Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Engineering Technology

Committee Member

Shinming Shyu, PhD, RA, LEED AP, Chair

Committee Member

Jiang Lu, PhD

Committee Member

James Stein, PhD


The present study plans to investigate the social issues of homelessness and the strategies for creating positive living environments that aim to enable inhabitants to re-enter society. Supported by statistical evidence, homelessness has been recognized as a growing issue in the United States that deserves serious attention and proper solutions. There are a wide range of reasons why people succumb to the undesirable status of homelessness. By exploring the circumstances, we will be able to gain a better understanding of the issues, which in turn can help formulate supportive programs and inform environmental design solutions to accommodate their needs. Currently homeless shelters are, in most cases, located in either poorer neighborhoods or older rundown buildings that lack the capacity to accommodate the growing number of people who need to be housed in the space, let alone the programmatic facilities, such as computers, job preparation, basic medical care, and so on, to help the homeless regain their footing in society. The study will examine the relevant issues of programmatic planning and environmental design for the homeless shelters that are able to address the temporary sheltering needs, and, more importantly, to provide long-term solutions for the homeless to re-enter the society.