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
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
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...
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
Andreína Contreras, a 26-year-old mother of two, lived until this week in the “Tower of David,” in Caracas, Venezuela, which has been described as the world’s tallest slum, because it is situated in an abandoned skyscraper.
She is among an estimated 1,150 families living in the tower who are to be removed and relocated permanently this week, seven years after the officially named Torre Confinanzas was first occupied as a result of Venezuela’s financial crisis... — Vice
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...
Billboards are commanding territory all over the world, offering just a blaring message in their occupation. Some designers have been looking at how to better use this advertising infrastructure, with Slovakia’s Designdevelop proposing a use for the space as small-scale residences for the homeless. — Hyperallergic
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
One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.
The pods are built into the underside of the upper deck, below car traffic but above the subway and bike lanes.
To reach his makeshift studio, the bridge dweller — a stocky, neatly dressed Chinese man in his 40s — climbs a chain-link fence to a nook above the bike lane, witnesses said. — nypost.com
In collaboration with the Preservation League of New York State and New York Landmarks Conservancy, along with $39 million of private, state, and federal funds, Common Ground and Beyer Blinder Belle (the architects behind the Grand Central Station renovations) were able to successfully convert the decrepit building back into a livable residence with 416 single occupancy apartments. — untappedcities.com
The Pop-up HAWSE (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment) is a proposal to convert disused lock-up garages in London's Hackney into temporary accommodation for homeless people.
Conceived by Levitt Bernstein Architects for the Building Trust's Home competition, the scheme would allow an 11.5sq m bedsit to be created within a disused garage for around £13,000. — guardian.co.uk
CLIPS OF SEATTLE LIBRARY: INTERVIEW WITH HOMELESS MAN AND SHOTS OF STRUCTURE.
This footage is part of a feature length Documentary film that I am making about my father Rem Koolhaas. — vimeo.com
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