chapter  4
Design for the Homeless
Pages 18

The dramatic rise in homelessness in this country during the past decade has focused new attention on the design and delivery of low-cost housing-from large emergency shelters for the homeless to long-term, low-cost housing. As a result, there has been a high degree of design innovation. Some of that innovation simply involves borrowing solutions from much more expensive housing types, such as the use of natural light and spaces for privacy. The ultimate goal is to bring as much comfort and decency as possible to the homeless "guests," a group that experiences few of the environmental amenities those with more means often take for granted. Shared housing is the dominant building type; more and more of that housing is developed for specific users, such as the chronically mentally ill or single women with children. Long-term, low-cost housing is the ideal, yet the need for emergency shelter continues to grow.