Resolving Poverty

Sources 81-92:

Middle Class and Homeless | David Raether | TEDxAmherst (August 2015)

This guy was homeless for TWO years. 
Not a drug addict, nor an alcoholic, nor a criminal.
He failed however: his career ended. His financial savings vanished. He lost his house. His family broke apart. And he ended up homeless and alone.

It was an incredible experience and one that shaped him in many ways... It was very hard for him.

He worked on the Rosanne show as a TV comedic writing. He got paid a lot of money. It was HEAVEN for him, but not for his family and children.

In America, it is shameful to be poor. And one of the things I learned is NO, IT IS NOT SHAMEFUL TO BE POOR. 
I know what I can endure. 
And I'll have a great story when I get to the other side
Running forward to alleviate homelessness (February 2013)

This lady started a running club in her city at the homeless shelter. The Director of the shelter figured nobody would be interested, but nine guys signed up for it.
She told them, "Listen, you have to come with a positive attitude. You have to respect your teammates, and you have to respect yourself. No excuses. A high standard of excellence!"..... I demanded of them exactly what I demanded of myself. And I swear to you it was almost as if they were waiting for someone to look at them.

People did not believe this was going on because there is this unfortunate stereotype about homeless people that is: "they are just lazy. they don't want to work. and they sure don't want to work hard." - and there is this allegiance about running: It is hard! It is for people who are ambitious, driven, type-a people who are responsible. All of these media people were taken aback and were at that corner that morning capturing and asking "why are these homeless guys running!?".  and they gave the same answers you and i would give:
-- i wanted to try something new
-- i wanted to meet new people
-- i wanted to get healthy
-- i wanted to see if i was good at this

And all these stories start to be written, and I start getting all these messages of people wanting to come run with us. And there were two amazing observations that were happening:
1) these guys were showing up voluntarily on time.
2) tracking these guys' miles they were running - and these guys would fight for the best seat behind my shoulders in competing against each other constructively!

We want to be noticed, recognized, cared for, loved for, cheered for, appreciated, valued. 
We seek it out in our friendships and relationships and jobs. And if we don't find them we go to other places to find it.

(Next column)

