A Women's Place: The Design of a Transitional Housing Comminuty for Women and Children
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Transition homes are critical sources of support for women and children fleeing domestic violence or facing difficulties with housing and poverty. More than just a safe place to stay, transition homes offer residents access to a variety of services that will help them to better their lives. The increasing rate of single women heading households and the rise of homeless women and children are recent social developments that reflect the need for transition homes. Changes in family lifestyle require a redefinition of the traditional housing model to involve sharing and providing services within a larger community. Studies of alternative housing indicate that some women would prefer to live in women-only housing with moderate design alterations that address safety concerns. This is particularly relevant to women who frequently wind up homeless due to problems with career opportunities or managing households on their own. A communal support structure can assist women with making new lives for themselves and their families in a transition home and afterwards. Furthermore, characteristics of the built environment influence personal wellbeing, social interaction, relationships with staff, and the impression on the surrounding community. This thesis explores the design of a transition home that integrates social programs and outreach services to help improve the lives of women and children in need. Through deliberate design choices, architects can offer an appropriate solution to women’s housing issues that foster independence, provide safety and give hope for a brighter future.