Now Is The Time

Ending hunger, homelessness, and the cycle of heels.

In the United States more than 633,000 people experience homelessness every night.  48.9 million Americans are at risk of hunger - including one in five kids. Nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty.  Hunger, homelessness, and poverty are devastating for individuals and our communities. This is unacceptable, unjust, and illogical.

We know that effective, commonsense policies like SNAP and EITC lift people out of poverty. We know that Rapid Rehousing and Housing First models reduce homelessness. We know that innovative philanthropic endeavors like Collective Impact and Social Impact Bonds can transform the way government, nonprofits, and local communities work together to tackle our toughest challenges. We know we can band together and create change.

Now Is The Time to get this done.

This site will feature a collection of personal reflections, original ideas, and smart thinking from around the country and the globe on the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty.  We'll check in with thought leaders and discuss ways we can create change. We will also highlight ways to leverage two of my favorite things - National Service and the philanthropic sector. 

We can. We must. We will. End Homelessness.

3,772 people are waiting for help. Where do we go from here?

It starts with shelter

Without shelter people die. Adequate housing is a basic human right and we are failing to deliver it.

 While we work to address the long term issues of homelessness we must find safe, warm places to stay tonight. The amount of shelter in King County hasn’t kept up with the need. Mayor Murray is leading the charge with additional funding and policy changes but more work is needed.

 Massachusetts and NYC have “right to shelter” laws. These laws are challenging to implement at a local level – but what if we had a national right to shelter?

Advocating For System Change
We cannot shelter or build our way out of homelessness.  We must address the systems that lead to inequality. The growing income gap, lack of affordable housing, and terrible support system for people with mental illness are creating direct pathways to homelessness.  We need to invest much more in developing and advocating for smart policy solutions. To do this we must elect leaders who will actively work to address poverty and homelessness and mobilize a broad segment of the population to force policy change at a local, state and federal level.

Innovate Solutions

We need some new ideas folks – and not just apps to help people access services. Cheaper housing models. Creative employment programs.  New sources of funding.  Seattle is a Mecca of innovation yet we can’t figure out how to house people. We are better than this. It’s time to bring some of these big thinkers to the table to generate new ideas and new resources to an old (but growing) problem.

Developing a more effective homeless system

We spend so much time on this and have little to show. Yes, our system should be coordinated so a family doesn’t have to call 21 different programs.  And, you shouldn’t be screened out of homeless housing because of prior evictions or petty crimes because that’s probably why you are homeless (yes, this happens). Our resources are out of wack and our pace of change is painfully slow.  

So where do we go from here? Forward. It’s easy to lose faith in efforts to end homelessness.  Don’t.  Now is not the time to walk away. Now is the time to brush off the dirt and make swift, smart, bold changes toward progress. A simple way to get engaged:

We can. We must.  We will. End Homelessness.