56:AnthroNews:TheAnthroGuys Blog

1 03 2009

By theanthroguy (aka Dr. Delcore)

On Feb. 5, the Anthrogeek[Dr. Mullooly], six anthro students and I were down at this month’s ArcHop exhibit, a full-scale model of a small efficiency unit that, if built in a proposed development here, could be the first stop for people leaving homelessness in Fresno. We were there, with architect/collaborators Kiel Famellos-Schmidt, Shaunt Yemenjian and Mike Pinheiro, for opening night, as members of the public came through to view the model and give us their thoughts on high-density, affordable downtown living. The event was a success, crowded and bustling, with plenty of people willing to blab to our students who were on hand with notebooks, pens and cameras rolling. This past Feb. 14-15, we started Phase II of the project, with two participatory design workshops for homeless people who might eventually end up in these units. On Saturday, anthro student Elfego Franco, Kiel and I went down to Roeding Park where the folks at Food Not Bombs put on lunch for homeless people on the southwest end of Fresno every Saturday. Al Williams, a local homeless advocate and former homeless person himself agreed to recruit some folks for a workshop the next day at 2pm. We then met Mike and went to the downtown homeless encampment known as “Little Tijuana” to recruit for the 10am workshop. This means we went up to about 15 homeless people, sight unseen, to explain the project and see if anyone was interested. Despite some wary looks, most were, and we agreed to see them the next day.

[That’s not the end! To read the rest, and other blogs, go to: http://theanthroguys.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/bored-in-fresno-become-an-anthropologist/]