Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Billington Research Lab
Lack of understanding of how building design can support the wellbeing of trauma survivors: In 2020, 35,118 people in the San Francisco Bay Area did not have a home. Homelessness is a problem of housing. Yet, providing adequate housing for homeless populations requires an understanding of the psychological trauma that can result from living in the streets. With this project, we explore how the built environment can be designed to support trauma-informed care. This work will focus on formerly homeless individuals now living in permanent supportive housing (PSH), a type of housing designed to offer a home and relevant services. We are in conversation with organizations involved in the management of PSH in California, such as SV@Home, Destination Home, and Mercy Housing, who have reinforced the importance of conducting research on the impact of physical space on trauma in PSH. This collaborative research will involve the use of innovative design tools and qualitative interviews to explore the relationship between the built environment and human outcomes.