Adaptive Reuse: An Architectural Solution to Poverty and Homelessness

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2007-05-21

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All cities are forced to deal with homelessness and poverty; often they rely on temporary shelters and welfare programs as the only solutions. These do not assist the impoverished in establishing themselves in the community, and ignore the fact that many lack the necessary education, job skills, and life skills to establish independence. This thesis examines a way to provide vocational education to break the poverty cycle by providing disadvantaged citizens access to education, training, and work.

The abandoned Hostess factory on 7th and S Street NW in Washington DC, and its adjacent vacant land presents an appropriate site for study. Adaptively re-using this factory as a vocational school can rejuvenate the local neighborhood while helping to change the lives of the impoverished. The vocational school is designed as a community school that offers services for poor and homeless adults as well as the continuing education programs for the local community.

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