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NC State Creatives: Danny Garrett

Title card for NC State Creatives feature of Danny Garrett

Danny Garret is a graduate student in the College of Design’s new Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program, also known as MAAS.

As a former Marine, Danny is using his time in the MAAS program to research factors that contribute to veteran homelessness and suicide. Ultimately, he aims to design a sustainable, supportive, community-based housing typology that pinpoints the specific needs of veterans.

About Danny’s project, “Addressing Veteran Homelessness to Combat Veteran Suicide”

Veteran homelessness is a major issue on a national level. Homelessness has been defined as not having a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence”. Veterans account for approximately 7% of the total population, but nearly 20% of the homeless adult population are veterans.

Systematic reviews found major risk factors for veteran homelessness include substance abuse, mental illness, financial distress, and lack of social support, which are also the main risk factors identified for veteran suicide. With a suicide rate of 81 per 100,000, veterans are an especially vulnerable group, compared to 23 per 100,000 civilian adults.

Veteran homeless programs were designed to reduce the overall numbers and ignore the causes of homelessness by treating symptoms rather than the disease. The root causes of homelessness and suicide among veterans must be addressed before such problems are solved.

An intervention is needed, and a sustainable, supportive, community-based housing typology, one where veterans feel their voices are heard, will provide just that.

This post was originally published in College of Design Blog.