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Several years ago, at a conference on representing the homeless, advocates
were discussing developing suitable housing for single homeless people.
Several people argued against single room occupancy (SRO) units without
bathrooms and cooking facilities. The question was posed as one of human
dignity; our clients should not be subjected to the lowest possible form of
housing. I was fully persuaded by the argument, but for one problem. In New
Haven, Connecticut, in seeking to redevelop Connecticut's largest SRO, we
had interviewed 150 of the 218 occupants. Our clients, a large majority, told
us that they did not want bathrooms or, to a lesser extent, cooking facilities in
their rooms. When I mentioned this, an advocate from Wisconsin stated that
his program had had the same experience.

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low-income housing, homelessness, client