We are living through a moment of profound social disruption. As information becomes increasingly fragmented and faith in traditional institutions declines, more and more people are sensing the unraveling of the shared fabric that has traditionally connected communities. Electoral trends around the world seem to reinforce this notion.
What might be possible if we began to see this moment as an opportunity for new types of community behaviors and problem-solving institutions to arise? That question has emerged as a core discipline for our team at Community Solutions.
Community Solutions works upstream and downstream of homelessness by helping communities end it where it happens and improve the conditions of inequality that make it more likely to happen in the future, especially in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. We are partnering with communities to forge a new, more participatory problem-solving infrastructure, rooted in real-time data and driven by the principles of inclusive, human- centered design. The problem-solving skills and tools we teach enable meaningful collaboration, produce trustworthy information, highlight the value of local assets, and remind communities that problems like homelessness are both urgent and solvable.
In this spirit, our annual report focuses on the key partnerships that helped us drive innovation and change lives in 2016. Over the past year, our collaboration with groups like IDEO and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has helped communities move more than 28,000 homeless Americans into homes. We’ve also worked with government and private sector partners to ask how innovative real estate models could improve neighborhoods and mitigate the more harmful effects of gentrification. We’ve partnered with hospitals and private sector health insurers to improve health equity in low-income neighborhoods, and we’ve teamed up with countries around the world to begin adapting our proven methodology to a variety of international contexts.
Our team comes to work for a simple reason: we are convinced that complex problems like homelessness can be solved by communities working together in new ways.
Thanks for sharing our faith in that future.