Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-8-2010

Document Type



dwellevator (dwel-uh-vey-ter) -noun 1. a rehabilitative response to homelessness 2. the rehabilitation of derelict grain elevators

rehabilitate (ree-hu-bil-i-teyt) -verb 1. to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work, or the like.

It is estimated that there are over 3 million homeless individuals in the United States at any given time. Today’s homeless are far different than those of the past. History would have it that many of the past homeless were vagabonds looking to escape the rigid constraints of society, in search of a life with no rules, no restrictions, and most importantly, no responsibilities. The majority of today’s homeless are instead there, not my choice, but by circumstance. With the current economic decline, the United States is seeing an increase in homelessness and an increase in public costs associated with the epidemic. In 2008, it was estimated that the United States spent nearly $10.95 billion on indirect costs associated with homelessness including emergency care, crisis services, and incarcerations.

The very things currently considered to be assistance are the very things that sustain the lives of the homeless on the streets. Architects, politicians, educators and everyday citizens are challenged to think as sociologists and go beyond that of prolonging the situation through the distribution of food, clothing and rudimentary shelter and instead focus on the rehabilitation of the individual.

DWELLEVATOR is a graduate design thesis which explores the potential to aid the homeless - more specifically those homeless who are looking to better their lives - through the development of a rehabilitation program. This program, which is driven through architectural means, allows for the development of the individual through an understanding of responsibility and ownership of space.

Included in

Architecture Commons