World leader in innovative and proven designs for low-cost transitional shelter.


World Shelters is working on family shelter programming for Sendai, Japan, in partnership with Kaigai Aviotech. We continue to participate in ongoing relief projects in Haiti. See below for updates. We welcome your inquiries.

All donations at this time will be allocated to help provide shelter in Haiti and Japan.


In Memory Of Steve Hall and Bill James

World Shelters has been affected recently by some personal losses. Steve Hall, first cousin of Executive Director Bruce LeBel and long-time World Shelters supporter, died suddenly on March 21st. Bill James, father of WS Board President Roger James and also a loyal World Shelters supporter, passed away on March 18th. Both Robyn Hall and Loretta James request that donations to World Shelters be made in lieu of gifts or flowers. We are thankful and honored by their generosity, and believe that both Steve and Bill would be happy that remembrances are being made in such a loving and charitable way. Your donations will be used to help people rebuild their lives, and to alleviate the suffering of those in dire need of shelter and basic comforts. Thank you to those of you donating, to Robyn and Loretta, and to Steve and Bill for all of their gifts over the years. They will be greatly missed.

Japan Project Update – April 24th, 2011

World Shelters made great progress in the last few weeks, creating a proposal that meets the criteria set by the Japanese government for transitional shelter. Lots of time and hard work has been put in by our design and engineering teams in order to create the best possible product. World Shelters is very fortunate to be working closely with Kaigai Aviotech, an important leader in the field of avionics in both the US and Japan for over 40 years. Kaigai now represents World Shelters in Japan and will be presenting our collaborative proposal for 1,000, 5,000, or 10,000 shelters for qualification by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation this coming week.

The 2DK TShel2 has been designed with Japan’s specific environmental and cultural needs in mind. Here are some significant features of our shelter design:

· withstands significant wind and snow loads

· is a two-story structure that can house twice as many people on the same amount of land as a one-story

· has modular capabilities to increase the size of the shelter if needed

· has telescoping steel anchors that easily allow for placement on hills.

· features an entryway, sliding doors, and other cultural modifications in order to make inhabitants feel as comfortable as possible in their new homes.

World Shelters needs and welcomes donations now to provide well-designed transitional shelters for people in Japan displaced by the earthquake and tsunami. We offer our sincere gratitude to everyone supporting our efforts at this critical time.

Japan Project Update – March 31st, 2011

Following the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, World Shelters has begun looking for and working with partners to help provide safe and reliable transitional shelter to those in need across the Pacific. Because of strict Japanese building codes and ingrained cultural standards of living, we have determined that the rectangular TranShel and TShel2 are the best matched shelters for this situation. After being approached by Kyoto International University, we have begun an initiative in concert with their organization to supply 1,000 TranShel family shelters. We are still working out the details, but hopefully this project is moving forward quickly in order to get those families into adequate shelter as soon as possible. We are also working on a second initiative with a Japanese logistics company who are very interested in providing large numbers of the TShel2, but again, the details are still coming together. Thank to to those of you who have donated – your support makes our work possible and greatly helps those in need of true transitional homes.

Haiti Relief Project Update – March 31st, 2011

Domes at the Eden Garden Orphanage
Domes at the Eden Garden Orphanage

We have a number of projects currently in place or developing on the ground in Haiti. The first is a partnership with ACTS World Relief, where we were able to provide two 44 ft. diameter steel frame domes with tropical-grade covers and solar-powered vents as well as U-Dome 200s and U-Dome 120s for use by the Eden Garden Orphanage. The site is up and running on Highway 1, just north of Port-Au-Prince, and we look forward to hearing more about how they are putting our domes to great use. World Shelters has also donated two 44 ft. diameter steel frame domes with tropical-grade covers and solar-powered vents to Mercy Corps, to be used on the ground in Haiti. Together these domes provide over 3,000 square feet of space and have a usable life of 10-12 years. We have also provided them with two of our regular U-Dome 120s. These domes will all be used for a new agricultural community that Mercy Corps is helping to organize, with the two large domes most likely being used as a school and clinic. World Shelters can’t wait to see these domes in action! We also have a field demonstration model of the TShel2 up and available for viewing in the Delmas 33 camp. Hopefully this model can be used to show the space-saving and safety attributes of a 2-story raised platform transitional shelter. World Shelters continues to maintain a presence in Haiti and is optimistic about the possibility of increasing that presence in the future with the right support.

