DESIGNER SHELTERS AS MODELS AND MAKERS OF HOME: NEW RESPONSES TO HOMELESSNESS IN URBAN AMERICA
ABSTRACT As the number of homeless people grew over the 1980s, so did the number of homeless shelters. Given that these recently established shelters are smaller, more specialized, and tend to assist those segments of the homeless population more likely to be mainstreamed, they are intentionally designed to be a model of a middle-class home for the people they serve. This paper examines the process by which designer shelters became part of the contemporary urban scene. It explores the notion that in and through these institutions poor and homeless people are being told how to live. Evidence of how designer shelters have become a model of a middle-class home, and how designer shelters reproduce this model through their policies and practices, is gathered from various sources. City planning documents and shelter mission statements obtained from Wilmington, Delaware illustrate the process of creating model homemakers out of homeless people. Some of the spatial and social implications of this process are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: A trajectory of city siting policies for homeless shelters is examined, reflecting either community opposition per se or the city's fear of community opposition. Furthermore, these policies created distinct geographic patterns of shelter siting. New York City's shelter siting history, from the beginning of mandatory shelter provision in the early 1980s to the institution of fair-share planning for the dispersal of city-owned facilities in 1990, is examined. City siting responses—isolation, circumvention, and cooperation—correlate with the type of community opposition being mounted.Urban Geography 05/2013; 17(4):294-316. DOI:10.2747/0272-3618.104.22.1684 · 1.75 Impact Factor