What if we could change the way people see themselves - from undeserving, homeless - to somebody who is a runner, teammate ~ disciplined, reliable, focused. If we do this we can see them change the perspective of their lives!
Nobody thought it made sense. 
My mom was wandering how i was going to pay my bills. 

~~~changing the direction of people's lives by changing the way they see themselves!~~~ <--------powerful and essential.

All of these people are not comfortable banking on the "could be" identity. Our current identities challenge us not to move and to stay put. If we can set the right expectations - it will be scary and uncomfortable, but isn't that what life is all about?

Her website:
Can homelessness be solved?: John Maceri at TEDxUCLA (July 2014)

John Maceri talks about an issue that is lingering across the US that unfortunately fails to be addressed on a daily basis. He reminds us that there is indeed something that can be done to help alleviate this issue and get our citizens off the streets.
John Maceri is the Executive Director of OPCC, a nonprofit social service agency based in Santa Monica. OPCC provides a wide variety of housing and services through its ten projects serving low-income and homeless youth, adults and families, battered women and their children, at-risk youth and people living with mental illness.  

"The richest country on earth and yet you let your citizens live like abandoned animals on streets." -Moral outrage!

While we've always had very poor and homeless people as part of our society, widespread homelessness today has only become prevalent over the last 30 years.

There are many reasons for this:
-- Policy decisions many decades ago that shut down many mental institutions. 
-- The loss of jobs and declining wages that help people obtain and keep their housing.
-- The widening income gap that's pushing more people into poverty.
-- The proliferation of highly addictive and very cheap street drugs (crack cocaine; crystal meth)
-- Veterans returning from war without adequate support to keep them from falling into homelessness.
-- The high cost of housing especially in our urban areas where low income people simply cannot afford to pay their rents.
-- Jails and prisons and foster care - which continue to discharge people into homelessness.

It's easy to blame an administration or another for these problems, or one political party or another for how we got here. The challenge is not to understand what created the problems; the challenges to understand is how do we get out of this mess.

(Next column)

One of the arguments that's used for why we haven't been able to move the needle on homelessness - is a lack of resources. "WE need more money. If we just had more resources we could do better".
Well of course resources are important, and we can't do our work without them, so yes resources are a critical component in the solution, but is it a lack of resources that's really at the root of this problem? 

Over the last 30 years, we've spent billions of dollars funding homelessness services across the country.
We've spent billions and billions of dollars in health care dollars treating homeless people in hospitals. Law enforcement dollars incarcerating them. Mental health dollars treating them. Added together, we're talking about billions and billions of dollars and yet we haven't made significant progress. 

In Los Angeles , the numbers are increasing. Why!? It's NOT A LACK OF RESOURCES........ It's the lack of a holistic fully-integrated comprehensive service-system that addresses all of the multiple and complex needs of the homeless people, and then uses our resources in a targeted way to meet those needs. 
Just as we know that humans are comprised of BODY MIND AND SPIRIT, we also know that it's impossible to make lasting change without a holistic SYSTEM.
A practical way to help the homeless find work and safety (September 2017)

When Richard J. Berry, the mayor of Albuquerque, saw a man on a street corner holding a cardboard sign that read "Want a job," he decided to take him (and others in his situation) up on it. 
He and his staff started a citywide initiative to help the homeless by giving them day jobs and a place to sleep -- and the results were incredible. 

Handing out money to pan-handlers (which oft-times is not spent replenishing the body but rather on drug/alcohol addictions) is not resolving the root issue.

If you have something to do or need people to do something - it is a perfect solution.
We ask these panhandlers if they'd like a days work rather than panhandling for the day.

And if you're wondering if they really mean it, almost everybody we ask takes up the job we offer them for the day. <----NEED A DRIVER FOR THIS.

You also need a great non-profit organization that provides (food.housing. counseling.). They provide agility.  <-----THE HAVEN IS WHAT THIS FULFILLS.

We pay our panhandlers $9/hr. 

We cleaned up trash, weeds, and litter in the city (the panhandlers jobs they did). 

It takes resources, but it doesn't take much. We started with:
--an old van
--a driver for the van
--a great local non-profit 
--and $50,000  

We also had to have community trust (built up in years prior).
Housing people is 31.6% cheaper than keeping them homeless.
We've saved over $5,000,000 while housing over 600 people. So we had that community trust.
We had to get people to understand that when they hand those $5 out the window - they might be minimizing their opportunity to help those people in need (that they're handing the $5 to on the street).

We ask the homeless people
Where's he from?
How did he get here?
How can we help him?

We've reduced unsheltered homelessness in our city by 80% in the last year.

We've been able to reduce the chronic homelessness in our city by 40%.

And we've literally eliminated veterans homelessness in our city by being intentional.

Chicago, Denver, Dallas, are now starting to implement programs where they bring the DIGNITY OF EMPLOYMENT (work) to the equation.

Homelessness is not separate from domestic violence, of illness, or substance addiction -- that's not to say all homelessness people experience these problems -- but every one of these problems is connected to homelessness.

We need to change the way we do business ---- if we believe a system is a group of integrated parts forming a complex whole - then there is no health care system or mental health care system or homeless service delivery system.
There are health care programs and providers! Mental health care programs and providers! Homeless service programs and providers! But integrated on a large consistent scale across the country? IT DOESN'T EXIST.

Well by now we should all be pretty discouraged and depressed. A decade of work by smart educated people spending billions of dollars without great results.
(Next column)

Here is a model of what works, that can be scaled up and sustained, to move the needle on resolving homelessness.

The poor will be with us always - i know - but the poor don't have to live like abandoned animals on our streets.

Instead of having silos of programs serving homeless people as if they're one dimensional -- why don't we create holistic systems of care that are genuinely fully integrated and address all of their needs.

Until we have a fully integrated system, we are never going to solve this problem. 

What people need is stable HOUSING with the ongoing services of mental health care, hospital care, substance abuse care.
