Lynn Boland and Eryk Hanut, along with four others, began Project Aqua to help fix a flaw in the services that the homeless in Las Vegas receive. They currently do a lot for local homeless people, but after receiving three EDAR units, have been looking for qualified candidates for them.
The EDAR units are from the Los Angeles-based non-profit Everyone Deserves a Roof. The mobile shelter units fill a void for lack of alternative shelters in Las Vegas. While there are shelters available, many are overcrowded. The EDAR unit allows the homeless to have a greater sense of mobility and safety. The EDAR is a compact portable housing unit on wheels. When it is not open, it folds into a cart for transport. Before Boland and Hanut got their hands on three units, they were only distributed in Los Angeles.
Due to the lack of alternative shelters located in Las Vegas for the homeless, Boland began to research solutions for the issue. It was then that she discovered EDAR and their mobile shelter units. The units were designed to provide a short-term, immediate shelter for homeless people who are reluctant to enter the shelter system. Each one costs around $500 to make. Boland reached out to the non-profit and found out that several outdated EDAR units were in storage. The nonprofit was willing to give up three of them to Boland.
Project Aqua currently has given away one EDAR unit away and is waiting to receive the other two. The first unit was given to 53-year old Erma Hernandez and she loves it.
Centerville Elementary in Urbana, Maryland has had an overcrowding problem for a while. To help relieve the problem, they are bringing in a portable building that will act as classrooms for the next school year.
The portable 12-classroom building is already being assembled and is known as the “Super Pod”. The building will total 14,000 square feet and will include lockers and restrooms. The portable building was previously at Lincoln Elementary during its renovations, but the Frederick County Board of Education decided last year that it would be moved to Centerville.
The building will also be outfitted with power, plumbing, and security measures such as an alarm system. The Super Pod cost around $150,000 when it was first purchased, but will cost upwards of $300,000 to take it down, reassemble it, and install all of its amenities.
Centerville Elementary Principal Stephen Raff said that the portable building will be used to house the school’s fourth and fifth grade classes. This will take about 280 of the 930 students from the main building and reduce some of the overcrowding. Centerville Elementary is currently operating at 137 percent capacity, so the portable building will at least be a temporary solution to the problem.
Centerville isn’t the only school in Urbana that is dealing with overcrowding. Many schools are also taking advantage of portable buildings to create more classrooms. A new elementary school is set to be built starting in 2015 to help permanently alleviate the overcrowding problem.
Recently, an explosion at a fertilizer plant killed and injured many people in West, Texas. The explosion reached the nearby middle school and high school. The middle school was reduced to rubble and the high school was deemed useless due to the damage it sustained. To try and get things back to normalcy, donations were being taken and portable buildings were built as classrooms for the children.
“As citizens of West we are all in this together. Long term Recovery will take several months to years. We are working non-stop to expedite processes and procedures for the health and safety of all our citizens.” – Mayor of West Tommy Muska
The nearby town of Kyle is lending a hand in getting the people of West back to normalcy. Over the weekend, Kyle residents showed up at city hall with loads of donations. Then Kyle Council Member Samantha Bellows-LeMense braved the traffic to West to deliver the supplies. They brought toiletries, trash bags, school supplies, blankets, non-perishable foods, Gatorade, and bottled water.
After the explosion, West was left with only one school campus, West Elementary School. In a race to get school back in session by Monday, the town was on a mission to collect school supplies for the students. The school would now also be serving fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. To help alleviate the crowding with all the new students, volunteers erected portable buildings that would act as extra classrooms.
When LeMense arrived at the school she walked the hallways giving out notebooks, pens, pencils, staplers, tape, folders, backpacks, and other much needed school supplies. After hearing that the school would be short on water, LeMense returned with a carload of bottled water.