DJDS | Mobile Refuge Rooms
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Mobile Refuge Rooms


Client: Alameda County Department of Probation

Program Partners: Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), Elevator Works, Laney College Restoring our Communities Program, Laney College FabLab, FabCity Oakland

Project Type: Mobile


Re-entry housing provides access to job training, trauma-informed education, mental health support, and a place to rest and call home. Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) and DJDS recognized the need to re-envision the living component of supportive housing in order to balance the high cost of construction and support the volume of men and women who are re-entering their communities from prison. The two organizations came together to look at the program and place needed to support 40 men returning to Oakland from prison. Through a two-month community engagement process, a more cost-effective and dignified solution emerged that would provide the men with the privacy and spatial support they needed in the form of Mobile Refuge Rooms. 

Each unit is equipped with 3 furniture components: a bed, a desk, and storage for clothing and valuables. Folding panels and a sliding door are flat-packed inside the unit and are assembled to create the unique enclosure. These units can be deployed in clustered configurations within a space, and can be adapted to meet each individual’s personal preferences. 

In addition to providing living quarters, the project also provides a workforce development opportunity in digital and physical fabrication of these units by formerly-incarcerated men and women. Partners for the workforce development aspect of the project include Elevator Works and formerly-incarcerated students from Laney College’s Restoring our Communities (ROC) program, who have built the prototype at the FabLab facilities.