Turning Plastic into Shelter. How Josh Griffin Plans to Help the Homeless

Josh Griffin from Winnipeg, Manitoba is looking to make a difference. “Growing up my family didn’t have a lot. What we did have were the reminders that you should help those around you that need it. We were also taught to remember there are others worse off than yourself,” says Griffin.

After seeing people around the city who were homeless, Griffin decided to take action. “Seeing this… it didn’t make any sense to me, and I decided something needed to be done. We can’t just sit back and wait for our government and politicians to try and fix the problem. We need to work together and find solutions for our communities.”

It was after he arrived home from a vacation, that Griffin had the idea of creating shelters for the homeless from recycled plastic. “My brother has been living in Bali, Indonesia for about 10 years. I was able to go visit him, and while I was there I witnessed just how big of a problem plastic pollution is. There is plastic everywhere–in the ocean and on the beaches. When I came back to Canada I started researching how to turn plastic waste into building materials to make homes.”

Turning to GoFundMe, Griffin set up a page and his goal, explaining everything that is needed to create small portable shelters for those who need it most. “If I am able to receive enough funding, my goal is to create these shelters. They would be made from 100% recycled plastics and super easy to assemble. They could be set up temporarily at designated locations when needed, and they will be effective in providing some protection year-round. I would make them small in size, so each one would fit a single person. This could also help a little with giving personal space/separation during COVID.”

In order to create his idea, a shredder machine, an extrusion machine, an injector press, a compression press, and the moulds are needed. “I would also need to find a little heated workspace with electricity. I hope to connect with local groups that want to work together and make this a community effort. I’d also like to work with the city of Winnipeg (waste management). I have been in contact with a local metal fabricator over the past few days, we are planning to have a sit down soon to go over the design and get started on the first shredder machine.”

Once he is started, the amount of funds and/or plastic donations will determine how many small portable shelters can be made. Griffin will then reach out to local groups to help with placement locations of the small portable shelters. “I can easily see this same concept helping with pets/street animals that are freezing to death during our winter months,” says Griffin.

Giffin also explained that although he has never attempted to fundraise for a cause, he is committed to his idea. “I have never tried to fundraise for anything before, and I have no clue what to expect. But, I promise you that if I reach my goal and can get this started, I will be committed 24/7.”

As a way to thank those who donate, he will make recycled plastic ‘good karma’ keychains to send out to all donors.

Be sure to head over to Griffin’s Temporary Homeless Shelters GoFundMe page,, to help him raise his financial goal.

Remember, any donation can make a huge difference!

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