College of Arts and Letters


Political Science & Geography

Graduate Level


Graduate Program/Concentration

Geographic Information Systems (Graduate Certificate)

Publication Date





In October 2021, The Center: A Temporary Shelter transitioned from its downtown location to a residential area a few blocks away. After the move, a pressing, geographic-based question has surfaced: what makes the best location for the houseless population to be able to utilize resources? Using two methods, this study endeavored to answer this question in multiple ways, through different lenses. Method one's objectives are to find an optimal location(s) for a potential Norfolk day service facility based on 1) proximity to social and health services, 2) proximity to a neighborhood that would most benefit from a day center, and 3) is easily walkable. Whereas the objectives of method two are to: 1) Utilize survey results from the main stakeholders in a day shelter and, 2) incorporating the voice of the houseless. The first method was a suitability study involving known aspects and locations important to the houseless community that utilized spatial analysis techniques including join, intersect, and erase. The second method utilized the results of a survey conducted by adults experiencing houselessness and their additional comments and suggestions on what factors they believe to be important. This study seeks multiple locations to meet the needs of this complex community. The first method highlights Park Place and Ward’s Corner neighborhoods, while the second method determined that downtown Norfolk, Oceanview and Military Circle would be the most optimal. Most importantly, this study highlights how factors thought to be important from a GIS analyst’s perspective are different from the most important stakeholders': the houseless community.


Geographic Information Systems, Geographic Information Science, GIS, Homeless, Houseless, Site Selection, Homeless Shelter, Day Shelter, Day Center, Suitability Analysis


Geographic Information Sciences | Human Geography | Urban Studies and Planning



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Site Selection for Norfolk Day Services Facility