Railroad Containers Become Facility for Homeless

Flagler College

Seeing Opportunities

Each day walking to and from school the members of the Flagler College Enactus team witnessed homelessness. Seeing that something had to be done but wanting to do more than just give these individuals a one-time hand out, the team embarked on a project to develop a transitional housing facility. They learned that 800,000 shipping containers enter Jacksonville each year and 30% are left to rust in salvage yards.

Taking Action

Seeing it would be more cost effective to give these containers away than to store them, the team went to work to convert at least 15 of these containers for this facility. Flagler Enactus’ plan also included employing discharged inmates and creating a vocational training program that would teach plumbing, electrical work, insulation and construction as these individuals transform the containers into homes. The Containers for a Cause is well under way with several containers already purchased or donated to provide housing for approximately 28 residents.

Enabling Progress

The project is estimated to save the community an average of $16,282 annually per person by reducing the use of incarceration facilities, shelters and public health services. The Containers for a Cause project is providing more than just sustenance, it is giving the homeless gainful and steady employment, the tools to become self-reliant and a place to live with the support they need.