers are a new idea that has been prototyped and is close to being implemented within the United States. Sleep trailers, as the name implies, create a temporary housing solution out of a pull-behind, portable trailer.  These portable pods, inspired by Japanese sleeping pods, aim to give the homeless a safe place to sleep and keep their belongings. However, these units do more than that.  They give individuals who experience housing issues a sense of security and hope that may have previously been difficult.

The idea to bring the concept of individual sleeping pods to America to address homelessness was spearheaded by Sleep Trailer, LLC founder Jason Christensen over five years ago.  After a few years of brainstorming, engineering, and financing, Jason began implementing his ideas into reality in 2021. 

With a secure window, door, and drain, people are able to get a safe and secure night’s sleep, as well as a place to store their belongings during the day while they tend to the daily tasks that are difficult to accomplish when homeless.  

While sleep trailers are not meant to be a permanent solution for the nation’s homeless population, they are meant to provide many of the basic elements that those suffering from a lack of housing stability face.    

If you are interested in learning more or donating to this cause, please visit their website at

Transition Housing Programs

In addition to Sleep Trailers, LLC., organizations like Transition Housing Programs (THP) in Morris County, New Jersey, are working to help those in need of housing develop more permanent solutions. 

THP has ten furnished apartments accessible to families lacking permanent residence. It is aimed at helping families whose adult members are employed but unable to secure permanent housing for whatever reason. It is an intermediate step to a much brighter future. 

At the THP, case managers are provided to support and offer a variety of workshops to develop and strengthen skills in areas such as budgeting, parenting, and employment. Their goal has been to provide people with the safety and comfort of a home to feel safe when working hard to get back on their feet.

For more information on the Transitional Housing Program, you can visit:

Just a Start

These two examples are not meant to be an exhaustive list of homelessness solutions, nor are they meant to provide a holistic solution to a very complex societal issue.  Instead, these examples are provided to show that we, as a society, must employ a variety of solutions and resources to address a serious problem.

To see how you can take the first step to help address the many issues inherent in the homeless crisis, go to and find an organization near you to support, o r better yet, volunteer your time at.  

Works Cited

National Coalition for the Homeless. (2009, July). Mental Illness and Homelessness – National Coalition for the Homeless. National Coalition for the Homelessness. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from 

Solution for Homelessness. Sleep Trailers. (2022, June 1). Retrieved August 17, 2022, from 

Transitional Housing Program: Homeless solutions. Homeless Solutions |. (2020, October 8). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from