For the homeless, the experience of obtaining social services, whether in a soup kitchen, shelter, or free clinic, often means having to encounter institutional buildings marked by dingy walls, stained floors, and annoying fluorescent lights.  

“The message people get is, ‘We don’t really care very much about you,’” says Mike Alvidrez, CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust, Los Angeles. “We don’t see that as a healthy way to change one’s life.”