Churches have long welcomed people in times of need. Recently, however, the law has gotten in the way. In 2008, for example, 22 churches in New York City were asked to stop giving beds to homeless people since they couldn’t stay open at least five days a week. Part of the reason many church-based shelters can’t stay open, of course, is because of a lack of funds. But what if the cost of maintaining beds could be reduced?
That’s where this church pew/bed combo, designed by Curro Claret, comes in. Inspired by churches in the past that have remained open for 24 hours a day to house pilgrims, war victims, and the homeless, Curro’s bed is actually more like a table that can fit an entire human body.
It doesn’t look too comfortable, but we see a number of advantages compared to traditional beds. Churches would have a much easier time with maintenance (no washing layers of sheets, dealing with broken beds), problems with bed bugs could be reduced (again, no sheets or mattress), and capacity could be increased since every pew converts to a bed. With disaster on many of our minds, Claret’s pews seem both timely and necessary.