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Faktum Hotel Allows Customers To Experience Homelessness For A Night

First Posted: 02/19/13 EST Updated: 02/19/13 EST

Forget the mint on the pillow. At this hotel, there is no pillow, blanket or bed.

If you're lucky, you stay just once at the $10-a-night Faktum Hotel, where guests experience life in Gothenburg, Sweden, as a homeless person.

If you're unlucky, you're actually homeless, and sleeping every night under a bridge -- one of the many options at the Faktum.

With harsh winter weather, however, most of the customers check in via virtual reality. And while it might not seem like you're getting a lot for your $10, that money is going to a a good cause -- and it's raising awareness.

"We've had a very cold season in January and February. It's a time when people take matters like this more serious," Faktum editor-in-chief, Aaron Israelson said.

All hotel profits are used to support the charity works of Faktum Magazine, a street magazine in Sweden, sold by the homeless.

Some of the 'room' descriptions sound like a bed and breakfast in Maine, making this cheap night's stay surprinisngly enticing:

"Feel the city's pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass. This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer's Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike. And all under the noble eye of the Skansen Lion from his centuries old fortress."

Israelson said he generated the idea for the hotel as a way to draw attention to the plight of the homelessness debate.

"We don't think politicians do enough. This is a reminder of poverty and a way to get involved in an easy manner," Israelson told the Huffington Post.

As a journalist for more than 13 years, Israelson opened the hotel project in Novemeber 2012 after becoming the Faktum's editor-in-chief.

"There's a lot of confusion and wrong ideas about who gets to be homeless and who is homeless. People in Sweden think that everyone that is homeless has a drinking or drug problem which is not the case," he said.

Roughly one out of every six homeless people in Sweden -- an estimated 3,400 people -- live in Gothenburg. While there are some social programs and shelters available, Israelson says people are definitely not happy with the way things are.

"The most important thing is to take a look at what is going on around the street, to take a minute or a couple of seconds to look homeless people in the eye when you meet them in the street and just reflect."

Or just book a 'room' down by the river for a night.

H/T Oddity Central.