Homeless Find Good Design For $7 A Night

How one non-profit design competition led to the creation of temporary housing for the homeless using a simple formula: asking future residents what they wanted.
May 2, 2006, 7am PDT | maryereynolds
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The Common Ground Community, founded by MacArthur Fellow Roseanne Haggerty, will open New York City's Andrews House in August. Haggerty interviewed over 100 homeless people about what type of housing they would prefer. "Many said they wanted something small, private, safe, cheap; they wanted just enough space for themselves and their belongings. They had a little money, though not enough for an apartment." Andrews House will offer social services including a nurse and a social worker. Common Ground's design contest received 189 submissions; five winners were selected. One prototype entitled "The Ordering of Things" includes many shelves and a bed on rollers; the top half of the door swings open for ventilation during warmer months. (See link for winning designs.)

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Published on Sunday, April 30, 2006 in The New York Times
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