Where We’re Coming From
We come from small consulting and design companies, non-profits, community organizations, and large companies like Microsoft, AT&T, HTC. Some of us have advanced degrees in public policy and business. We’re educated, experienced, and committed to the idea that we can make a difference. We’re impatient and unwilling to wait any longer and we believe there is a way out of the problem of a growing homeless population. We take the same strategy, measurement, design-thinking, and research methods that we’ve been using to serve Fortune 100 clients and apply it to making progress on homelessness.
We’re just getting started, so we are being especially careful to avoid jumping to conclusions. We don’t yet know the answer, but we do know it isn’t going to happen with brute force. Bigger subsidies and direct government services may blunt the problem, but they don’t scale or adapt quick enough to fix it. We’ll need to make small adjustments in the system that promotes homelessness.
Many people believe if someone is homeless, that’s proof that they’ve made bad decisions and they must be stubborn or lazy to not get themselves back into housing. The more we learn from people experiencing homelessness, the more we learn that a single event - family illness, rent increase, job loss - is enough to push families into crisis. Focusing on the people impacted first to understand their experiences, stories, challenges is key to creating solutions that actually help.
Starting with small proof points allows us to fail small and learn fast. When we find something that works, we’ll take our lessons and move into an adjacent space, leaving the job of scaling the solution to partners. We’ll build on what works.
Successful solutions must thrive in the environment that they operate in and create incentives for behavior that perpetuates positive, virtuous cycles.
Networks of family, friends and extended connections we all have play an enormous role in our success. There are already thousands of dedicated, smart and tireless people working on the problem. We focus on aligning efforts to work better together.
We believe that individuals in crisis know best what works for them. Start with the people impacted. Recognize that everyone is different, so no one-size-fits-all solution is going to eradicate homelessness. Build partnerships that empower people experiencing homelessness to drive their path out.