Approach to Ending Homelessness: from Community Solutions

In our never ending quest to find new ideas to tackle issues we’ll post different solutions and suggestions. We can’t leave things as they are. It isn’t working for anyone. – SDR Coalition



From  Community Solutions:


Too often, communities view homelessness as an intractable problem or one that is prohibitively expensive to resolve. In reality, we know what it takes to end homelessness, and research has demonstrated that it costs less to do so than to leave people on the streets, where they cycle through expensive, publicly funded emergency services.

Community Solutions has successfully helped hundreds of communities to address homelessness throughout the United States and internationally, through efforts like our groundbreaking 100,000 Homes Campaign, which helped participants move more than 105,000 homeless Americans into permanent housing in under four years.


We work to end homelessness and the conditions that create it. We do it by helping communities become better problem solvers, so they can fix the expensive, badly designed systems that our most vulnerable neighbors rely on every day.

Our approach:

The Best Tools from Multiple Sectors

We work to end homelessness and ensure poverty never follows families beyond a single generation.

We think the way to achieve those goals is to help communities become better, more adaptive problem solvers so they can tackle complex challenges as they emerge. As teams learn to work differently and rethink their existing resources, they find that they can help far more people escape homelessness and poverty than they once knew.

How We Work

Our problem solving process is rooted in five key principles:

Focus on the outliers – those people or neighborhoods most likely to fall through the cracks of existing social welfare programs- to build better solutions for everyone
Set measurable, public, timebound goals to build a sense of urgency and force key players to innovate

Engage the user – those trapped in poverty, along with frontline health and human services workers- to design more practical, better informed solutions
Optimize existing resources by using all available data to inform decisions about spending and community responses to need

Test and evaluate new ideas in short cycles to learn what works quickly and build on successful strategies

2 comments to Approach to Ending Homelessness: from Community Solutions

  • Hilda

    Wondering about the numerous people that are new to homelessness. There are so many new faces by the track area and some have stated they are coming from other states, what do we do about them? How do we tackle homelessness from many fronts?
    How do we keep schools free of homelessness, so children can use the public facilities without witnessing behaviors that introduce disturbing and often traumatizing social challenges to young minds?
    I would like to help, from the educational point, where to start?

    • K Webster

      Call 311 and get the complaint number, then call or email to the Community Board Office Phone: 212-533-5300
      We are advocating to site a small Homeless outreach unit in the Park building at Stanton Street (and use it as a shared space for resiliency lab/emergency resource space/community meeting space and youth after school). We feel if we have a unit of trained outreach workers they can develop the necessary relationships to help people access services and find supportive housing.
      We are also advocating for bathrooms to be staff, maintained, with security so that park goers – all park goers- can use them safely and sanitarily. There is a Right to Sanitation as per the United Nations.
      We are working to offer/find positive humane solutions. It will take a long time to sort these issues – we have to start now.

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