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Homeless Young People, Jobs, and a Future Vision: Community Members’ Perceptions of the Job Co-op

David G. Hendry
Norah Abokhodair
Rose Paquet Kinsley
Jill Palzkill Woelfer
C&T 2017 (2017)


We report on an empirical study where neighborhood stakeholders’ views of the Job Co-op future vision were investigated. Taking on the values of a grassroots service agency, while also drawing on emerging practices of peer-to-peer sharing systems, the Job Co-op matches homeless young people, up to age 30, to suitable jobs and job sponsors. Community members were invited to engage the future vison at a streetfair exhibition, comprising a carnival wheel of barriers and solutions to homelessness for beginning conversations; a storyboard for introducing the design vision; and a questionnaire for eliciting feedback. Qualitative analysis of 71 collected questionnaires explicated the socio-technical design space for addressing the problem of youth, homelessness, and jobs. The method demonstrates the use of exhibition design for constructing a design-oriented social context for community engagement, for educational outreach, for disseminating research and design possibilities, for conducting research, and for cooperative design