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Designer Shelters as Models and Makers of Home: New Responses to Homelessness in Urban America
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According to the author, the more recently established shelters for homeless persons are smaller, more specialized, and tend to assist those segments of the homeless population more likely to be mainstreamed. These shelters are intentionally designed to be a model of a middle-class home for the people they serve. This article examines the process by which these "designer" shelters have become part of the contemporary urban scene. It explores the notion that in and through these institutions poor and homeless people are being told how to live. Evidence of how designer shelters have become a model for the middle-class home, and how they reproduce this model through their policies and practices, is gathered from various sources. City planning documents and shelter mission statements obtained from Wilmington, Delaware, illustrate the process of creating model homemakers out of homeless people. Some of the spatial and social implications of this process are discussed (author).
Urban Geography
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services