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, College of Alameda Fab Lab, FabCity Oakland
Project Type: Mobile
Status: Prototyping and Product Development
Reentry 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 reenvision 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 reentering their communities from prison. The two organizations came together to consider 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 both digital and physical fabrication, since these units are built 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 built the prototype at the Laney College and College of Alameda FabLab facilities.