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Thursday, May 2 • 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Beyond the POD Initiative: How we can Leverage Creative Partnerships to Address Houselessness in our Communities

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Houselessness is a growing public health crisis unfolding in our own backyards. While permanent housing is ideal, there is a widening gulf between available supply and the number of individuals in immediate need. Our communities must explore emergency intermediate solutions to bridge this growing divide. One potential path forward is the Village Model for transitional housing. Based upon the improvised and informal “villages” being established by the houseless themselves, this model works to replicate the success that these groups have found in creating vibrant, safe, supportive, and self-governing communities, but takes it a step further in terms of providing the physical and social infrastructure needed to ensure their continued success. Perhaps the best example of this model - the Kenton Women's Village - represents an entirely new step in the village evolution - a city-sponsored, fully supported, safe and sustainable village created through a participatory process. A critical part of that process was recognizing the fact that Design is an unmet need in most informal villages. We believe design can play a significant role in changing perceptions about homelessness among the general public and is essential for the success of any effort that hopes to integrate houseless individuals into the fabric of the community.

This presentation will look at the Village Model from a variety of perspectives and describe how a series of unlikely partnerships and collaborations has enabled the greater design community to work with our houseless neighbors in support of their journey off the street. First, there will be an overview of the P.O.D. (Partnership on Dwelling) Initiative – a short 6-week design build exercise that took place in late 2016 and which asked the architecture and design community to apply their skills and experience in shaping the built environment toward housing Portland’s most vulnerable population - the homeless. Beginning with an open design charrette that was attended by nearly 100 architects, social workers, activists, and houseless individuals, designers worked with the diverse group at their tables to come up with preliminary ideas for “pods,” categorized as small structures with a footprint of between 6’x8’ and 8’x12’, and as tall as 10’x8.’ Fourteen teams manifested their designs into built pods with financial support from the Portland Mayor's Office and The Larson Legacy, and these structures then became the initial infrastructure for the Kenton Women’s Village.

This session is approved for the following continuing education credits:
  • 1.25 LFA credits
  • 1.25 AIA LU|HSW credits

avatar for Todd Ferry

Todd Ferry

Associate Director of PSU Center for Public Interest Design, Portland State University
Before earning a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Todd worked for over a decade in the nonprofit field, Including founding KIU ART, a service-learning organization that works with schools in Mwanza, Tanzania. His current work investigates how social... Read More →
avatar for Travis Bell

Travis Bell

Associate Professor in Sustainable Design, Portland State University
Travis Bell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Portland State University and Co-Founder of  Diversion Design-Build Stuio. He received a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy from PSU and Master of Architecture from the University of Washington. Travis's primary... Read More →
avatar for Joanna Tran Do

Joanna Tran Do

Property Manager, Department of County Assets, Multnomah County
I am a rhinoceros; I charge head first into any challenge I encounter and have a track record which exhibits my accomplishments. I believe that nothing is impossible, and love the challenge of finding solutions to problems that are not easily solvable. I am passionate about finding... Read More →
avatar for Scott Mooney

Scott Mooney

Senior Associate/Architect, SRG Partnership, Inc.
Scott is a Registered Architect, LEED-accredited professional, and Senior Associate at SRG Partnership who has been practicing in Portland since earning his Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 2005. His primary focus has been to design enduring environmentally... Read More →

Thursday May 2, 2019 3:45pm - 5:00pm PDT
Hyatt Regency - Hoh Room #609