Houston Matters

Architects Brainstorm New Concept For Durable, Temporary Shelters For Houston’s Homeless

A two-day brainstorming session aims to create an alternative for those living in the city’s homeless encampments.

A homeless encampment at the intersection of Highway 59 and Caroline Street.

This weekend (Oct. 11-12), architects and designers are convening for a two-day brainstorming session. Their goal: to come up with a design for alternative shelters for those living in the city’s homeless encampments.

They want to come up with a concept for a structure that is more structurally sound than tents but adaptable enough to be moved and reused wherever the need arises across the city.

The shelters could also be used to house those displaced by natural disasters.

Deployable Communities Basic Idea
A rough mock-up of what a new design for temporary homeless shelters must include.

Alex Morales with the American Institute of Steel Construction explained to Houston Matters host Craig Cohen what the collaborators have in mind.

“So, it is a transitional, intermediate structure of some sort that can help us identify what the needs are so that we can get people from a) which is the encampment, b) which is this transitional design, developed idea, and then finally into permanent and affordable housing,” he said. 

Groups, organizations and individuals are invited to attend the event, which is being organized by the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

The event is free, and the deadline for registration is Thursday, Oct. 10. It will be held at Sawyer Yards, Love Dance Studio, located at 2206 Edwards St. You can register, here

Potential Shelter Site
A potential site for the installation of temporary shelters for the homeless, located near an existing homeless encampment at the intersection of Commerce Street and Chartres.

In the audio above, Houston Matters host Craig Cohen learns more about the event and the need it aims to address from three guests:

Alex Morales and Joy Horak-Brown
Alex Morales of the American Institute of Steel Construction and Joy Horak-Brown of New Hope Housing.

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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