Haiti Relief Project Update – March 16th, 2011

Working To Build A Sustainable 10-Unit TShel2 Settlement

World Shelters, in coordination with the Uber Shelter field team, is working to lease a privately-owned parcel of land in a Haitian neighborhood where we hope to erect 10 TShel2s. The lot is currently covered in trash and rubble, but with the innovative raised design of the TShel2 most of that rubble would not need to be moved in order to start building shelters. Each shelter only requires six small holes to be dug where the load-rated footings are anchored in concrete. In addition to building TShel2s on this lot World Shelters hopes to supplement them with solar panels, composting toilets, and water harvesters. These three basic additions will increase the quality of life as well as the safety of inhabitants exponentially, and all three can be added for less than the cost of the shelter itself.

For many families in Haiti the home is a woman’s workplace. In order to provide for and support her family, many women must endure harrowing and dangerous situations on a daily basis. The IDP camps harbor a constant threat of violent gangs and numerous instances of sexual violence have been reported, with undoubtedly many more going unreported or unnoticed. Even going to wait in line for clean water carries a risk to personal safety. If a woman can provide for herself and/or her family with electricity and a water tank in the home, not to mention the health and sanitation improvements a composting toilet will bring, there is a much greater opportunity for her to keep herself and, by extension, her children out of harm’s way. It also allows for the possibility of women working outside the home if they are not constantly tied down doing chores, allowing them to be productive members of the larger community as well.

If World Shelters was to build a 10-house settlement on this lot, it would create a true community where neighbors could support each other and allow for greater productivity among the settlement as a whole. Residents living in a more permanent neighborhood have greater opportunity to form personal connections and relationships with each other, which it is fair to say increases happiness in the long-term as well as providing possible reciprocal support such as babysitting or communal meals. Each family would need to be at least minimally productive in order to pay the small monthly rental fee, which encourages growth and development not only within the community but in Haiti as a whole, where productive workers are what is going to get the country heading in the right direction. Our plan also looks towards the future, with the Haitian land-owner taking ownership of the 10 units after 36 months so that the entire settlement becomes self-supporting. World Shelters Executive Director Bruce LeBel says, “If the shelter and land (and accessories like water harvesting) can be provided at a monthly price that productive workers can afford to pay, then there’s no need for government grants or agency donations or other largesse.” Our goal is to create an environment where inhabitants can provide for themselves in an economically sustainable manner by nurturing and encouraging productivity. World Shelters is currently in discussions with the Haitian land-owner and developing financing, but is hopeful that this great opportunity will be able to come to fruition.

Haiti Relief Project Update – March 19, 2010

With the generous support of Pacific Domes and hundreds of other donors, World Shelters was able to ship 7,000 square feet of shelter to Haiti last month to meet the expressed needs of Doctors without Borders (Medicins san Frontieres- MSF) and Hopital Adventiste / ACTS World Relief.

All relief agencies working in support of Haiti have experienced daunting logistical challenges, including the very complex issue of land clearance. World Shelters’ shipment for Doctors without Borders is currently in Haiti awaiting site clearance. The shipment for ACTS World Relief is currently in Florida awaiting transport to Haiti. For more information on the difficulties of land clearance and logistics within Haiti, please see this Associated Press article.

Due to these issues, the World Shelters team has not yet departed for Haiti. As soon as our partner agencies have resolved the issues of land clearance for these installations, we will send our team to erect these structures. The rainy season typically begins on April 1 and we want to provide these facilities as soon as possible. We are working closely with our partnering agencies in order to obtain the necessary land clearance and complete these projects for medical installations as expeditiously as possible.

World Shelters has submitted proposals for over 20,000 family shelters in response to multiple agencies’ requests for proposals. Currently little to no land in Haiti is available for siting any of these projects.

As new developments arise, we will be updating the World Shelters website with this new information.


