“Homelessness exists not because the system is not working but because this is the way it works.” — Peter Marcuse

There is no easy solution to the problem of homelessness, but we believe there is a more holistic way of considering it. Our project will seek to expose the multi-faceted nature of the issue, from the formation of systemic inequity, to the evolution of bureaucratic policy, to the part that each one of us plays in sustaining these institutions in our shared city.


Event Photos ↓


Agenda ↓

6:30 Dinner and a Show

Act 1: The Setting – Marcus Moore
Everyone has a chance to pull themselves up and succeed in America. What is it like to experience housing precarity?

Act 2: The Conflict – Lynn Lewis
The programs we have are effectively addressing the situation.
What does the system in place offer? What are the alternatives.

Act 3: The Resolution – Rob Robinson
People experiencing homelessness are less than the rest of us.
How can we empower ourselves and others to break the cycle?

8:10 Cocktails and Conversation

The Socratic Circle

Closing Reflections


Acknowledgements ↓

A special thank you to our guests, The Picture the Homeless Oral History Project and the Systemic Radial Change Forefront Fellowship Team, Alp Bozkurt, Johane Clermont, April De Simone, Nova Lucero and Emma Silverblatt, for a memorable evening. This event would not have been possible without the exceptional generosity of the Andrew Freedman Home.


Our Sponsors ↓

This program is made possible through the support of Magnusson Architecture and Planning and our Director’s Circle.

Shape our year-long inquiry by becoming a program sponsor and promote conversation between our Forefront Fellows and invited decision-makers on addressing the homelessness crisis in New York City.

To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0550, daniel@urbandesignforum.org.


About Shelter for All ↓

This event is the tenth of our Shelter for All Forefront Fellowship, a fellowship dedicated to cultivating twenty diverse and emerging leaders in urban design, policy and development. This year, our Fellows spent the summer in partnership with the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the American Institute of Architects to draft city guidelines on shelter design, and now they are spending the fall and spring investigating the full spectrum of homelessness.