Gabrielle Clowdus


Gabrielle is a research fellow and PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota studying housing and homelessness. Concurrent with Gabrielle’s dissertation, she was hired by a large healthcare system and the University of Minnesota to look at homelessness in the Twin Cities. There was a growing concern around the homeless population using the Emergency Room as a place of refuge. The CEO of the county hospital lamented that it costs them $1500 a day to provide a bed and a meal to someone who otherwise has no emergency medical needs. The homeless had found a loophole in the system: they would not be turned away from the hospital. So, on nights when the shelters are full or very cold nights when the unsheltered must go in, the homeless find their way to the ER for reprieve. Gabrielle began a multi-year investigation into how we might respond to homelessness more productively.

Settled was created as a response to the enormous barriers to housing the homeless by generating affordable housing in an intentional community environment through private funding, religious land federally protected against NIMBYism, purposeful work opportunities, and missional neighbors who live and serve alongside the formerly homeless.

Gabrielle holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Architecture and is at the end of a 5-year Ph.D. program in Housing Studies where she brought a "Community First" approach to homelessness to the academic community for the first time, comparing it with the prevailing "Housing First” model. Before entering into this work, she was the head of the Architecture department at a nonprofit that converted shipping containers into orphanages, clinics, and schools in partnership with developing nations. She has devoted her studies, travels, and career to walking alongside people in poverty recognizing that her own privilege comes with responsibility and more importantly, a profound conviction that we belong to one another.