There has been an increase in the number of homeless individuals at airports in recent years. There are many reasons for this increase, including a reduced number of city shelters and the attractiveness of airports for homeless people due to their relative safety, transit accessibility, climate controlled shelter, and access to food and amenities. Responses to homeless people at airports have varied. Many airports wrestle with how to balance their primary function of serving the traveling public with dealing respectfully with people experiencing homelessness. In addition, homeless people may have physical and mental challenges and may add potential safety and security issues for airports. Research is needed to help airports partner with local community-based resources for developing and implementing strategies to address homelessness at airport facilities.
The objective of this research is to develop a primer and guidebook to help airport operators understand and respond to homeless people at their facility.