The Conestoga Hut Micro-Shelter is a quick shelter option for individuals and couples who are experiencing homelessness. The Hut is designed as a hard-shelled, insulated tent structure that can be built with a group of a few volunteers with a wide-range of construction experience.
Key features of the standard Conestoga Hut are:
- 60 sq. ft. of interior space
- 20 sq. ft. of covered porch space with rain-fly option
- Overall dimensions are 6’ wide by 14’ long by roughly 8 ft tall (inside height is approx. 6’ from floor to ceiling)
- Lockable Door (30” wide) and Window (2’X3’)
- Insulated floor, walls, and roof
- Modular design that can be assembled, disassembled, and refurbished
- Simple design uses a minimum of materials to achieve a safe, temporary shelter option
- Interior materials are mold resistant
Conestoga Huts at the Overnight Sleeping Center in Walla Walla, WA built by the Alliance for the Homeless using the Conestoga Hut construction manual.
Conestoga Huts are not designed to keep people as warm as one would experience in a conventional style dwelling, though they are warmer and more substantial than sleeping in a recreational tent or unprotected in the elements. CSS general philosophy is that we provide shelters that offer a basic level of security and relief to people, in a timely manner, that are cost-effective and durable. If a person sleeps outside in freezing weather without any protection they are at risk of frost bite and losing limbs, but within a sleeping bag within a Conestoga Hut one will be warm enough to avoid personal damage from inclement weather.
“I had heard about the Huts, had seen them from a distance but I had never been in one. Once I got it, I was like, ‘Wow, this is like a castle.’ It really is. Just to be able to stand up in the morning, simple things like that, it really is a Godsend. As simple as it it’s built, I thought, ‘Wow, this could really go a long way, to help a lot of people.'”
— Patrick, former hut resident