HOMELESS IN BOSTON

How do individuals dealing with homelessness and/or drug addiction spend their days?

What role does the Engagement Center, a drop-in day shelter, play in their lives?

IN BRIEF

In 2017, The City of Boston started the Engagement Center ("the EC") as a pilot program with an ostensibly straightforward mission: provide "a welcoming environment for individuals in need of a space to spend time during the day." This is one of many drop-in centers around the country that have sprouted up in the context of the national housing and opioid crises.

The City of Boston's Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics sought my help in understanding those who use the space, study their needs, and gauge the success of the pilot program.

MY ROLE IN THE PROJECT

Project Management

  • Developed the client relationship

  • Managed client expectations

  • Hired a research partner

  • Managed the project and facilitated meetings

Ethnographic Research

  • Framed the research problem and proposed the research plan

  • Developed interview and research protocols

  • Conducted ethnographic research through the course of a month

  • Analyzed and synthesized research data with a research partner

Storytelling

  • Created and presented findings to stakeholders at the City of Boston

  • Conducted a design workshop for the team at the Mayor's Office

  • Wrote a 3,000 word piece communicating our work to a broader audience within the City of Boston

FINDINGS WILL BE POSTED HERE AFTER CITY HALL HAS FULLY PROCESSED FINDINGS INTERNALLY