How Transportation Departments Can Help the Unhoused

Jacob Wasserman, researcher at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, spoke to Streetsblog USA about how state departments of transportation (DOTs) can help unhoused people. Researchers from the institute created a meta-analysis of how transportation officials respond to encampments on government property. “DOTs do tend to frame [this issue] as a safety problem, and they’re not wrong; these are often dangerous environments, particularly for unhoused people themselves,” Wasserman said. “But there are benefits, too. [Highway overpasses] are often sheltered environments where people can congregate, find community, have eyes on the street.” The report stressed the importance of baseline training for front-line transportation workers on how to interact with unhoused people in humane ways. Wasserman added, “When it comes to making repeat visits to encampments, building trust with unhoused people, giving [them] proof that your interventions are actually going to put them on a path to stability — that work is probably best done by service providers.”


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *