Toronto Carpenter Builds Shelters for Homeless Community

Khaleel Seivwright, a Toronto carpenter, is building tiny mobile insulated shelters for those experiencing homelessness and that may be forced to live outside this winter.

"It just seemed like something I could do that would be useful because there's so many people staying in tents," said Seivwright in a CBC article. "I've never seen so many people staying outside in parks, and this is something I could do to make sure people staying outside in the winter could survive."

The structure he designed is lined with a thick layer of fiberglass insulation. It has a small door, window and spinning caster wheels at each corner of the base. It costs $1000 in building material and eight hours to construct. Seivwright has been donating his time and started a GoFundMe Page to raise money for materials.

With an already strained shelter system, advocates warn that this winter could be catastrophic for Toronto’s homeless community.

"As shelters are usually at capacity at some point in the winter in Toronto and also because of this coronavirus, making space to allow for social distancing will put even more strain on Toronto's capacity," writes the carpenter on his campaign page.

Seivwright’s campaign has already surpassed its initial $20,000 goal. Seivwright plans to use the money to purchase more materials and to rent a larger garage space where he can build the shelters.

Seivwright sees the shelters as a safe, temporary alternative for people who would otherwise be sleeping in tents or under tarps and blankets. He's so far dropped off two of the shelters in out-of-the-way locations around Toronto, according to a CBC article.

"This isn't a permanent solution. This is just making sure people don't die in the cold this winter," Seivwright said.

One small act can make one big difference in a day, in a life.