World Shelters Reaches Final Stage of $100,000 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

World Shelters has reached the final stage of competition in the renowned Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

World Shelters’ entry “Sheltering U.S. Persons Unsheltered: Creating Legally Conforming, Economically Sustainable Emergency and Transitional Shelter” is one of 30 entries (out of 215) to advance to the final stage of competition for the $100,000 prize.

The competition honors Buckminster Fuller’s life intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.” (www.bfi.org)

Read more…


World Shelters’ Initiatives to Haiti.

(click on the link in each section for more extensive document)

Trauma Center, Surgery Suite and Patient Care for Haiti

Doctors in the field lack appropriate facilitiestraumacenter_elevationtraumacenter_xs to treat patients forcing them to perform operations in unsanitary conditions.

The World Shelters Trauma Center provides 3,000 sq. ft. of enclosed space

This “Field Hospital in a Box” includes cots for 40 patients, a water purification system, power, lighting, fans, refrigeration for meds/vaccines, all together this would create an equipped, sanitary environment for medical procedures.

TranShel Transitional Shelters

transheltertranshelter2The TranShel transitional shelter, developed to the standards of the Transitional Shelter Consortium, provides both a core house with adaptability into long-term shelter. Through local adaptations and additive construction supported by in-country field programming TranShel can be altered according to cultural context. A family of five can be sheltered per Sphere standards in this 3×6 meter frameless, hard-panel structure complete with door, two opening screened windows and multiple vents. The 18m2 World Shelters TranShel is rapidly available in large volumes, and beyond the initial shelter can create construction jobs through complementary field programming.

JAS – “Just Add Sticks” Transitional Shelter

transhelter_jas_2

transhelter_jas

This inexpensive, versatile frame connector system, when used in conjunction with local or delivered bamboo, roofing and wall membranes, provides 18m2 of covered space. Simple assembly of familiar “3-4-5” truss-roof frame modular design allows World Shelters JAS to be made in multiple sizes.

Gabions: wire-frame boxes for building walls

gabionRubble in Haiti is an insurmountable problem. Building materials are scarce. World Shelters Gabions converts the problem of rubble into a resource for constructing walls and retaining walls. Using galvanized 11-gauge welded wire mesh, measuring 2’ x 2’ x 6’, Gabions utilize rubble to create solid walls a family shelter. After initial container load deliveries, World Shelters sees the opportunity to begin production of gabions in Haiti.


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Haiti: Relief, Rebuilding and Recovery

webhait2The devastation from the January 12 earthquake in Haiti is horrific. Loss of life and survivors’ injuries are at an unprecedented scale for this region. The extent of building collapse and damage will soon become clearer but is extremely widespread. A significant percentage of homes and commercial/municipal buildings will need to be rebuilt – “built back better”. Many thousands of Haitian families are now without shelter. Beyond the immediate imperative to rescue and provide medical care, food and water for survivors, assistance to Haiti must further the longer-term goals of rebuilding and recovery.

webhaiti4Though it has been less than one day since the earthquake as we write this, World Shelters and our collaborating partners are actively developing our projects and evaluating needs based on assessments from the field. Your support of World Shelters’ Haitian relief efforts will provide a maximum value in context-appropriate shelter that will help make the transition towards permanent housing “built back better”.

Please click on the link below to see our more extensive write-up.

Haiti: Relief, Rebuilding and Recovery


We Make and Give Shelter

World Shelters designs, produces, and delivers structures for both emergency response and long-term humanitarian needs. Our shelters are low-cost, durable, flame-retardant, and designed for ease of assembly and transport.

We Help Communities

World Shelters values coordinated, collaborative efforts of individuals and organizations for rebuilding communities. Many of our neighbors on this small planet lack basic shelter due to natural disaster, war or economic conditions. When the struggle for survival is reduced, people can more effectively contribute to their local and our global communities. Giving shelter is an investment in civilization as well as an act of kindness and caring.

We Need Your Support

World Shelters is a non-profit 501(c)(3) California based manufacturer and volunteer organization. Our innovative structures apply proven technologies to create temporary and transitional shelters for humanitarian relief. Our work is supported by private donations, sponsors, grants and purchases of our shelters.

We provide secure online credit card donating through PayPal.

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