Change Talk

Steadytown Ideas

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Street to Home is Growing

Four years ago I founded a project called Street to Home that aims to advance progress on ending homelessness locally. S2H is distinct because it isn’t another non-profit – it is an effort to employ collective impact to create opportunities of high leverage to solve a complex social issue.

Today homelessness in Melbourne, Florida is still a top community issue, so there remains much work to do. But progress is being made. S2H partners have helped over 100 residents with the longest histories of homelessness achieve housing stability. Daily Bread and South Brevard Sharing Center now invest in ending homelessness, not just feeding. The City of Melbourne has become the first municipality in Brevard to allocate general revenue funds directly for reducing homelessness. The Housing Authority of Brevard County is allocating resources to create supportive housing for those with the greatest...

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On Affordable Housing

In April, Keri shared about the new mixed income housing development we are working on in Melbourne called Heritage Park at Crane Creek. I would like to take a moment and share the latest insight I have into why projects like this are really important today.

Keri and I started working on affordable housing as an issue because we were seeing more new homelessness at the South Brevard Sharing Center, especially among Melbourne’s aging population. We knew rent prices were rising around town while vacancy rates were falling, and we were hearing first hand more stories from folks on fixed incomes being priced out. At the same time, it was becoming harder and harder to help Street to Home clients access housing, too.

But we didn’t understand the full extent of the issue at the time. I have a better grasp of that now, as Heritage Park is further along and more research has been conducted as...

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Change in the Homeless System

For the last five years, my work at Steadytown has primarily been dedicated to a complex societal issue—homelessness.

I’m in it for a few different reasons. First, homelessness is the result of failures with a number of social support systems—which is what makes it complex, and the art in making sense of complexity interests me.

A mentor of mine once told me, “Don’t ever just go up to someone on the street and ask them how they became homeless”. Because it’s traumatic and complicated.

Second, homelessness services is one of those fields that’s not very mature. It’s not like airlines or banking. It’s newer, it’s small, it’s still trying to figure out what it needs to be (and understanding what it can’t possibly be, as it needs systems further upstream to do their job, too). As a result, change has the potential to happen faster than it might in other fields.

Third, because it is a...

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The Power of Person-Centered Counseling

For the last five years, my work at Steadytown has been focused primarily on helping the community where I live better address homelessness. This experience has taught me a lot about approaching complex social issues with new ideas, and continues to challenge me today.

The goal of this blog is to share the core ideas and values that have aided progress, with the hope that doing so may help others working on similiar problems. I also expect it will help me continue to learn and innovate.

Good analysts have a natural ability to see where things are now and how they could be different in the future. That’s often the easy part—the hard part is seeing all the steps in between. The best analysts are change leaders—they understand just what step to take next, and just what to say to get the right people on board. This blog aims to explore issues, ideas, and values, but also strategies and...

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