Transitional Housing: Breaking Cycles of Domestic Violence in North Philadelphia

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This thesis proposes a transitional housing facility for survivors of intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic abuse. It describes the affected populations, explains associated risk factors, and discusses the long-term psychological and economic effects this abuse has on its victims. By analyzing the institutional programs available to survivors and the ways in which those systems fall short, this thesis hypothesizes that the availability of better transitional housing options can reduce the frequency of repeated victimization.

This thesis interrogates how architecture and program can facilitate the same goals as clinical treatment for people recovering from trauma. It demonstrates four features to support healing: empowerment, connection, security, and peace. The thesis presents site analysis of a neighborhood in Upper North Philadelphia as a location for a design intervention, but also proposes that these guidelines are applicable to other communities, rather than site-specific.