TH22 - Youth to Youth, Organizing to Address Youth Homelessness

Thursday, November 29 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM « Back

Abstract Text:

Y2Y Harvard Square is a student-run 24-hour shelter and gathering place for homeless young adults, utilizing a youth-to-youth model for a safe, affirming environment. It provides community, shelter, meals, health care and services in a church basement. Studio G Architects and SHED Studio engaged homeless youth in the design process, creating spaces that meet the needs of young adults who have experienced trauma and require tailored services and spaces. Y2Y feels like a modern hostel, not a shelter: Youth enter a lounge active all night, with varied sitting areas to socialize, gather for peer groups, and share meals. A health outpost and offices, arrayed along the edges, give access to support and health services. Homeless LGBTQ youth raised concerns about gender-identified spaces, resulting in gender-neutral sleeping spaces and bathrooms. Custom-built ‘capsule’ bunks have shutters for individual privacy, perforated walls for supervision, and individual storage units, lamps and charging stations. The panel will discuss: The Y2Y model of youth to youth support and organizing The process Y2Y and the architects utilized to engage homeless youth in visioning workshops, programming The resulting design, which breaks new ground in gender inclusivity and trauma-informed design The potentially broad social impact of this replicable model

Learning Objectives:

Understand the power of youth organizing to develop leadership and create social change

Understand key elements of gender inclusive design

Gain insight into trauma-informed design approach

Understand the importance of engaging project stakeholders in the design process


AIA Credit Hours:
1.5 LU

Education Tracks: Project Types and Processes

Event Type: Workshops > Session