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how to solve a complex problem like homelessness

You can tell a lot about a leader by the way they approach complexity. When a problem isn’t simple or clear, what do they do?

Exceptional leaders question old assumptions. They learn their way forward to create a new path. They build teams as multifaceted as the problem, and they test and refine solutions together as they go. That approach has driven advances in sectors as diverse as manufacturing and global health, and it’s how we’re helping communities across the country solve for the complexity of homelessness.

Today, nine of the communities we support have measurably ended chronic or veteran homelessness, and another 19 are driving monthly reductions. At the same time, our neighborhood-based teams are leading collaborations to tackle the complex roots of homelessness, and our real estate team is creating some of the most innovative housing and financing models in the country

The stories in this report offer a window into that work. We’ve organized them by the powerful  problem-solving tools so central to our success: data analytics, complex facilitation, quality improvement, and human-centered design. These skill sets aren’t new, but applying them to social problems like homelessness, especially in combination, is fresh and powerful. Our team is at the forefront of those efforts.

Learn how we’re deploying social impact capital to create new housing for veterans in a fraction of the time typically required, or how we’re preparing to use real-time analytics and quality improvement feedback loops to prevent new cases of homelessness before they occur. Let me especially draw your attention to the Q&A features, where Aras Jizan, Beth SandorPatrick McKenna, and Mary Tobin have explained how the problem-solving approaches we’re deploying have pushed their own thinking and transformed their work as change makers.

Our work is a journey of discovery fueled by the conviction that homelessness is a solvable problem. We never lose sight of the fact that success means deep and lasting improvement in the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Thank you for supporting that vision.


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Rosanne Haggerty
President, Community Solutions