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Voyage Denver: Meet Melanie Lewis Dickerson of Community Solutions in Downtown

  |  July 1, 2019

Even though each of our stories is different, I think the road always has a few bumps. I’ve been very fortunate to have a supportive family, friends, and mentors who have encouraged me along the way but each chapter comes with a new challenge. Working to solve homelessness when most people think it can’t be solved certainly keeps things interesting. And working to find solutions in a large market like Denver or Phoenix increases the complexity exponentially. It requires a re-examination of our history, how we build teams, how we allocate resources, and of what we value as a community. There are many important and diverse opinions that must be balanced in order to move into collaborative action. But I’ve seen what’s possible when we keep a shared goal at the center and together embrace the opportunities to fail forward.

Through it all, I’ve found that three things continue to drive me forward: a relentless belief that homelessness can and should be solved, not managed; an intense curiosity about large systems and cities with many moving parts; and surrounding myself with good people who believe that bringing joy to incredibly tough work is essential to success.