Read recent media coverage of Community Solutions’ work to strengthen communities to end homelessness. For press inquiries, contact Alexandra Sanders at 212-471-0885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This piece is part of a Wall Street Journal series in which an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders engage in in-depth online discussions of topics raised in this month’s WSJ Small Business Report and all future Reports. You’ve come up with what you think is a great idea. What’s the best way to test it?Rosanne:
Welcome to the Hot Seat, where we interview folks involved in Brooklyn real estate, architecture, development and the like. Introducing Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, the Director of the Brownsville Partnership. The Brownsville Partnership is a part of Community Solutions, a national not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen communities to end homelessness.
Pitkin Avenue is a three-mile stretch of central Brooklyn beginning just past the eastern boundary of Crown Heights, extending into East New York, and leaving its greatest claim to distinction in Brownsville. From the 1910s through the ’40s, when Brownsville’s population was composed largely of Jewish immigrants, Pitkin Avenue and the various side streets emerged as Brooklyn’s most significant retail thoroughfare, supplying poor and working-class residents with what they needed—vegetables, shoes, chickens—and outsiders with what they desired: refrigerators, sofas, jewelry.
The centerpiece of this month’s Public Interest Design Week is the Structures for Inclusion Conference that begins March 20 at the University of Minnesota College of Design. And the centerpiece of that event is the multi-part presentation of projects that won 2013 Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Awards.
Is Brownsville Brooklyn—long regarded as one of New York’s most troubled neighborhoods—ready for its comeback? There are some hopeful signs.
Rosanne Haggerty won plaudits — and a MacArthur foundation “genius grant”— as the founder of Common Ground, a nonprofit that combats homelessness in New York and Connecticut by providing permanent housing complexes equipped with counseling, job training, and other services.
Great innovators often experience an “a-ha” moment--a moment when they finally stumble upon a solution to a problem. For Rosanne Haggerty, an international pioneer in the fight against homelessness, that “a-ha” moment happened backwards.“I suddenly realized,” Haggerty said, “that the solution itself was the problem.”
It has been three weeks now since hurricane Sandy barreled into the Atlantic coast, and though most of the TV cameras have long left, the volunteers and community organizations that mobilized immediately after are still here – serving hot meals, distributing supplies, and cleaning out the flooded basements of complete strangers.
One of the benefits of writing a column about solutions is that it offers an alternative lens through which to view the world. This week is the second anniversary of Fixes. Much of my time over the past few years has been spent talking to people about the creative responses to social problems that are emerging across the country and around the globe. It turns out there’s no shortage of these stories. I’m often struck by how much ingenuity is out there and being directed to repair the world, and how little we hear about it.
Creative approaches that businesses use to develop new products can also be channeled toward solving long-standing and intractable social issues. A case in point is the recent effort to house chronically homeless veterans in the U.S., as thousands of soldiers return to civilian life after extended tours overseas.