Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



Major Professor

Matt Hall

Committee Members

Thomas K. Davis, Avigail Sachs


Homelessness and people living on the streets is a phenomenon that is facing every major urban center in the United States. These people are a commonality in the urban landscape and are often seen a problem to be fi xed. Due to the interactions between the urban environment and persons experiencing homelessness, there needs to be a paradigm shift in how policy is written and how we design an intervention for these forgotten people. The goal of this thesis is to gain a clearer understanding to what it is like to survive on the streets: how dose someone fi nd shelter in the urban environment? This research also examines the reasons, if any, that homeless people do not always use the homeless shelters at their disposal. The data for this project was taken from direct personal observation and fi rst-hand account from homeless individuals. Many homeless people keep a blog and provide detailed information about their experiences on the street. Using this information, I have created a possible design solution to the issues raised by the research. This is not an example of what should be done but rather an example of what could be done when there is greater understanding of the homeless culture. “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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