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

“We have been asked to renovate big box retail concepts, and wethought that would be a fantastic opportunity to create a newconcept regarding homelessness,” David Senden, aprincipal at KTGY, tells “We talked to some people atthe Long Beach Rescue Mission, and it developed into a conversationabout programming rather than housing. If we keep thinking abouthomelessness as a housing problem, I think we are missing thepoint. A big reason for homelessness is not because people can'tfind housing but because of other issues that have led them intohomelessness.”

KTGY's vision is to create a long-term program—which Sendendescribed as one- to two-years long—to provide treatment,counseling and other services, like job training. As the individualmoves through the program, they will move into leadershippositions, as counselors, for example, that will help themtransition back into mainstream society. “We thought of this as away for people that are sick or have a problem to work through aprogram to be self-sustaining and well,” says Senden. “There is alot of substance abuse and mental illness in the homelesspopulation, and this concept provides a way to establishindependence 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.