About Us


UnHomeless NYC is an experiment in community college teaching. By connecting the college with the local community, the works and events in and out of the gallery will encourage visitors and students to consider applying the knowledge and insights learned through the arts and humanities to resolve problems that exist on campus and in nearby Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

Our Mission

Can art and humanities change attitudes about homelessness? This public engagement and collaborative research project bring together CUNY faculty, students, artists, and community partners to examine and act on the issues of homelessness in New York City.


UnHomeless NYC Contributors


Maureen Conner

Artist and Professor Emeritus, Queens College, CUNY

Maureen Connor is an artist and educator based in New York since the 1970s. Since 2000, her projects have been structured as collaborative investigations where human relationships and social interactions constitute a central focus. Internationally recognized for her feminist work from the 1980s and ’90s, Connor has been included in numerous publications and exhibited widely in national and international venues. Teaching at Queens College, CUNY since 1990, she co-founded the Social Practice Queens program in 2010 and is now Emerita Professor. With the Institute for Wishful Thinking (IWT, 2008–ongoing), a collective project that shifts the role of the artist from cultural critic to change agent, she has been working on projects that raise awareness about the legacy of Dr. J. Marion Sims since 2015. How to Perform an Abortion, her pedagogy and art project that presents the history of fertility control and management is a series of installations that consist of gardens of abortifacient plants, accompanying workshops and publications, which take place at arts and community-based organizations. Current projects include Owning Earth, Unison Arts Center, New Paltz, NY and Abortion Herb Garden, Denniston Hill, Glen Wild, NY. Connor has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, NYFA, and Anonymous Was a Woman among others.

http://www.maureenconnor.net/  https://www.howtoperformanabortion.com/

Jason Leggett

Assistant Professor of Law and Society, CUNY Kingsborough

Jason Leggett is an Assistant Professor at Kingsborough Community College. He holds a J.D. from Seattle University and a B.A. in Political Science (Honors with Distinction) from the University of Washington. Leggett has published articles about the social construction of technology and participatory research with diverse students with an emphasis on civic engagement, culturally responsive pedagogy, and equity. Legget’s current grant-funded projects include working with students as co-researchers to integrate digital technology with action research in order to study structural displacement related to sea level rise, housing injustice, and migration. 

Tommy Mintz

Artist and Assistant Professor of Photography, CUNY Kingsborough

Tommy Mintz’s work draws upon the aesthetics and concepts of street photography, collage, and mapping in digital culture. Most recently, he has been working on the Automated Digital Photo Collage (ADPC), an interactive installation that captures sequential images, analyzes them for differences, and collages them. The project was built using the Raspberry Pi, a $35 computer and Python code. His most well-known project, The New York City Public Toilet Map, 2008, drew on his experiences as a street photographer and the universal need for publicly accessible restrooms. He researched, designed, and printed and distributed over 600 paper copies of the pocket-sized New York City Public Toilet Map, which was unveiled at the Jewish Museum as part of the performance piece Uncle Bob’s Variety Show.

Rob Robinson

Housing Activist and Professor of Urbanism, The New School of Social Research

Rob Robinson was a cofounder and member of the Leadership Committee of the Take Back the Land Movement and is currently a Special Advisor at Partners for Dignity and Rights (formerly known as NESRI). After losing his job in 2001, he spent two years homeless on the streets of Miami and ten months in a New York City shelter. He eventually overcame homelessness and has been in the housing movement based in New York City since 2007. In the fall of 2009, Rob was chosen to be the New York City chairperson for the first-ever official mission to the US of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. He was a member of an advance team coordinated by the US Human Rights Network in early 2010, traveling to Geneva Switzerland several times to prepare for the United States’ initial appearance in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Rob has worked with homeless populations in Budapest, Hungary and Berlin, Germany and is connected with housing and land movements in South Africa and Brazil. He works with the European Squatters Collective, International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), Landless People’s Movement (MST) and the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in Brazil , and the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages in Spain (PAH). He currently serves on behalf of IAI as the coordinator of the USA-Canada Alliance of Inhabitants.

He is a regular guest lecturer at the City University of New York Graduate Center and University Law Schools throughout the US and Canada. Rob has a working relationship with the New School University where he mentors students and supports their thesis projects in an architectural master’s degree program called Design and Urban Ecology. He was appointed an adjunct professor of Urbanism at New School in September 2021.

Midori Yamamura

Assistant Professor of Art History, CUNY Kingsborough

The author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press: 2015) and a co-editor of Visual Representations of the Cold War and Postcolonial Struggles: Arts in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge: 2021), Yamamura is a specialist in post-WWII Asian and Asian Diaspora art and feminist art. She was a historical adviser and one of the interviewees in Heather Lenz’s film, Kusama Infinity. She received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. Among various distinctions, she received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Japan Foundation, and was a predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow at the Tokyo Research Institute of Cultural Properties (Tobunken), living and researching Japanese contemporary art for fourteen months, before her appointment at Kingsborough. Previously, she lectured at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and taught classes at Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and Fordham University. She was appointed as an Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) Distinguished Scholar at the CUNY Graduate Center in Fall 2022.


Elena Grachev

CUNY Kingsborough Student

Elena Grachev is an artist and undergraduate student at Kingsborough Community College. Majoring in Fine Art with a concentration in Art History, they plan to receive a Bachelors in Art within the next two years. Elena’s work as a curatorial assistant in UnHomeless NYC consisted of installation work and documentation, generating a learning module surrounding the exhibition’s work and key ideas, and creating pins to spread awareness towards the issue of homelessness. 


Vina Orden

Freelance Writer and Editor

Vina Orden is an Editor for poetry and creative nonfiction at Slant’d magazine and a freelance writer, whose stories about the Filipino American community have appeared in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s (AAWW) The Margins, hella pinay, Hyperallergic, Asian Journal, The FilAm, and CUNY Forum. Currently, she is a 2022 Open City Fellow at AAWW, working on a portfolio that brings to light underreported stories about the pandemic and its aftermath, particularly of low-income Asian Americans in “in-between” spaces. If you are an AAPI student who would like to share your story about food, housing, and/or economic insecurity for an upcoming community reporting project, please email Vina at hyffeinated@gmail.com by April 10, 2022. 


Tommy Trieu

CUNY Kingsborough Student

Tommy Trieu is a current undergraduate student at Kingsborough Community College majoring in Computer Information Systems (CIS). By taking a course held by Prof. Yamamura, he was able to learn and gain an interest in homeless activism and eventually join the UnHomeless NYC team. With his interest in this social issue and in web page creation, he has been able to assist the team by building and maintaining the UnHomeless NYC website which is used as a platform to showcase a variety of artists and their activism through their artworks. 

Shaindy Weichman

CUNY Kingsborough Student

A visual artist and a community activist, Shaindy Weichman contributed to the UnHomeless NYC website content. Shaindy grew up in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox community. By 19 years old, she was already a wife and mother. At the start of a four-year-long custody battle, she was made homeless by a court order in which she had to leave her home. She also sought to be granted the right to enroll her son in a school that provided students with basic secular education, unlike the ultra-Orthodox yeshiva he had been attending since the age of three that did not. Despite ultimately losing the custody battle and the right to change her son’s school, today Shaindy is a strong advocate for her community’s right and access to basic secular education as a Parent Ambassador with YAFFED (Young Advocates For Fair Education). Shaindy is a 2020 recipient of the Armstrong and Dorothy Lim Award in Photography and a 2022 semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

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