Attention: service-driven people who want to help end homelessness

Sleep Cubbies

A New Way for Homeless People to Sleep Safely off of the Streets

“A few decent night’s sleep is crucial to being able to get back on your feet.  Sleep deprivations is one of the most fundamental challenges for homelessness – as it is critical for both mental and physical health.”


– Jay Murphy
President of Phoenix Rotary 100


The 3 Key Problems for Homeless People

Getting a Decent Night’s Sleep



Feeling stressed when you are asleep because someone could sneak up on you, so you have to “sleep with one eye open”

Security for Belonging

Living in constant fear that your prized possessions may be taken from you

Environmental Comfort

Loud noises, bright light and uncomfortable temperatures destroy the quality of sleep

Sleep Cubbies Turn a

Sleepless Night into a Peaceful Night


The “Sleep Cubby Advantage”

Open Area Sleeping

Up to 100 people in a single area

ⓧ No Personal Safety: People are free to roam and could harm you, keeping you on edge.

ⓧ No Possession Security: Your items are laying underneath you on the ground, free for the taking while you sleep.

ⓧ Limited Environmental Comfort: The facility is climate controlled, but you hear the snores, talking, coming and going of others, never letting you truly sleep. Some lights are always on, so it’s never completely dark.

Sleep Cubbies

1 person per cubby or 1 couple per cubby

✔ Personal Safety: You have the peace of mind to know you are safe because your personal sleep cubby door is locked.

 ✔ Possession Security: All your belongings are safe in your locked personal sleep cubby, whether you are there or not.

✔ Environment Comfort: You are in a quiet, climate controlled space that can be pitch dark when you want it to be.

The Solution

The Basics

mCubbies are each about 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet deep.  The walls, floors, and ceiling all provide great sound suppression.  A locking door can only be opened by the client.  This will be done with a simple and durable RFID wristband, or a reprogramable combination lock.  


Sleep cubbies have air conditioning and heating, and an electrical 110V/USB power strip for charging their phone/tablet, medical devices, alarm clock, etc.

Clients will receive a plug-in night light bright enough to read by, a washable sleeping pad and a pillow.

Site - Option 1

Churches agree to take in from 1 to 10 individuals experiencing homelessness, placing sleep cubbies on a vacant portion of their property or in extra parking stalls.

Restrooms, kitchen facilities, and showers (if available) are provided by the church.  Members of the church provide mentoring and assistance in re-establishing employment or housing or both.

Site - Option 2

Lightweight, easily moved indoor sleep cubbies providing mostly security and safety provide a cost-effective solution within a church or similar facility.  An entire congregation can actively set up and schedule services on a volunteer basis, thereby expanding the reach of the community many-fold.  Guidance in this area can be provided by partner organizations experienced in this type of social work.

Site - Option 3

Cubbies are cost effective when compared to other temporary emergency housing facilities (less than 1/10th of the cost).  High density design is used to reduce land costs.  Partner organizations provide wrap-around services.  There would be relatively little in the way of permanent facilities.

Site - Option 4

Shelters can supplement their facilities with an indoor version of the sleep cubbies, eliminating the extra expense of air conditioning and weatherproofing.  This allows for a phased adoption program as funds and space are made available.


Cubbies back up to each other, so when a couple would like to share, the divider can be removed and turn it into a duplex!

Modular, Portable

Outdoor sleep cubbies are assembled in modules of three.  They will be delivered on a flat-bed trailer, unloaded with a fork lift, and have wheels for maneuvering into position. 

There will be very little site preparation, as they have no plumbing and can be leveled with supports underneath.  Only electrical service will need to be provided.  On a high density site, probably about 8 modules (24 cubbies) will be combined on a single air conditioning/heating system, which is also movable.

3D Animated View

The 3 Steps to
Creating Sleep Cubbies in Phoenix

Freedom Calendar

1. Prototype

We are developing two prototypes.  We could use your help!

Freedom Calendar

2. Feedback

Clients at the Human Services Campus and churches around the valley will sleep in the cubbies and tell us what works and what doesn’t.

Freedom Calendar

3. Production

Once we learn and develop best practices, we will promote third party production of as many units as Phoenix and the surrounding areas need.  Time is of the essence.

Our Current Status

Initial Outdoor Prototype complete!

Freedom Calendar

Plenty of room inside!  Comfy, with a full size twin mattress.

Freedom Calendar

A Sleep Cubby module contains 3 cubbies.  It resides on a trailer for easy transport and response.

Initial Outdoor Prototype ready to be deployed!

Freedom Calendar

Personal combination locks and peep holes.

Interns from ASU’s College of Engineering Design a Cubby!

Freedom Calendar

This is the “Cubby Crew” from ASU!  Naga, Divya, and Murali have been working on a design and we all put it together in one day in the back yard.  Go team!  Prototype #2 ready to go!

Freedom Calendar

This design is intended to be used indoors – say in a gymnasium, an industrial building, an existing shelter, a church, or wherever there are people willing to help guide individuals toward a better housing situation.

Initial Indoor Prototype complete!

Freedom Calendar

Plenty of room inside!  Comfy, with a full size twin mattress, power strip, and locking door.  4’x4’x8′.  Easy assembly.  No air conditioning required indoors.  Walls are made of coroplast.

Call to Action

We need your help!

Project Chair – We will soon need somebody who can step in and help coordinate the project. 

Design Coordinator – Are you an Engineer or Architect?  We could use your expertise.

Fundraising Coordinator – Once the prototypes have been built and tested, we will need to seek funding.  We’d like to put together a funding plan in the meantime.

Building Coordinator – As we start ramping up production, we’ll need someone who can coordinate the building partners, acquisition of materials and labor, and drive the construction tasks.

Volunteer Coordinator – Volunteers are at the heart of any Rotary project.  We wish to enlist volunteers in many organizations and make this a community-driven project. 

Communications Coordinator – As we move forward, we need somebody to help us communicate our project progress, develop our branding, and showcasing our achievements.

Compliance Coordinator – As with any project, we will need to work closely with regulatory agencies to maintain compliance.  We need your expertise.

College Design Coordinator – We are currently leveraging the talent of our young adults as they hone their design skills in an internship.

Questions or Suggestions

Jay Murphy

President, Phoenix Rotary 100

Email or call Jay with Questions or Suggestions
602-451-8506 cell (Please leave a voice message)

Our Project Mission

Our mission is to provide a unique temporary housing solution to those experiencing homelessness that focuses on the most important thing we do every day – sleeping.  By doing so, we shift the focus directly to a fundamental cause of both mental illness and physical illness.  Additionally, our preferred deployment strategy is to leverage relationships with churches who can provide the support services and compassion that are so greatly needed by this vulnerable population.  There are 3 design features that are critical to success:

1.  A secured structure that protect the inhabitant and his/her belongings during the night while sleeping

2.  A secured structure that protects the inhabitant’s belongings during the day while tending to employment, health, or other needs.

3.  A support model that leverages hundreds of times more volunteers (i.e. from churches) than are reasonably available when support is only provided by government and a select few community organizations.

The project, initiated in 2022, was inspired by members of Phoenix Rotary 100 which was founded in 1914 as the 100th club to join Rotary. Through the years, Phoenix Rotary 100 has been at the forefront of community service in Phoenix and beyond, with a past and present membership list reading like a “Who’s Who” in Arizona’s history. Mayors, governors, U.S. senators and one Supreme Court Justice have all been a part of Phoenix Rotary 100.