Thursday, March 30, 2006

Classic Shelter

In light of One Small Project, I thought I'd post this. By now, you're probably familiar with that little refugee shack that housed many weary San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake in large encampments, while some of the plywood homes were dispersed through out different neighborhoods. 5,610 of them were originally built, most have been demolished, though, some others still remain unedetected today.

John King writes for the SF Chron, "The charge was $2 per month per shack; for $12 to $25 the shack could be moved to private property as families resettled their land. By the summer of 1908, the refugee camps were history and shacks were scattered across the landscape."
One of the surviving shacks, however, is on display downtown as part of the 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire Expo 2006, which will also accompany a larger and quite fascinating event coming up in a couple of weeks, the 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference.
I hope the public stops for a moment and considers the significance of the shack. Millions are dying homeless around the world and would kill for that one shelter alone. And, maybe the American public should keep the notion of refugee camps and disaster shelters a little more fresh in their minds, becuase the next century is certainly looking like it is going to be one hell of a ride.
We may all, if we're lucky enough, be living in one of those anitiquated disaster shelters one day, so be prepared and show your support now.

[Images snagged from this SF Chron article, March 30,2006]

Also see: Habitat for the Homeless | Katrina Cottage


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