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Dual-Purpose Benches: Sheltering the homeless one bench at a time -Ruth Kinyua

Two years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Lisa, CEO at Dignity Village in Northeast Portland. The purpose of my interview was to determine how my team's class project would provide feasible shelter solutions for the homeless population, a matter that had already drawn much attention to the City's handling of the Spring Water Corridor concerns in August 2016.   Following my interview with Lisa, my team and I were tasked with generating ideas that would help us create a prototype of a homeless shelter. Although we had initially expected to create solutions that would benefit the entire homeless community, but our subsequent research and interviews shifted our focus to accommodate the needs of individual homeless people.            One of the emphases during this University Studies class (Design Thinking), was to ensure that solutions were focused on the user, financially feasible, and visually appealing. A foremost  challenge that we encountered in presenti…

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