An artist rendering of the High Cotton Center

Architecture Faculty, Students Help Develop Lubbock Homeless Facility

The project is now in the fundraising stage to create the High Cotton Center.

At the corner of East 13th Street and Avenue A in Lubbock sits an old cotton gin at the front of a large lot. On the back of that lot are several tents that give an image of an old army encampment.

But this has nothing to do with the armed forces. This lot, known as Tent City, houses Lubbock’s homeless population, which in recent years has been moved from the area outside the downtown branch of the public library to the corner of Broadway and Avenue Q to its current location as plans for downtown redevelopment began to take shape.

The City of Lubbock, however, is doing more than just finding a convenient, out-of-eyesight location for its homeless. And Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture has played a large part in providing the Lubbock homeless a better place to live.

Through Link Ministries, a faith-based non-profit organization that operates Tent City, plans have been devised and fundraising is underway to create a new homeless assistance facility on the lot at 13th and A, known as the High Cotton Center.

Urban Tech, the College of Architecture’s design studio located in downtown Lubbock to aid in redevelopment of that area, teamed with Link Ministries on the ground floor of the project to develop a long-term vision for Tent City. Though Urban Tech’s involvement has diminished – by design – as the project has approached the fundraising stage, director David Driskill said the experience was tremendous for both him and his students.

“It’s meant a great deal to the students and to me,” Driskill said. “I would say that the two years we were very hands on with the project were the most fulfilling two years of my teaching career. I think the students would agree. We all really felt like we were having an impact on what was going on.”