How might we address the safety, shelter, and nutritional needs of people who are without housing for short-term and long-term periods of time?


As urban areas develop and the cost of owning land increases, many residents are having a difficult time paying rent and mortgages. For many professions the salaries are not able to keep up with housing prices. As a result, 40% of Americans say that they would “struggle to come up with $400 for an unexpected expense.” These expenses, such as a parking ticket or a surprise visit to the doctor, can be the difference between paying rent and being evicted. Because the pathways to homelessnesss and experiences of homeless people are varied and complex, it is important to think about homelessness from a human-centered perspective.

Specific angles to explore

One of the most promising methodologies to approaching homelessness has been to develop holistic communities that address the social, emotional and economic dimensions of those who are homeless. These methods seek to utilize the skills, talents, and aspirations of those who were previously homeless to fuel the economic forces that support the communities being built. However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that many of the most effective initiatives are addressing the social dimensions of the issue as well as the physical need.

Leveraging assets: How might we utilize the skills and talents of homeless individuals to build resilient communities?

Belongings: How might we redesign San Diego to provide safe spaces for homeless people to store and protect their belongings?

Transitional housing: How might we make the transition to rehousing easier for homeless people in San Diego?

Crising housing: How might we provide emergency housing during large scale displacement, what sort of spaces would we open up to support our neighbors?