How can the local community provide resources to the homeless and low-income with dignity?
Working with Mass Design Group and BAC Huxtable Fellows, I had the opportunity to work
on a self-driven design project which considers issues brought up by Boston's South End Working Group, which focused on
local issues concerning the homeless and addicted community.
We focused on the area along Massachusetts Avenue, also commonly known as Methadone Mile.
Each of my classmates were responsible for conducting research on specified themes related to homelessness and recovery.
I focused on how economy ties into homelessness in the South End in Boston; then compared these statistics to state and national averages.
(in)Accessibility in South End
Our class spent a couple of weeks in South End in attempt to understand the landscape along Massachusetts Ave.
We spoke to several different groups of people in the community:
those who were homeless, residents, students, homeless shelter staff, lawyers working with local shelters, addiction clinic staff and nurses, medical professionals, police officers, homeless community working groups, transport officers, bus drivers, restaurant owners and more.
We found high tensions between those who were homeless, and those in the community;
this was evident in signage, interviews and landscape of aggressive surveillance and inaccessibility.
Tension Map in South End
This map shows the number of service establishments in Boston. There is approximately a 5m walking radius surrounding each shelter. This is representative of the number of stressed establishments in the area. If the number of paid forward establishments increased, this could lower the stress on these establishments.
Serving poor and homeless woman with dignity.
- Doorbell system to greet women upon entering
- Showers: Given toiletries, private, individual wet + dry space, mirrors
- Cafeteria: Served by staff restaurant style
- Private grocer + store to advocate choice
Rosa's Fresh Pizza
Post-notes and letters are from customers who give $1 so homeless members can have a slice of pizza which costs $1
- Provides free pizza to homeless
- Fosters community through pay-it-forward program
Access to toilets and showers shouldn't be a luxury, as a basic right to sanitation.
- Re-purposes retired transportation buses into showers and toilets
- Deliver hygiene and restores dignity among homeless in SF/LA in California
Cycle of Social Impact
What is Access?
We envision a world in which homelessness is seen as a human rights issue. We work toward a society where community members participate in eradicating chronic homelessness in their communities.
Our organization is a platform for individuals and businesses to provide basic human needs to the homeless and low-income members of their community.
How It Works
Participating businesses will feature a door and or a window sticker.
2. ACCESS Kit
Physical kits holding cards that facilitate the pay-it-forward program. Sales and number of potential customers increase.
Organized maps that open a network of accessibility.