Dignity Village homeless encampment was home to a community of about 350 people.


An encampment closes without arrests — or COVID-19 cases

In its endeavor to end homelessness, Gainesville begins dismantling an encampment that had become a ‘broken piece’ in a system of care.

One woman’s quest to find a home

Inside the world of a homeless woman at Dignity Village in Gainesville, Florida.

The slow shuttering of Dignity, which began last fall, sounded seamless on paper. Reality was different.


A couple’s decision to move rests on love for their canine companions

Two Dignity Village residents dedicate their lives to taking care of abused and malnourished dogs.

‘Bicycle Man’ stays busy, two wheels at a time

Mark Sheldon builds bicycles, but not a life.

The thin line between homelessness and not: A Greyhound bus ticket

Tatiana Garcia's ticket to a new life takes her to upstate New York.

A flag for a friend who sacrificed for his country

Rupert Heard remembers a Dignity Village veteran resident.

The self-proclaimed mayor of Dignity Village laments its loss

How one Dignity Village resident helps his community.

From an old car in a camp, Jennifer Pytlik seeks a bit of normalcy

When a beat-up Nissan is home and a garden gives solace.


There are more than a half-million people who are homeless in America, living in cars, shelters and on the street. A national consortium of student reporters fanned out across the country to find out how communities are responding.  Learn more about the reporting behind the stories here.

This work is a collaboration among the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Capital News Service, the University of Oregon, Stanford University, Arizona State University, the University of Arkansas, Boston University and the University of Florida.

Top photo: Chris Day/University of Florida