Open-Source Blueprints Encourage Building Tent-Safe Heaters for Unhoused People

A Portland, Oregon-based entity known as HeaterBloc has released open-source blueprints with easy-to-follow instructions (in various languages) on building tent-safe heaters to distribute to people living without adequate shelter. Made with affordable and accessible components, they can be used for heating and cooking, and cost about $7 each to put together. The units are safe for use inside tents and other forms of shelter for hours, and if they are tipped over, the flame burns out and “with proper ventilation, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is minimal because isopropyl alcohol combusts cleanly.” The collective encourages people to build these heaters and give them away, telling VICE’s Motherboard, “Seeing the community that’s sprung up around this need and seeing people take real action to help houseless communities stay warm all over the country is incredible because this is literally saving people’s lives. That’s all that really matters.” While it doesn’t solve the issues that contribute to houselessness in the US, the project is helping those in need—and proving that we need to work as a community, rather than relying on the current, failing system. HeaterBloc members say, “Our desire would be that HeaterBloc would no longer be a need. Society would accept and care for all of its members, acknowledging that housing is a human right rather than just a luxury.” Read more about the collective (which accepts Venmo donations @HeaterBloc) and its mission at VICE.

Image courtesy of @javscatte