Design For Dignity: A Supportive Housing Community for Families and Youth
Inman, Jordan Christopher
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Homelessness is not a recent social and cultural phenomenon in the United States, and chances are it will not disappear anytime soon. Although chronic homelessness in middle-aged males is on the decline, families and independent youth now represent the fastest growing demographic of homeless persons in the nation, constituting more than 40 percent of the total homeless population. Although it may never be possible to end homelessness completely, this thesis posits that architects, planners, and designers can - and must - play a significant role in improving the lives of those who lack the most basic of human needs: housing. This proposal seeks to create a new supportive housing alternative, a transformation of the existing typologies of housing for the homeless aimed at guiding struggling youth and parents along a path to a sustainable, stable lifestyle. Inspired by acts of placemaking and community activism often implemented by disadvantaged populations to adapt to their difficult life circumstances, this thesis focuses on the architects ability to positively influence a resident's experience of place. By integrating educational programs with supportive housing that caters to the specific needs of families and youth, connecting the facility to the existing community, and improving the public spaces adjacent to the site, this project provides residents a dignified and positive experience that prepares them for housing independence.
- Architecture