Our Mad Houser Build : Crawford’s honors English 1102 Class
Crawford, T. Hugh
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LCC and the Institute Honors Program are marking Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at Georgia Tech by constructing a full-sized Mad Houser hut in the Skiles Courtyard. Hugh Crawford's Honors Section of English 1102 Composition has been studying homelessness in America, paying particular attention to the work of the Atlanta-based Mad Housers group. The Mad Housers, a non-profit corporation engaged in charitable work, research and education, are perhaps best known for their hands-on, pragmatic approach to providing shelter for homeless people, in particular through the design, construction, and provision of small (6'x8'x10') frame-and-plywood huts. These shelters, though not meant as permanent housing, provide privacy, security, stability and protection from the elements-- all of which the organization believes are vital in helping people escape homelessness. The Mad Housers were founded by Georgia Tech College of Architecture graduate students Michael Connor and Brian Finkel to address the problem of homelessness in Atlanta. Mad Houser shelters are provided free of charge or obligation to their inhabitants. In addition to research on homelessness in general, the class has been archiving newspaper articles and photographs, conducting audio and video interviews with Mad Houser clients and with current and former members of the group, as well as participating in some of the builds. They hope their work will provide a central archive for helping people to understand the goals and activities of this charitable group.