KTGY converts vacant big-box stores into housing for homeless individuals

KTGY converts vacant big-box stores into housing for homeless individuals

international firm KTGY architecture + planning proposes re-habit, a plan to convert vacant, big box stores into smaller retail spaces and units to provide housing, employment, and support for homeless individuals. developed by the firm’s research + development studio, the project brings together two ongoing issues in the US, the homelessness crisis and the record number of closing big box stores, such as macy’s JC penney, and sears, repurposing those into self-supporting, mixed-use transitional housing.

KTGY converts vacant big-box stores into housing for homeless individualsall images courtesy of KTGY, research + development studio



according to the US department of housing and urban development, the country’s homeless population has increased significantly between 2016 and 2017, counting 553,742 homeless individuals. tapping onto the ongoing trend of repurposing vacant big box stores, KTGY‘s research + development studio is proposing an alternative that addresses the homeless crisis while at the same time providing a creative solution for underutilized retail spaces.



‘living without a home not only endangers individuals’ health and safety, but is also a significant barrier to obtaining and keeping a means of employment,’ notes the studio, ‘shelter is a necessity for all, and providing housing is one way to ease suffering and support individuals seeking to break a cycle of poverty.’ the re-habit project features a mixed-use program that combines self improvement and recreational facilities with housing. four types of sleeping accommodation give residents the option to choose between a 20-bed pod, 12-bed pod, a 2-bed room, and eight individual apartment units.



an entry path to the mall is surrounded by retail spaces of varying sizes, completed with renewable energy features such as photovoltaic facades. homeless individuals enter the transitional housing program through the welcome center, where they can also register for training and employment. residents can grow fresh ingredients to be used for cooking in their kitchen and for selling at the small food shops,while the dining hall operates with a rotating chore system, where everybody is responsible for either working in the kitchen or keeping the space clean.

KTGY converts vacant big-box stores into housing for homeless individuals

KTGY converts vacant big-box stores into housing for homeless individuals

  • Given that a very substantial portion of these individuals have mental issues — would it not be better to give them some separation – rather than cubicles? This is more like the readers here would like to think they would like to be treated …without considering the realities of disturbed individuals. I doubt they want to be in an ant farm.



    JimCan says:
  • This is a project we need to happen. I have heard of this idea before, and I hope we can see it put to the test. Props to KTGY for having their priorities straight.

    Allison Rios says:
  • The concept touches my heart, there is such need and the ever increasing big box stores

    H L Caldwell says:
  • This innovative concept is far better than mat on a floor or a tent on some sidewalk. It gives some humanity and an opportunity to create transition. The key is added affordable housing and additional housing vouchers for people to move on from here to permanent housing.

    William Higgins says:
  • Lovely idea! Except for the curtain, every being has a need for privacy, we all need a door we can close and lock. Tho if you’re dealing with addicts I can understand why you couldn’t have that, for safety concern. But great idea!

    Carrie says:
  • Wonderful concept but I see a problem with the basketball court so close to housing units.

    Linda says:
  • i have been thought of a similar idea where the use of correctional facilities be used to do the same thing as you are.like old facilities converted into single occupancy or double occupancy living residences for poor people who are homeless and those who cant afford housing i think it should be done as i write and cannot for the life of me and others why this has not become a reality here in the usa and abroad where people are dirt poor,
    these facilities would be made of prefab and modern and would not have a whole lot of labor costs to construct,relatively and practically cheap and lasting housing for whoever needs it.

    mykel says:

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