Alabama: Storing Up for Home, Auburn Students Convert Shipping Containers Into Housing for People With HIV
May 4, 2006
Fifteen miles outside Auburn in rural Lee County, a growing campus run by AIDS Outreach of East Alabama Medical Center is providing transitional housing for people with HIV. The homes, made from modified large steel shipping containers, were designed and largely built by Auburn University students participating in the Rural Studio housing program and the Community Outreach Center for Design and Construction, part of the university's College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
The campus currently has three major structures: the three-bedroom W.C. Walker home for HIV-positive men, a home still under construction that will eventually house two HIV-positive mothers with up to two children each, and a community center that is being built.
Work on the rural campus began three years ago, when the Rural Studio program erected the W.C. Walker House. Kevin Singh, who is working on his master's degree in the design-build program, said the concept of using storage containers came naturally since they are in abundant supply. "It's just kind of rethinking an idea -- what can you use it for other than storage."
Much of the labor and materials for the buildings was donated, and funds were raised from a variety of sources, including AIDS Alabama. Marilyn A. Swyers, manager of East Alabama AIDS Outreach, said the project has helped forge a strong connection between the community and people with HIV. The men can live in the housing for up to two years while they look for employment and permanent housing.
05.01.06; Dave Parks
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.