College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Department

Vehicle Residency Research Program

  • Through an alumna gift, in 2012 Seattle University's Center for Strategic Communications began the Seattle Vehicle Resident Research Program to research the population size, demographics, spatial use and needs of people living within vehicles on public streets.

    Led by research fellow Graham Pruss, this program seeks to document the hundreds of people in Seattle who live in their cars, how they are affected by law, and how they can be assisted to secure permanent housing. Mr. Pruss works with Seattle U students, volunteers, advocates, service providers, as well as local law enforcement and government to provide information which can advise local policies to assist vehicle residents.

    The 2012 Vehicle Resident Advisory Report was published in September 2012 and presented to the Seattle City Council's Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee, chaired by Councilmember Nick Licata. This presentation and work to increase awareness of programs which assist people who live within vehicles to secure permanent housing contributed to Seattle City Budget allocation of $65,000 for vehicle resident-specific programs in 2013.

    Click here for the one-page fact sheet summarizing the 2012 SVRRP Advisory Report.

    Click here for the full 2012 Vehicle Advisory Report.