Homelessness in the Area is a Cause that Demands Attention

Friday, December 2, 2011

During the 1980s, those of us who served as pastors of urban churches witnessed a rapidly growing number of people living on the streets. At the same time, it became harder to help people get help. Many of us, in our frustration, began advocating for more shelters to help get people off of the street.

In Philadelphia where I was a pastor at the time, whenever there were hearings or meetings, Roy Leeds always seemed to show up. Roy was a homeless veteran who lived in shelters.

Giving Where It Works

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When people give, they want to know they are making a difference. So here are some tough-minded programs we’ve written about since Fixes began in October 2010, that make particularly good use of charitable dollars. Like all the ideas we’ve highlighted in Fixes, they are proven to work. All of them spend a relatively small amount now to create huge savings down the road. But these are also programs where a little bit of money can make a huge difference...

Submitted by Jake Maguire on

Catherine Craig has worked with people and communities from the Philippines to Latin America. As Director of Health Integration at Community Solutions, she oversees elements of just about every major project we're working on. In this month's staff Q+A, we caught up with Catherine to learn more about her work to end homelessness, improve health outcomes, and build efficient systems to ensure that families and individuals can thrive in permanent housing.

Shelter for Those Who Served

Monday, November 28, 2011

Out of work for more than two decades, my uncle Tom, a Vietnam veteran whom I idolized as a kid, somehow made ends meet. Our family was never quite sure how, and we were too polite to ask. Over a cryptic phone call with my mom one gray fall day, Tom divulged that he was severely in debt. Creditors were calling him constantly, leading to paranoia and depression. This uncle, with whom we shot hoops and played catch, rapidly declined into a shell of his former self.

Brownsville Public Housing Focus of Partnership

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BROWNSVILLE — Building on a session on public housing at the recent Municipal Art Society (MAS) Summit for New York City, the MAS is launching “The Brownsville Revitalization Initiative” in partnership with Rosanne Haggerty and her colleagues at Community Solutions.

The goal is to look at the challenges and opportunities in Brownsville’s under-developed asset of public housing.

The two organizations have selected Brownsville because it has the highest concentration of public housing units in the city.

Submitted by Rosanne Haggerty on

The following is the text, as prepared for delivery, of an address by Rosanne Haggerty at New York's Zoning the City conference on November 15, 2011. The conference celebrated the 50th anniversary of New York City's zoning code. In her remarks, Haggerty argued for strong investments in the city's worst-off neighborhoods to improve taxpayer outcomes, increase New York's global competitiveness, and remain on the right side of history.

Breaking Blocks

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions made a presentation at the Municipal Arts Society Summit in October that recast the troubled Brownsville public housing in Brooklyn as a major public asset. Rethinking the housing block, Haggerty proposed a surgical approach that preserves original buildings and emphasizes breaking up the superblock with through-traffic streets, integrated urban agriculture, ground floor retail, and the incorporation of social services—all without displacing a single resident.

Analysis: We May Not be Ready to Help Homeless Veterans

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

With the return of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s expected that there will be a surge in the number of homeless veterans.

“I don’t think we’re ready for the influx of veterans that is coming," Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless told me. "The drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will put a heavy strain on the facilities of the nation and New York. We’ll  be dealing with thousands of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. There will be a great need for affordable housing and for other psychiatric services.”

Homelessness Harder on America's Vets

Friday, November 11, 2011

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, many fear the rates of homeless vets could grow much worse. They tend to remain homeless longer than non-veterans and they're more likely to suffer from health conditions linked to early death, according to a recent survey by the 100,000 Homes Campaign.