The Tent Project

The first project Regeneristas worked on in response to the housing and homelessness crisis, was shelter in the form of tents. The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 Wildfires displaced thousands. A shelter solution that was scalable and could be produced with local labor and parts was needed and Regeneristas responded.

Together with a team of local sewists, Thomas produced a model custom designed for living outdoors in our wet rainy and often windy winters. The prototype was slightly larger in size than a Conestoga hut and only a fraction of the weight. We set it up at Park Blocks and invited the community to see.

Photo by Sarah Koski.

Thomas is no stranger to tent design. In Tanzania, he designed models for use on commercial Kilimanjaro expeditions. The tents were designed for 60 mph winds and heavy snow using superlight materials. There was a rule on porter weights (not exceeding 20kg (33lbs). His largest tent (9′ x 27′) weighed under 33lbs – still extremely light considering the size.

Video by John Quetzalcoatl Murray (in Swahili with English subtitles)

Today we are working with the City of Eugene Unhoused Response team and with Connected Lane County to explore opportunities to support workforce development in the textile industry for youth in our community.

The Eugene City Council on Wednesday, April 28, approved an ordinance to create more safe and lawful places for people to sleep. The ordinance allows for the temporary establishment of “safe parking” and “safe tent” sites that could provide options for individuals to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents. These sites will accommodate a larger number of vehicles or tents than previously allowed by code, up to 60 vehicles or up to 40 tents. The sites will be managed by social service providers who will be responsible for compliance with rules and community agreements, monitoring who is allowed to be on-site, coordinating ongoing site infrastructure needs, being accessible and responsive to neighbor concerns, and coordinating with the City and other partners.

We see great synergies with this project and Bent Spoke Outreach. We hope our design and approach will be considered for this program.

John Zielinski shares an innovative heating system for the tents using a rocket stove.

On June 28th, we met with Heidi from Connected Lane County and Mitra, a designer and instructor for a commercial sewing course. We discussed the possibility of working together to construct the tent fly here locally, as well as any platforms and were enthusiastic about our opportunities.