Community inclusion, not exclusion is the key to developing healthy communities. This bus shelter is a fantastic example of how to rethink the issue surrounding homelessness. Vagrancy is a crime in many U.S. cities and is often brutally enforced or at the least used to harass homeless people. Purposeful design of uncomfortable benches is not only present in the street, but in airports as well. Why do designers take issue with people sleeping in public.
I like the design and overall concept, but I do not think this bench would be practical in large US cities. Having worked in the homeless community for over 10 years in major cities in the US, I have seen fights and killings break out over much coveted spots on heating grates. There is a certain survival element over resources and I could easily see a bench like this contributing to problems within homelessness and not helping. This is particularly because there is only one bed. There are several homeless people in most city streets. If there was a way to incorporate the design into several beds, it would become much more effective.
In addition to that concern, I am wondering that these benches will increase the identification of homeless individuals - particularly in the evening. Several times I have read about homeless people being hurt, set on fire, and often killed while they sleep - simply for being homeless. Creating a high profile for them, may only hurt in a community that is not compassionate. Most large cities in the US are extremely harsh on the homeless communities within them. There would have to be a major refocus on the human psyche in the US as to what the true face of homelessness is for anything like this to work.
Education, in addition to accomodations - is what the US needs.
I cannot speak for other countries. But I do applaud Australia!