Rather than discharging your homeless people to the streets, we said please discharge them to us (the homeless shelter). <--------- this creates a decrease in costs and creates permanent solutions.

The challenges facing homeless people are not isolated one-off solutions. They're integrated. But we don't treat them holistically. 
We need to embrace radical change in how we connect all of the dots. (like a cell phone, the power and effectiveness is how they're all connected #apps on iPhone for instance).

A holistic system
-- they're housed and off the streets
-- their health improves
-- they have an ability to become community contributors
***they're no longer in and out the streets (into hospitals and jails) etc. This saves tax dollars!

We continue to serve homeless people on the cheap (bucket by bucket rather than holistically). These bucket to bucket contributions are not adequate on their own.

Homeless people do not need our pity or deserve our scorn.
They all want a chance to connect and belong with others, to share their gifts and talents. 

Homelessness is solvable --- what we're lacking is the collective moral outrage, and the political will to get it done. 

If you think that leaving people on the streets isn't costing you anything, you're wrong.. we're spending a fortune in police, paramedic, jail, and hospital costs most of which is covered by citizen tax dollars.

We could be spending far less and having much better outcomes for homeless people, and at the same time creating much better living communities across this country.

I want to see this holistic model scaled up and implemented in every community on our planet. 
Let me Hear Your Story: Putting a Face on Homelessness | Sam Sawchuk | TEDxRundleAcademy (May 2016)

The worst thing about being homeless is not the cold and not the hunger. It's the fact that people walk by you and look down at you like it's your fault. 
Take a risk. Share your story with the world. And let others share theirs. Because sometimes the bravest thing you can say is "Hello". 

You're Homeless... Now What? | Martha Stone | TEDxPiscataquaRiver (May 2015)

Homeless can and does happen to all types of people. 
How do people become homeless?
It's rarely just one thing that happens. It's typically a series of things. 
-- lack of resources / money is always one of the issues.
-- breakups of a relationship or a severe event can cause somebody to lose their housing.
-- alcohol and drug addiction
-- people with developmental disabilities (caregivers unable to take care of them anymore).
-- people leaving prison who need a place to start over.
-- physical and mental illnesses (which are often untreated).

Once the homeless go back to work they don't always have money enough for housing, so they put themselves on a subsidized housing list.

The challenges for children who are homeless are unique
-- they grow up way too fast
-- truancy is also common
-- shame

Without volunteers, shelters would not exist.
The Untold Story of Homelessness | Alan Graham | TEDxYouth@Austin (June 2017)

A sad, powerful, and profound story

A solution for homelessness: Community-Based Problem Solving | Adam Rideau | TEDxTemecula (October 2017)

There's 3 types of homelessness
-- transitional: a medical catastrophe. It can be any one of us.
-- episodic: they go in and out of homeless. They have behavioral issues that need to be taken care of. They become chronic.
-- chronic: these are people who really need help and resources.

The increase of our homeless population in 1 year - 129%. 
But there's government programs right? 
Cities, states, nations are doing what they can but they're not taking care of it. 

Community-Based Problem Solving
IN TIMES OF CRISES, people come together. during 9/11. during hurricanes. etc. How in America can you have someone that's living on the streets? 

Get people gloves (if your hands are cold then the guy who's homeless, his hands are definitely cold). Get them clean clothes for job interviews. etc.......

Solving Poverty Without a Big Wallet | Davis Nguyen | TEDxUCDavisSF (May 2017)

We don't solve poverty by throwing money. We solve poverty by helping people create opportunities for themselves. 

-- Find out what a homeless person is good at doing.
-- Write a review/testimonials for them to kick start the reputation of their service for the public to trust in their ability to deliver the service successfully.
-- Market/promote the service to customers.
-- Thus then the homeless person has his first customer to start making him money, providing that service of his!
The Poverty Paradox: Why Most Poverty Programs Fail And How To Fix Them (April 2017)

The question is not how can we eradicate poverty.
The question must be how can we create prosperity.

This is not a resource problem at all... This is an innovation problem.
Innovation = practical solutions to real problems.

And we find that many of the resources that are pushed on these poor communities are not practical because they cannot afford them, and they're not getting to the root cause of the problem.

To fix poverty in America (as opposed to Africa), America innovated itself. 
Henry Ford built the car.... This created industry (jobs) around the car industry (especially when the car was made affordable for the average american), and thus agriculture became more productive (as you could easily transport food using a car), and the US government was then able to build roads (by taxing the US cars and gas taxes). The cars came before the roads! #INNOVATION

Innovators created products that were affordable and simple so that millions of Americans could pool them into their lives. 

Now the one thing that these innovations have in common is that they make products SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, CREATE JOBS, and ENABLE DEVELOPMENT.

Big time prosperity exists if we think about market creating innovations (that are affordable for everybody). Focusing on these kinds of innovations is more important than ever.

We must stop focusing on eradicating poverty, and we have to start creating innovations that can lead to prosperity.
Why poverty has nothing to do with money (June 2014)

Poverty is not the absence of wealth. It's the absence of dignity.

The answer to that is jobs. It's if they get up and go to work and earn their own money. Jobs end poverty. 

We place the poor into one specific neighborhood, and with jobs.

The poor don't lack resources, they lack ACCESS.

Poverty is NOT THE ABSENCE OF WEALTH. Poverty is absence of dignity.
Empowerment plan - bringing warmth and pride to the homeless (May 2012)

Founder of "The Empowerment Plan" Veronika Scott, has built an organization started around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family.

Relying on the whims of others for everything. Where you can sleep. and sit. We live in the wild west of creativity. We live in a time where anything can happen that we want to do. But there's 3.5 million people that are homeless right now. And you can't categorize them as being lazy, or addicts, or that they're just failures at life. In Detroit alone, we have lose to 36,000 estimated homeless people.

Did it for pride, independence. We all want to be able to take care of ourselves. People design their homes and coats out of pride (the homeless people that is).
Sowing coats meant nothing. Jobs (for the homeless) is what matters. To create jobs for moms.