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Great suggestion to turn dead malls into homeless shelters or affordable housing units. (Original Post) allgood33 Nov 2018 OP
Works for me. I've heard that 30% of available housing stock is empty, too. marble falls Nov 2018 #1
That is a good idea pecosbob Nov 2018 #2
Maintenance would be a nightmare IMO. New buildings better I think. nt USALiberal Nov 2018 #3
Maintenance, safety, building codes... TreasonousBastard Nov 2018 #6
Comments are mostly negative, I think it's worth looking at YessirAtsaFact Nov 2018 #4
The US's oldest mall was converted into micro apartments. I don't see why others can't be Autumn Nov 2018 #16
As someone who has done volunteer work with the homeless, PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2018 #5
Montgomery County, MD did this with several public schools that were closed. allgood33 Nov 2018 #7
School are laid out quite differently from malls, PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2018 #10
About your second paragraph JonLP24 Nov 2018 #8
Homeless places don't treat the homeless as if they're in jail, PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2018 #11
I've been homeless and have been to homeless places JonLP24 Nov 2018 #12
What is a CASS type of place? PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2018 #13
Central Arizona Shelter Services JonLP24 Nov 2018 #14
Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that Arizona would be this way. PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2018 #18
Glad to hear that things have improved for you grantcart Nov 2018 #15
Thank you JonLP24 Nov 2018 #17
I've seen one of these online: Cut up the storefronts into tiny apartments. lindysalsagal Nov 2018 #9

pecosbob

(7,656 posts)
2. That is a good idea
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:09 PM
Nov 2018

we could also use them to house asylum seekers instead of leaving them to be victimized at the border.

TreasonousBastard

(43,049 posts)
6. Maintenance, safety, building codes...
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:36 PM
Nov 2018

Temporary shelter, yeah, maybe, but conversion to permanent, or even semipermanent, housing would be a nightmare.

YessirAtsaFact

(2,066 posts)
4. Comments are mostly negative, I think it's worth looking at
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:14 PM
Nov 2018

You've got these empty buildings that frequently sit empty for years.

Why not make something useful out of them?

Autumn

(45,519 posts)
16. The US's oldest mall was converted into micro apartments. I don't see why others can't be
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 12:01 PM
Nov 2018

turned into homeless shelters or cheaper apartments in high cost living areas.

https://www.countryliving.com/real-estate/a35148/shopping-mall-micro-homes-in-rhode-island/

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,045 posts)
5. As someone who has done volunteer work with the homeless,
Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:34 PM
Nov 2018

this is a feel-good idea that isn't entirely practical, not without a vast amount of funding.

First off, even small malls have tens of thousands of square feet. How are you going to monitor or patrol all that space? How are you going to keep the homeless from hiding out in corners, doing drugs, assaulting others, and so on?

Turning unused retail space into living space isn't going to be easy, cheap, or quick. The food courts do not have one central food preparation space, but separate ones for each and every food vendor. So the food court is not going to be easy to convert into a cafeteria.

The public bathrooms are simply toilets and sinks, and often there's one ladies' and one men's and that's it. Probably the individual retail spaces have their own toilet and sink, but nowhere are there showers. Also, homeless people are sadly inconsiderate of others in many ways. The homeless shelter where I volunteer learned a long time ago that the water for the sinks has to be on a fairly short timer, because they'll turn on the water full blast and not bother to turn it off again. Stuff like that.

What would have potential is to hire some of the homeless to do things like maintenance and repair. Give them a stake in the place. But even that is problematical.

 

allgood33

(1,584 posts)
7. Montgomery County, MD did this with several public schools that were closed.
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 06:47 AM
Nov 2018

It has worked well with the ones with which I am familiar. It takes money but so does caring for the homeless. And portions of the malls could still be used as commercial retail for small stores and outlets for small businesses who might employ the residents of the converted malls.

We build tons of new housing developments around small strip malls with stores and restaurants in almost self-contained suburban communities. No reason we couldn't do the same in renovated malls.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,045 posts)
10. School are laid out quite differently from malls,
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 11:00 AM
Nov 2018

and don't have very large public areas. Schools have lots of classrooms that open off of hallways, and those classrooms are considerably smaller than most retail spaces.

JonLP24

(29,332 posts)
8. About your second paragraph
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 06:51 AM
Nov 2018

I don't think it's necessary to patrol the homeless like it is jail and many places seem able to manage it without having a camera in every corner.

So glad I'm not homeless most places treat you like you're in jail.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,045 posts)
11. Homeless places don't treat the homeless as if they're in jail,
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 11:03 AM
Nov 2018

but there's a level of security -- and I don't mean with actual security people but simply with trained staff -- that simply isn't needed in most other places.

A lot of the homeless are mentally ill, and it doesn't take much to set most of them off.

Again, I've done volunteer work at a shelter. All of you who think turning malls into homeless shelter, spend some time volunteering with the homeless, and you'll get a better sense of what might need to be done.

JonLP24

(29,332 posts)
12. I've been homeless and have been to homeless places
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 11:06 AM
Nov 2018

They do treat you like you're in jail. I have a really good sense because I've been there. I also have mental illness so what?

I think they could turn a mall into a CASS type of place. Most homeless people are just like you or me and don't need to be treated as if they are inmates in a jail.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,045 posts)
13. What is a CASS type of place?
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 11:26 AM
Nov 2018

I will simply add that the homeless shelter I volunteer at does not treat the guests (the term we actually use) as if they are in jail. The issue of mental illness matters, because many of them are not getting appropriate treatment, which complicates things for themselves and for those around them.

JonLP24

(29,332 posts)
14. Central Arizona Shelter Services
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 11:38 AM
Nov 2018

A place that does treat you like you are in jail unless you are a veteran but even then it is still like jail which makes me glad I'm no longer homeless. I don't have to put up with the BS. Other places treat it like jail but want a percentage of your earnings and will make you owe them money.

Of course mental health matters but they not violent and are in fact more likely to be victims of violence.


lot of the homeless are mentally ill, and it doesn't take much to set most of them off.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,045 posts)
18. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that Arizona would be this way.
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 03:16 PM
Nov 2018

I'm in New Mexico, and the shelter I volunteer at is formally knows as the Interfaith Shelter, and is run by a consortium of most, maybe all of the faith communities in the city. There is NO religion being pushed on anyone. It's just that much of what happens is done by volunteers, who are mostly with one faith group or another.

lindysalsagal

(21,228 posts)
9. I've seen one of these online: Cut up the storefronts into tiny apartments.
Sun Nov 25, 2018, 08:07 AM
Nov 2018

I say, add in some basic food service and basic healthcare, mental health support, transportation, and child-care, and we'd solve our drug problems overnight. That would also reduce crime significantly. It would also create service, maintenance and security jobs.

It wouldn't be a 4-star resort, but it would be livable, and sustainable and reasonably safe. Set them up in sparse regions like the Dakotas and Nebraska. Loosen up the congestion, polution, and the heavy educational burden of major cities.

But it would only work if it were non-profit, and that requires capitalists to let go of their hold over politics.

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