The first project Regeneristas worked on in response to the housing and homelessness crisis, was shelter in the form of tents. The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Wildfires displaced thousands. A shelter solution that was scalable and could be produced with local labor and parts was needed and Regeneristas responded.
Together with a team of local sewists, Kibogear produced a model of tent custom designed for living outdoors in our wet rainy and often windy winters, large enough to stand in comfortably and feel at home in. The initial prototype design was slightly larger in size than a Conestoga hut and only a fraction of the weight. We set it up at Park Blocks and invited the community to see.
Kibogear’s founder, Thomas Holden, is no stranger to tent design. In Tanzania, he designed models for use on commercial Kilimanjaro expeditions. The tents were designed for 60 mph winds and heavy snow using superlight materials. There was a rule on porter weights (not exceeding 20kg (33lbs). His largest tent (9′ x 27′) weighed under 33lbs. They can be easily transporte by bicycle.
He sent the video produced below back home to his friends to tell them about the project.
Safe Sleep Sites
The Eugene City Council on Wednesday, April 28, approved an ordinance to create more safe and lawful places for people to sleep. The ordinance allows for the temporary establishment of “safe parking” and “safe tent” sites that could provide options for individuals to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents.
These sites will accommodate a larger number of vehicles or tents than previously allowed by code, up to 60 vehicles or up to 40 tents. The sites will be managed by social service providers who will be responsible for compliance with rules and community agreements, monitoring who is allowed to be on-site, coordinating ongoing site infrastructure needs, being accessible and responsive to neighbor concerns, and coordinating with the City and other partners.
We are working on a proposal for a new model with the City of Eugene Unhoused Response team using our tents that uses recycled materials and local labor in their production.
built by the community for the community
Regeneristas is working with Connected Lane County and Mitra, a designer and instructor for a commercial sewing course to explore opportunities to support workforce development in the textile industry for youth in our community. Constructing the tent fly here locally, as well as any platforms, could provide jobs and skill building where it is in demand here in Lane County.
We are working with Pastor Gabe Piechowicz and Everyone Church to include our tents in a larger, planned community model. He is helping to lead a vision towards an inclusive village model inspired by Community First Village in Austin that uses these tents in small neighborhood pods, along with the tiny-houses-on-wheels and refurbished RVs produced by partner Carry it Forward. Given the shortage of lumber and inadequacy of our current housing and shelter capacity, these attainable housing and sheltering models are what we must consider to meet the scale and scope of the need in Lane County.
Having a reliable and economical heat source is essential in considerations around using tents in the Winter. We are very interested in the Rocket Stove Radiant Heat System designed by local innovator John Zielinksi. It can provide continuous heat and keep people warm in their tents, heats greenhouses and work spaces, and provides hot water for kitchen, and showers.