b'people as possible. But our helping was actually hurting. By housing so many people, we were hiding the cri-sis from our community. So we were allowing our community to not invest what it needed to in order to provide dignified, humane solutions. We decided were not going to do that anymore and began asking, Could we do it differently and still get as many folks in off the streets? There must be a better way I moved into the director of strate- gic initiatives position, with the specific purpose of finding prop-erty and building a new building. Our team traveled around the country, vis- The cubbies actually took the iting 15 cities and 25 different shel- longest to figure out, but theyre a ters. We saw a lot facilities facing thecritical part of the design. They have same challenges that we had. But weelectricity so people can store and didnt see enough innovation.charge their phones, and its specifi-Around the same time, I was doingWe want to changecally put by the head of the bed. We a home remodeling project, hopingthe way that sheltersworked on it for a year and a half. In to build a bunk room for my six kids.the end, we literally designed a build-I started researching bunk beds andprovide beds toing around those beds. Lockers are found some that had stairs to go upbuilt into the bedframe so people can and down. So the team began brain- individuals. Its not store their belongings safely but still storming how we could have durablea forprofit venture;have them nearby. We added walls beds with stairs instead of ladders.and a built-in charging station for We put together a design team thatits a change venture. each guest to know they are in a safe, included a project engineer, a boatrestful place here at EGM. designer from our board, and a formerThe beds are made with pre-sealed NASA engineer. The stairs had to befurniture-grade wood. All seams are movable but secure; electrical neededsealed and caulked. We do monthly to be run through it; we needed to bemaintenance of spraying for bedbugs able to spray for bedbugs. Every bedand havent had an outbreak since. needed to give the exact same space toThe beds are even COVID-19 every person. The beds needed to havecompliant, as the aisle keeps people stairs and a handrail.six feet apart. \x02JULY/AUGUST 2021 WWW.CITYGATENETWORK.ORG 37'