Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

David Andrews

Reader 2

Vanessa Tyson


In the hopes of addressing a growing unsheltered population, Seattle, home to the third largest homeless population in the United States, has advanced the unique strategy of city-permitted villages. In this project, I investigate the efficacy of the formalization of the homeless encampment in addressing a worsening crisis. I propose that the government aims to (1) reduce the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, (2) create a space that fosters stability and dignity, and (3) reduce visual poverty through Chris Herring’s construction of homeless seclusion. Using public government reports, I explore the permitted villages’ impact on the number of sheltered and unsheltered individuals over time. I then examine the program’s utilization rate and exit rate to permanent housing compared to basic and enhanced shelters. Lastly, in order to determine what subpopulations are being under-served by the emergency shelter system, I compare the demographic makeup of the unsheltered to sheltered. Ultimately, this paper critically analyzes a reactive approach to homelessness rather than a proactive and preventative one.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.