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  1. #11
    Senior Member Jakerock's Avatar
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    I also commend the idea, but wonder about the viability of such an idea simply because there really isnt anyplace in an urban environment to hang a hammock and tarp that wont attract attention, which is not what you want when you are 'staying' someplace that you arent supposed to. In my opinion bivy-bags would be a whole lot more on task for this.

  2. #12
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dawg (ret) View Post
    One sad fact of life is many of the homeless have serious substance abuse issues and a mistake in insulation could be deadly...needs to be virtually dumb proof.
    Actually, I think the insulation is the easiest part of this. Check out this article about a man who makes coats for the homeless using newspaper as insulation. He claims they're good for 15 below zero.

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/articl...t_for_Homeless

    So as long as the hammock was a double you could fill the space with newspaper. I've also read threads here on HF where people toss leaves or pine needles into the space, and you can also toss clothes.

    The Clark Jungle Hammock design, with its insulating pockets, is the first thing that came to mind when I started thinking about this. The pockets can be used for storage or insulation or both. Makes me want to buy a Clark Jungle Hammock!

  3. #13
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    Now when I was "on the road" as a teenager, and hitchiked over most of the US and down into Mexico...this would have been solid gold. I almost never slept in town...usually an abandoned building, culvert, or wooded spot with some cover.

  4. #14
    Senior Member wyleone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Now when I was "on the road" as a teenager, and hitchiked over most of the US and down into Mexico...this would have been solid gold. I almost never slept in town...usually an abandoned building, culvert, or wooded spot with some cover.
    That brings up a point that most treat homeless as one category when there are different types of homeless. Some people can't fend for themselves, some choose to be "homeless" or on the road. In some instances, it may be suitable.

  5. #15
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    The first thing I thought about with this idea of a homeless hammock is probably the first we all think of: urban environments don't have a lot of trees. Why is that? What could we possibly gain from annihilating trees from our cities and neighborhoods when they provide so many benefits to us like clean air, shade, insulation, etc.

    When I first moved to NJ, I couldn't believe how few trees there are here in the cities. The town where I live now has 3000 residents and is a square mile, but there are some streets with hardly any trees.

    I saw one gentleman cutting down a huge oak tree in his yard. It must have been 100 years old. "Why are you cutting the tree down?" I asked. He had his reasons, which left me shaking my head. Reasons like, "I'm too old to rake," and "Oak trees are trash trees. They trash my yard with a bunch of acorns," and "if I get rid of the tree, I get rid of the acorns, and all the critters like squirrels that invade my yard" and "I'll finally be able to have a proper front lawn now that the shade is gone." Sheesh.

    So if the only thing that makes the homeless hammock idea not very viable is "lack of trees in urban environments," then the solution is "we need more trees in urban environments." And to think, a homeless hammock could actually promote that idea! That's an interesting synergy.

    More trees, however, is a long-term solution 'cause they take a while to grow. The short-term solution on how to suspend a hammock affordably in an urban environment remains, but one solution that comes to mind came from Tank in a recent thread on urban hangers:



    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ighlight=urban



    Parking garages! They seem ideal for hammock hanging. Tank's picture looks like every parking garage I've ever seen and there are lots of places to hang. Look at all those poles in Tank's picture, almost perfectly spaced for hammock hanging!

    If there's one thing urban environments have a lot of, it's parking garages. And if you hang a hammock in a parking garage, you don't even need a tarp. And HF members love to multipurpose, so it's a parking garage by day, and a homeless hammock shelter by night. Gets the homeless off the street.

  6. #16
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    Parking garages nearly always mean brightly lit...and often patrolled by security or police who typically aren't overly willing to let homeless folks sleep in them.

    That's why you hardly ever actually see a homeless person sleeping in them.

    There's hardly any place that people will LET you sleep. That's why it's abandoned buildings where you can sneak in, alleys or rooftops where people don't know that you're there, or you have to find someplace with trees or cover of some kind that people don't like to go.

    Note that you almost never actually see homeless people sleeping in garages, parks, backyards, or areas where people pass through commonly. They're booted out as quick as they arrive.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Note that you almost never actually see homeless people sleeping in garages, parks, backyards, or areas where people pass through commonly. They're booted out as quick as they arrive.
    That, and they are insanely cold during winter! All that concrete forms, basically, an ice chest that locks in the cold.

    I too, think this is a noble idea, but I don't believe it is practical. Think about how folks already think hammocks are destructive. With all the states out there banning their use in State Parks. Heck, in the Denver metro area, you can't even put a stake in the ground in the parks without 15 gumball machines (police cruisers) showing up to tell you to remove it. I'd hate to have SWAT called in the event I actually tied something to a tree!

    I also agree that given the general state of mental health among the homeless, there would almost certainly be injuries to both persons and structures. There is one other thing. Have you ever approached a sleeping homeless person? I pretended to be homeless in college for a Sociology paper for two weeks. First of all, it totally sucked! Second, the few times I did walk up on a sleeping person, they awoke startled and bolted. I get the feeling mobility is a priority for most of them and I doubt a hammock would factor it too well to their game plan.

    Now then, if you could convince someone to donate a couple of acres of land just outside of 'town' and populate that space with hammocks for the homeless, it might be viable. Then again, they like the cities because that's where the greatest amount of waste can be found and the occasional good-natured person who is willing to hand over a few extra pennies.

    I like the thought behind this, but I don't think it would be practical for the folks and lifestyle we are talking about. I think about this very topic every single time I drive down Speer Blvd here in Denver. Breaks my heart to see the weakest of us all...just abandoned, and wish I could do more, but hammocks don't seem to be the answer.
    Trust nobody!

  8. #18

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    I agree with the spirit of the idea, which I personally feel is pretty noble, but I also agree with the practical limitations. I know we all love to get off the ground, but it seems like the ground is a more viable option in this case. I bet we could put the DIY brains on this site towards some sort of inexpensive insulated pad/bivy combo that could be more portable and useful in a wider range of situations. The ability to set up quickly and in many locations seems to be of utmost importance. Stealth camping is also pretty important. If the bivy was good enough, it could really hold in heat on those cold nights, adding additional insulation in the form of cheap polyester or found items? I wish I was more creative enough to actually come up with something.

    As a side note, I can't see how anything related to this discussion could possibly "promote the activity" of being homeless. Just my two cents.

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