100,000 homes for 100,000 of the most vulnerable homeless Americans by July 2013! Probably sounds like normal political crap to most. But I can personally tell you I believe it's going to happen and that Common Ground can do it! Well, I must correct that last sentence. Yes, Common Ground is the catalyst to effect all this change, but only through the support of local stakeholders can such a huge commission be completed.
Ok now I hear a few of you saying "ya right" so check this. The 100,00 Homes Campaign was launched this week at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in Washington, DC. Even before the thing is launched over 5,ooo people have been housed.
Here's what Common Ground President Rosanne Haggerty said during the conference's opening announcement:
And I am also proud to tell you that we are already on our way. Thanks to the tremendous work of the 34 communities that have already joined the Campaign and begun identifying and housing the most vulnerable homeless in their communities, 5,104 individuals and families have already been housed. Communities like Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Washington, DC have generated and shared countless innovations and shown us what is possible when we work together toward a specific, urgent goal.
Here is a short video Common Ground played at the launch:
How cool is that! But wait, I have more proof they'll make it happen. New York Times recently did a story on how Common Ground housed every homeless person in Times Square except one lone holdout. If you are like me and remember Times Square a decade ago and have been there recently you've noticed a world of difference.
First, and maybe what I love most about them, is they are true team players. Many homeless services have become territorial. It's a hard job that tears at the heart and there is rarely enough money to make things happen. People kind of build these walls and often it's nearly impossible to get cooperation. Common Ground has discovered the secret to getting organizations to break down their fortresses. It's nothing short of a miracle what Common Ground has accomplished by simply getting people to work together.
Bureaucracy kills! Point blank honest here: I understand the need for data and rules, but we have created so much crap it's not a miracle when someone is housed -- it's a miracle the system worked! Common Ground sees that, and in their unique way has found ways to work around the madness to get people into housing.
They also focus on the most vulnerable -- homeless people who if not helped will probably die soon. I have seen the before and after pictures of people they have helped. Truly amazing!
Here is a video interview I did with Becky Kanis, Joe McCannon and Rosanne Haggerty:
Seriously, if you work in homeless services, national or local governments, faith based organizations, or just care about your community connect with Common Ground's 100,000 Homes Campaign.
In Rosanne's own words closing out her speech:
In three years, when the Campaign comes to a close, we will have a created a new reality. We will see a network of communities working together -- unselfishly, resourcefully, relentlessly -- to end homelessness. We will see communities that are healthy, thriving and more stable financially. We will see 100,000 vulnerable neighbors safely at home, 100,000 lives changed, and 100,000 reasons to believe that we can come together to solve the hard problems facing our communities and nation.