During our beloved lockdown times, I got the opportunity to join the team at Partisans, a very respected architecture firm in Toronto. I was brought on to help author a road map report that would identify three new housing typologies for transitional housing to help youth exiting the foster care system. I spent half a year researching existing methods, positive results, and theories to better understand how to best serve these youth, that I myself once was. We were able to build upon proven methods that work, and re-envision them on a continuum. How they might work off of each other in circular economic lay-out.
As the work went on, the project continued to evolve, and still does beyond this publication. The role of those with lived experience, for too long now, has been taken advantage off by these companies, seemingly nothing more than tokenization prompted by honorariums. It is nice to “feel” included, but what wonders we could do together if we were to actually BE included. They like to use the term “co-design” which is fine and dandy, but what we need to move forward in a positive, beneficial and productive way is “co-production” which in itself contains co-design.
I say this because, nothing gets better unless we consciously decide to dissolve these imaginary barriers that divide those who lived it, and the privilege of those who studied it in a classroom. It is bordering on being an industry in itself, a whole class of people living off of the offering of band aid solutions. Obsolescent social service, keeping the downtrodden downed, and trodden.
Together, we can do better.
Download a copy of the full report or the Executive Summary from the link below:
On The Way Home Podcast
In culmination of the release of the Solutions Lac Roadmap, I got the opportunity to be a guest on a podcast called “On The Way Home”. It tackles conversations about our growing homelessness issues in Ontario., and our episode specifical discusses the importance of premeditated action in the form of transitional housing for those with systemic pasts.
Check out their website and the full list of their episodes for more!