Last Friday, October 25th, over 20 experts on homeless policy, government, finance, architecture, and the hospitality industry came together for an engaging roundtable discussion, “Places of Change: Transitional Shelter to Permanent Resource.” This was a unique opportunity for those assembled to draw across experience and industry to rethink shelter design.

The question at the heart of the discussion was; “How can more flexible facilities be designed as resources to the city, those in need, and the communities where they are located?”

Inspired by CHPC’s Making Room project, DHS staff considered facility design ideas that are able to adapt to changing family sizes and changing demand. The discussion, which was over a year in the making, got the ball rolling on many new and exciting ideas for how to change shelter systems from perceived burden to community asset.

Many of the suggestions for re-imagining emergency shelters focused on creating, maintaining, and making community oriented spaces both more inviting and utilitarian. This was a great starting point, and we look forward to continuing the conversation.

What do you think could change shelter facilities to better serve New Yorkers most in need? How can they be better integrated into the surrounding community? How can cost effectiveness also be improved?

Click here for the full report, and to see how the roundtable participants answered these questions.