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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Architecture has not adequately addressed homelessness. A large population of unhoused individuals and families, in all parts of the country and even the world, are underserved by buildings and spaces. Moreover, architectural research has yet to address the depth of the problem and the necessity of versatile solutions. The aim of this research is to provide design solutions that are useful for those experiencing homelessness by focusing on the specific needs of the community. The program and design presented in this thesis attempts to find the best solutions specific to Amherst’s needs as a community. This thesis argues that, although homelessness is a result of many complicated and interconnected factors, it is also a design issue and that architecture needs to be more versatile and accommodating to the unhoused. This engagement is win-win, and design has the potential to serve as an instrument in leveling the playing field. This thesis begins by presenting research which demonstrates the impact of homelessness on American communities. Second, it presents past precedents that provide insight into what is possible and analyzes their effectiveness. Finally, these findings are translated into a design project that aims to positively intervene in this problem by analyzing the needs of the Amherst community and responding appropriately. The response being different vi housing options for those experiencing homelessness and a resource center open to residents and the broader community.


First Advisor

Robert Williams

Included in

Architecture Commons