In the Fall of 2003, the Center’s director, requested the help of the School of Architecture in designing a storage system to aid in organizing donations; however, as a result of several visits to the site–a city block full of sprawled and disconnected structures–the students and faculty observed a terrible contradiction: while the Center’s mission is “Giving People Back Their God-Given Dignity,” the physical environment and facilities were depressing, coarse, and spiritually degrading. After an initial master plan the students immediate began building small installations which eventually led to several large scale projects.
Within the chapel of the homeless shelter, the students elevated the mundane program of a “wall or separation” between the chapel and the clothing donation store into something extraordinary. Based on proportions of surplus glass panels, the students designed a modular storage wall unit which functions as children’s toy display within the donation store and a focal point in the chapel a stained-glass window. The storage / window –wall was constructed in 8 days for less than $200 from primarily recycled materials in summer 2004.