In Gothenburg, Sweden, you can book a stay in, say …
a city park or empty paper mill,
an abandoned café or a dark corner of a fishing wharf.
Mind you, it was only about 20°F in Gothenburg last week.
These accommodations are all about empathy, not luxury.
Gothenberg, Sweden’s second largest city, has about 3,400 homeless people within its limits, and Swedish advertising agency Forsman and Bodenfors is determined to chip away at that number using an unusual tactic:
Faktum Hotels. (And you thought this post was leading into something to do with April Fools Day.)
“We have chosen 10 of the places where the homeless might spend the night and made it possible for you to book a place. Just like any hotel,” explains the F&B website. “You can book for yourself or as a gift for somebody else. Either way, the money goes to our work for homeless and socially vulnerable people.”
Personally, I’m partial to Room Number One. For about 15 bucks, you get to nestle into a well-worn sleeping bag in a private grove of Haga Park …
Okay, let’s get real.
If the notion of packing your jammies for a night on a park bench makes you shudder, rest assured.
Faktum Hotels are actually an elaborate work of fiction, but the idea is catchy, and the mission has a heart.
“Faktum Hotels are not real hotels where you can book real hotel accommodations. It’s a smart way to support Gothenburg’s street newspaper, Faktum,” the Faktum founders who are using the money for a good cause confess. “We provide those most in need with an occupation. This helps them to take a step towards a more structured life, as the work involves responsibility, routine, and the opportunity for a positive social exchange—things that are vitally important when trying to find somewhere to live. Or build a life, for that matter.”
Do you think this sort of scheme would fly here in the U.S.?