Discussions about the plight of the homeless usually ignore the issue of sustainability, and there are certainly more pressing concerns to be addressed when someone is in crisis. Our guest, Zac Clark of the HomeMore Project, has developed a comprehensive approach to helping the more than 10,000 homeless people in San Francisco escape from living on the street.

The project includes a novel, solar-powered backpack made of recycled plastic, the Makeshift Traveler, which he describes as a “temporary form of aid” that can help keep the individual connected to society, family, services, and new homes. The Makeshift Traveler provides solar power, a battery, and charging ports for devices that can potentially connect them to job opportunities. Using recycled materials make this interesting, but as we’ve talked about on the show many times, there are millions of dollars worth of recyclables scattered across many cities and the digital features of the Makeshift Traveler could connect homeless people looking for a living to assist them in making their first steps to organizing an income.

Zac Clark, founder of the HomeMore Project
Zac Clark, founder of the HomeMore Project, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

We’ve talked on our podcast about the role of “trash picking” in countries with high recycling recovery rates. Zac addresses whether there are ethical ways in San Francisco — which has one of the most advanced recycling systems in the U.S. — to enable the homeless to begin to earn a living and contribute to reducing waste headed for landfills. You can learn more about the HomeMore Project at https://thehomemoreproject.org/

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at Earth911.com and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.