Jan 07, 2014

Note: In advance of the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the biggest forum on the transportation research calendar, OTREC.us is profiling some of the researchers who will present their work.

In a session titled "Living Within the Right-of-Way: New Address for the Homeless," OTREC researcher Andrée Tremoulet will give a lectern presentation about her research into homelessness.

Encampments of homeless individuals and families living in state department of transportation rights of way often pose a unique challenge for DOT staff responsible for maintaining the public land.

The solution, as described in Tremoulet's report, is as complex and multifaceted as the problem.

In cases where urban campers need to be relocated, for the process to be humane and successful Tremoulet stresses that it must be achieved through a cooperative effort between community orgnizations.

She advocates using a "push/pull" method, combining the "push" of law enforcement to clear the public land with the "pull" of assistance and housing programs to give homeless individuals direction, and a place to go.

The most important thing to remember, she says, is that no situation is alike and every set of circumstances will require a unique, tailored approach.

Following the publication of this OTREC project about a homeless relocation effort in...

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Sep 18, 2013
OTREC researchers dedicated some time to helping Department of Transportation staff members face a problem that isn’t strictly part of their job description: how best to deal with homeless individuals and households living in DOT rights-of-way and rest areas.
 
As owners of some of the largest stretches of public land, DOTs have to maintain the land for public use, but may lack resources to address the social welfare aspects of the stewardship of public land.
 
Homeless individuals and families sometimes seek shelter in rest areas, drawn to the facilities available there. When an established homeless encampment begins to interfere with the rest area’s intended function or threaten the safety of its users, the state DOT may need to intervene.
 
In 2010, the Baldock Restoration Group relocated 37 homeless households from the Baldock Rest Area near Wilsonville, Oregon. Due to its scale, the Baldock Rest Area relocation provided OTREC researchers with a unique opportunity to analyze the process and consider how best to respond to issues of this nature in the future.
Investigators Ellen Bassett and Andrée Tremoulet of Portland State University set out to determine the extent to which homeless...
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