Redefining transitional housing for homeless veterans

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Santos, Kathryn
Mounayar, Michel
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Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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Homelessness is a plague that spans across the United States. There are 553,742 people (about half the population of Maine) who experience homelessness on any given night. 60,912 of these people have served in the military. In fact, men and women who have served in the military are at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness than any other demographic. This is mainly because of mental and physical trauma. The demand for housing developments for veterans surpasses the supply. Although there have been efforts made to alleviate this crisis, the existing process does not adapt to the needs of these veterans, involves costly construction, and is inefficient with time. These complications in the current construction process have created an environment that cannot serve the basic needs of a large percentage of veterans experiencing homelessness. The design of this typology should combat mental illness and social isolation. This thesis explores applying biophilic design to transitional housing for homeless veterans to positively impact the mental health of the inhabitants. The design process also should utilize modular design to cut down on construction costs and time. The master plan for this facility will also use public spaces to combat social isolation.