The Vatican said Friday it had finished renovations on public restrooms just off St. Peter's Square that will include three showers and a free barber shop for the city's neediest. Each "homeless pilgrim," as the Vatican called the clients, will receive a kit including a towel, change of underwear, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, razor and shaving cream. The showers will be open every day but Wednesday, when the piazza is full for the pope's general audience. Haircuts will be available Mondays. — Star Tribune
The sleek, clean facilities – with grey walls, white washbasins and a "hi-tech looking" barber's chair – opened two days ago. According to Pope Francis' chief alms-giver, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, the initiative is intended to help the homeless secure jobs and residences, something that is...
The issue of homelessness in SimCity was recently taken on by an article at Vice News’s tech blog, Motherboard. The article focuses on Matteo Bittanti, a professor at Milan’s IULM University, who became increasingly interested in homelessness in the game. [...]
Bittani was so interested in it that he began compiling quotes from SimCity users intent on dealing with the virtual homeless, ultimately publishing them in a 600 page, two volume mega-book called “How to get rid of the homeless”. — thisbigcity.net
Friday, November 21:Latest NCARB survey indicates architecture is a growing profession in the U.S.: Surveying Architectural Registration Boards in 2014, NCARB found a 3.1% growth of architects in the US since 2011.Thursday, November 20:Renzo Piano will design the new Kum & Go corporate HQ in...
A community of tiny houses for the homeless opened this weekend in downtown Madison, Wisconsin — built by a coalition of homeless individuals and members of Occupy Madison...
Four people, including one couple, will move into the first set of three finished homes on privately owned land this week. The next phase of the project will see six homes, another bathroom, and community room complete with a kitchen and laundry facility built in the spring. — Al Jazeera
The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence is a 124-unit apartment building designed by Sorg Architects. The $33 million building is a striking stack of white, metal-paneled blocks, staggered with views facing the Capitol and the Mall. What makes the building truly distinctive, though, is that the space enables case managers and social workers to work onsite with veterans in tandem with the D.C. VA Medical Center.
Sixty units will be set aside permanently for homeless veterans [...]. — citylab.com
Sunday, October 19:The Portland Building: Architect Michael Graves fiercely defends his controversial creation against demolition: According to The Oregonian's piece, the architect does not think any of the problems are by his design, but rather its application under budgetary and civic...
On Sept. 16, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed three bills that make it a misdemeanor (punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine) to sit or lie on sidewalks in the bustling tourist district of Waikiki and outlaw relieving oneself in public islandwide.
Homeless advocates say the new laws unfairly target Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents, especially since Waikiki has only one 24-hour public restroom in the crowded district. — Al Jazeera
In a 2014 report, Hawaii was ranked as the state with highest population of homeless residents, who provoke the ire of local businesses. Some opponents of the new law claim it breaks the traditional "law of the splintered paddle," introduced by King Kamehameha circa 1797. The law states: “Let...
Friday, September 12:Vincent Scully Prize 2014 awarded to journalist and TV host Charlie Rose: The prize was established by the National Building Museum in 1999, and is named after the famed Yale art history and architecture professor who helped establish Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi. Rose was...
The system, which was first tried in 2013 on skid row, was designed to identify the most vulnerable homeless people and get them off the streets. Long-term or chronically homeless people, who are often jailed or hospitalized, are a quarter of the homeless population but consume 75% of the county's resources [...]
But the system, which has been described as match.com for homeless people, is also supposed to get families and others who fall into homelessness back in housing quickly — latimes.com
In the U.S., homeless-rights advocates say that in most cities it is difficult to find public toilets — making sanitation an issue that homeless people face on a daily basis [...] Even if there are public bathrooms, many are not open around the clock, leaving the homeless with no other option but to go in public areas — an act that is criminalized in most cities. Critics say such policies unfairly punish homeless people for life-sustaining actions. — Al Jazeera
Often restricted private bathrooms in restaurants or cafes, homeless people have very few options but to defecate in public – a dehumanizing and unsanitary situation. American cities are not particularly well-known for creating infrastructure and urban furniture that accommodates their sizeable...
As shocking as it is to look upon the rows and rows of makeshift encampments and thousands of roving, hopeless people, perhaps even more shocking is this: Los Angeles is the last major American city with a single district of anything approaching this magnitude of homelessness and extreme poverty [...] — LA Weekly
As the number of homeless people in America’s major cities has increased, so have ordinances criminalizing homelessness and pushing homeless families and individuals into the criminal justice system. Criminalization has become a tactic with which politicians have reconfigured cities to serve wealthier citizens and tourists, at the considerable expense of the poor. — Al Jazeera
Of course, urban spaces are often "cleansed" of homelessness through design. Recently in London, metal spikes were set into the ground of an alcove of a new apartment complex to prevent people from sleeping there. After almost 130,000 people signed a petition, they were removed. This followed a...
Street furniture is mostly used during the day and not used during the night, except by some homeless, who spend the night on the public benches in parks and on squares. RainCity Housing, a non-profit that provides specialized housing for people living with mental illness and addiction, has launched multi-functional street furniture that can be used as seating during the day and ‘comfortable’ sleeping places for the homeless at night time. — popupcity.net
Pay-per-minute benches, 'pig ears' to prevent skateboarding, devices that emit an unpleasant sound only teenagers can hear … cities have many tactics to discourage 'unwanted' behaviour — theguardian.com
Instead of evicting people from tent cities, the NLCHP says the root of the issue -- unaffordable housing -- needs to be addressed.
"Encampments and tent cities have emerged as a means of self-help for homeless individuals to survive and find shelter, safety and a sense of community," the report states. "Ultimately, the solution to the proliferation of encampments across the United States is the provision of affordable housing." — money.cnn.com
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