The rush to solve the homeless crisis in Southern California is real—and real estate experts are coming at the complicated and multi-layered problem from every angle. Lately, there have been a surge of ideas to provide more transitional housing options, but maybe merely housing the homeless isn’t the right approach. KTGY Architecture + Planning has unveiled a Re-Habit concept that aims to reduce the homeless population to become more self sustaining. Re-Habit converts obsolete big box retail into homeless support centers that provide programing and aid for the homeless.

“We have been asked to renovate big box retail concepts, and we thought that would be a fantastic opportunity to create a new concept regarding homelessness,” David Senden, a principal at KTGY, tells “We talked to some people at the Long Beach Rescue Mission, and it developed into a conversation about programming rather than housing. If we keep thinking about homelessness as a housing problem, I think we are missing the point. A big reason for homelessness is not because people can’t find housing but because of other issues that have led them into homelessness.”

KTGY’s vision is to create a long-term program—which Senden described as one- to two-years long—to provide treatment, counseling and other services, like job training. As the individual moves through the program, they will move into leadership positions, as counselors, for example, that will help them transition back into mainstream society. “We thought of this as a way for people that are sick or have a problem to work through a program to be self-sustaining and well,” says Senden. “There is a lot of substance abuse and mental illness in the homeless population, and this concept provides a way to establish independence as people move through the program.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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