Living in Poverty

Living in Poverty Research

25, نوفمبر 2010

From the very beginning of the Innovations project, our group decided that we wanted to focus on poverty, and the people living in poverty near us. There is an especially high population of impoverished people in Georgia, with nearly 15% of Georgians living below the poverty line. Most living in Downtown and Metro-Atlanta.

For narrowing down our research, we needed to decide who we wanted to focus on. There are people living in poverty in permanent housing, homeless people, people at risk of homelessness, and people in between, who bounce around from homeless to sheltered.

There are a lot of people who live in poverty but are not considered homeless. These people have permanent housing situations, and try their hardest to successfully raise families. Most of these people are considered the Working-Poor. These people have jobs, but they are usually working at minimum wage and do not have the means to provide their families with the luxuries that a lot of Americans are blessed with, such as a meal each night.

A lot of the working poor are at risk for homelessness. This is because of the cost of housing. Minimum wage workers can not afford Fair Market Rent for a two bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. People should not spend more than 30% of their income on housing, however, people working at minimum wage cannot afford housing at 30% of their income. This puts them at high risk for losing their residences.

When people think of poverty, especially in Atlanta, they usually think of the homeless. Homelessness is defined as: “the condition and social category of people without a regular house or dwelling because they cannot afford, or are otherwise unable to maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack ‘fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence’” ( Homelessness is not only the state of not having a home, it is also a mindset and a state of mind.

There are also people in between the state of being homeless and not. These are the people who live paycheck to paycheck, literally. They will live on the streets for a night or two, then they will get paid and take their family to a hotel for a few nights. Once they run out of money they will be back on the streets. These are also the people who will go back and forth between the houses of family members or church members. They do not have a permanent residence, but they do not have the mindset of a homeless person.

Our group is still in the process of doing or field research. We have met with Molly Williams, Facilitator of Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau for The National Coalition for the Homeless. She is a recent graduate of Georgia Tech, and has taken part in research of homeless women and children for over a year. We asked where she see’s the biggest need for innovation, and she told us about the growing population of homeless women and children. The statistics are shocking. Over 20% of the georgians living in poverty are children.

Molly told us that there are things that we do not think about when it comes to homeless women and children, for example, feminine hygiene. Women living in poverty do not usually have access to products that they need. Also, children who are in school lack access to supplies necessary for take-home projects, such as collages and posters.

There is certainly need for innovation in the population of Georgians living in poverty. We are currently setting up an interview with a homeless woman that Molly works with. We feel like we will gain a lot of knowledge and insight on the situation by hearing what she wants and needs.

Elevator Pitch – Living in Poverty

22, نوفمبر 2010

For the homeless community

Who are dissatisfied with shelters with function, but no form

Our innovation offering is making prefabricated good-looking shelters

That provides shelters that are easily put together and mass produced

This will provide quick shelters that look visually pleasing, unlike most shelters that are either quickly made or beautiful

Our innovation is a prefabricated, gorgeous, living community that is made in pieces and put together at the site. It satisfies both form and function.

Living in Poverty Problem Solving

22, نوفمبر 2010

In regards to all the homeless living in Atlanta, and all over the world, we would like to construct housing that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, these people living in poverty would rather live in an aesthetically pleasing home than an ugly one. Also, the homeless feel more secure, safe, and more part of the community when they live in better looking places. The problem is those nice-looking shelters usually take a multitude of time and money in order to be built. What our group is suggesting is that we make shelters that are aesthetically pleasing, but are also able to be mass produced, via prefabricated parts and an abundance of volunteers to put these shelters together. When we have the materials and manpower to accomplish this task, there will be safer, healthier, and overall better shelters for the homeless to live temporarily, but then escape out of their poverty.

Link to Homeless Dome Site

Homeless Domes, like the one above, can be mass produced, and are aesthetically pleasing. The only problem is that there is no sense of community.


11, نوفمبر 2010

We are still made up of Virginia Bradbury, Elizabeth Slagel, and Tori Mansell.

Our topic is… duh duh dum… poverty.