- project statement
Immigration starts to become a serious problem in Portland, Maine in recent years. On the one hand, this city needs more immigrants to support the development of the service industry in Portland. On the other hand, with the influx of immigrants, this city requires a better solution to the problem of increasing poverty. Thus, I decided to design a re-employment center, which will help homeless and immigrants seeking better opportunities. Also, this facility will open for people who currently have a stable condition economically. There will be a coffee shop placing inside the center where people can socialize with each other while waiting for the service. I believe this will relieve the lack of socializing between the homeless and immigrants and other citizens in the city.
This coffee shop will provide coffee and some food. Customers can not only buy themselves a cup of coffee and food but also for strangers and those who need help. The extra money they spend on strangers and homeless people will convert into a “free ticket”. Those tickets will be stored in the coffee shop and anytime those who need help can come to the coffee shop and ask for a free cup of coffee or some food by using one of the tickets. To encourage people to buy coffee for homeless people, every time they purchase a cup of coffee, they will get a certain amount of discount when next time they purchase coffee in the shop.
- Client Interviews
Before I figure out what my design will look like, I reach out to the director of the homeless shelter in Portland to find out what my clients need. So here is a video I made of me Interviewing the director of the Oxford Street Shelter:
USERS: Immigrants, homeless people, people who need help finding jobs or just people who need a cup of coffee on a cold winter day.
The center will offer help for every citizen in Portland no matter what the current situation they are in. It will provide a place with professional guidance for people who need help finding jobs. It will also teach people with necessary skills of finding jobs like using computers and contacting HR of the company.
The coffee shop not only provides hot coffee and food to those who need help also provides a place for creating a good atmosphere. Customers can have a cup of coffee and talk with friends or those they are not familiar with. These positive communications may help them solve the problem they have or just make them have a happy mood.
Instead of building more and more shelters in the city to solve the problem of over-populated homelessness and immigration, the best way of helping them is to teach them the necessary skills to go back to society. People will not just get help from the counselor but other eager citizens who come to the coffee shop.
As I think about it, this place is more like a coffee “bar” than a coffee shop. Instead of just giving them a cup of free coffee, having positive conversations with people nearby will be more important, which not only solves the problem of hunger but also teaches people how to help others. Also, this coffee shop will become a more comfortable place for people who seek help.
- Site analysis
According to the Portland government website, the new shelter will be builded on the Riverside street. The River street is located in the surbub part of the Portland, which means homeless people and immgrants may not have a easy access to it, so I decided to build the center near the new shelter.
- Pictures of the site
- Design Process
Before I make a final decision of the design, I went through several stages of designing, these are my sketches below:
After I compared a few designs and asked for suggestions from my teachers and classmates, I finally came up with a design I feel comfortable with.
- Final design:
- Elevation and perpective
- Floor Plan
- Interior Design
Creating this civic re-employment center makes me think about the problem we have in our society and how we can make our world better. This design might just be a little step to impact my community in a positive way, but it could become a starting point where I can really solve the problem of homelessness in the future.
Thanks for checking out my project. I hope you enjoy it !!!
Resources link to my Catalyst Project Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OcKu90kDvqhKIKdAeWWN9dtwF8VmmCKbqMgR3nAJF4k/edit?usp=sharing
The link to my survey: