Read recent media coverage of Community Solutions’ work to strengthen communities to end homelessness. For press inquiries, contact Alexandra Sanders at 646.797.4372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Down the street from that murder, on weekday mornings, is another side.
Since 2011, Community Solutions, a national non-profit founded by Rosanne Haggerty, has been working to empower communities to develop their own systems-level solutions to complex social challenges. The stated goal of their many different projects and initiatives is to “change public systems so that homeless families and individuals can get the transformative help they need at a lower public cost.” Their work, however, touches many different individuals, not only the chronically underhoused.
Giving apartments to homeless people who've been on the streets for years before they've received treatment for drug or alcohol problems or mental illness may not sound like a wise idea. But that's what's being done in cities across America in an approach that targets those who've been homeless the longest and are believed to be at greatest risk of dying, especially with all of this cold weather.
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.What is the one change that many small firms could make that would make their companies more attractive places to work?Rosanne:
Last week, while most Americans were sleeping, volunteers in hundreds of U.S. communities were combing their streets for signs of their homeless neighbors. This Congressionally mandated search effort, known as the Point in Time (PIT) count, amounts to a national midnight census in which communities must attempt to document the total number of individuals and families sleeping on their streets and in their shelters.
When the New York City Housing Authority built the Brownsville and Tilden Houses in Central Brooklyn 65 years ago, they didn’t think much about the street grid. Far more important in their minds were the units, the courtyards and the cost. Decades later, however, residents who are fed up with dangerous traffic and difficult street crossings are fighting to remedy the error of that oversight, and T.A. is helping out.
Seeing Dasani Coates standing alongside the dignitaries at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration earlier this month was a heartening sign. In December, the 12-year-old girl’s struggles living with her family in a decrepit city shelter had been vividly captured in this newspaper in Andrea Elliott’s series “Invisible Child.” Dasani’s story struck a chord.
Military recruits quickly learn the phrase, "Got your six," which means, "I got your back." On the battlefield, it's essential to protect your fellow comrades and know that they're looking out for you, too. And yet, when these veterans finish a tour of duty and return home, it sometimes seems as if no one has their back. America's veterans are an untapped resource of leadership and skill, but they also need a lot of support to get back in the swing of things. Many veterans struggle to find a job and a home, and reintegrating into society can be a challenge.
The evening was filled with many such remarkable tales, including an impact-investing discussion with Rosanne Haggerty, an unassuming woman who arguably has done more than anyone else to end homelessness in the U.S.
Despite the accomplishments of the Bloomberg Administration, affordable housing remains New York's most pressing need. Architects, designers and housing specialists familiar with the maze of programs assess the situation and suggest new approaches.