Shelter In A Day recently won the "Most Innovative Product" award for its emergency shelter homes during the Aid and International Development Forum in Washington, D.C.
Shelter In A Day stemmed from a request from the daughter of designer Frank Schooley, a Matlacha resident and owner of Tropical Kitchens, when she was moving into her first apartment four years ago. That request was to make her a table, which he created by using slip joints. Schooley used medium density fiberboard, which is made out of recyclable material.
When the earthquake took place in Haiti in 2010, Schooley began tossing around the idea of creating a shelter out of the material and the slip joint technique.
Shelter In A Day, which is a transitional shelter that can be utilized to get out of the elements after a disaster occurs, was born.
Those who attended AIDF cast their vote for the Best Stand and Most Innovative Product.
"Aid and International Development Forum is the world leading forum for the humanitarian aid, relief and development sectors," Schooley said. "We want to thank our peers for their vote of confidence in Shelter In A Day and look forward to working closely with them to improve living conditions for those in need of one of the three basic human needs, food, water and shelter."
In addition, Shelter In A Day placed third in the Best Stand award. Argentina Pavilion placed first and Priority Worldwide Services won second place.
Schooley said they had a steady stream of people checking out their display and booth during the forum. He said he heard from many people that they could not believe what they were doing with Shelter In A Day, as well as how fundamentally new and different the concept was.
"It was very interesting to be surrounded by people completely into the world of aid and developing countries and disaster relief," Schooley said.
Schooley said he and his wife, Doreen, returned from Washington, D.C., Monday, May 27, after attending the forum on May 21 and 22.
"We met a lot of important people," he said. "We were surrounded by people who understand where we are coming from."
The exhibition and conference gathers non-governmental organizations, governments, intergovernmental organizations, aid agencies and the UN together to share latest developments in humanitarian aid, relief, as well as exhibit new technologies and services.
Schooley said he is now concentrating on new furniture to go inside of the building, which is lighter weight.
In addition, he said he hopes to build a school in the fall using Shelter in a Day in Jeremie, Haiti. Schooley said in order to get to Jeremie you have to cross a bridgeless river, which means everything has to be carried across the river and up a hill.
"There is no electricity, no roads, no vehicles, nothing across the river except people and farms," he said. "They really think my shelter is ideal in this location."
Schooley said they are really looking forward to building the school, which, he said, can be constructed in a matter of just a few days.