Phoenix converts shipping containers into homeless shelter unit

As a way to combat the extreme heat's effects on the unsheltered, the City of Phoenix has converted four shipping containers into air-conditioned housing units at the Washington Relief Shelter.

Phoenix officials say it's a way to offer "more independent residents shelter in a more private setting."

The new modular unit, called the "XWing", is designed in the shape of an X and can sleep up to 20 people in 5-foot by 8-foot rooms. 

People staying there have access to bathrooms, showers, three daily meals, laundry and security. It's solar-powered during the day and battery-powered at night, officials said.

The city worked with metal fabricator Steel + Spark and St. Vincent de Paul to make the project happen.

""We are continuously working to develop innovative solutions to end homelessness and create paths to permanent housing. Our partnership with Steel + Spark is a great example of that, and directly speaks to how the public and private sectors can work together to make an impact," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. "I am especially grateful to our community partners like St. Vincent de Paul and Community Bridges Inc. for supporting these efforts with wrap-around services for residents."

Officials say the city plans to add more than 900 shelter beds in 2023 and 2024. Learn more here.

Map showing the Washington Relief Shelter