Group Helps Homeless Find Permanent Homes

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bruce Marzett was homeless for 25 years. In June, with his dog Elton, he moved into his own apartment in Hollywood.

"If you look around, you can see it's a person's dream, basically," he said.

A Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, emphysema and bipolar disorder, Marzett was living a nightmare, panhandling to survive in Venice, Calif.

"People say, 'You live in Venice?' No, I lived on Venice," said Marzett. "I lived on the sand, I lived on the parking lots, I lived on the streets."

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Pitkin Avenue buzzed with activity during the recent Summer Plazas community events in Brownsville, Brooklyn. For the past three Sundays, with the street closed to through-traffic, local children happily jumped rope, played tag and hoola-hooped in the middle of the road.

Project to Find Homes for Newark's Homeless Gains Steam

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The numbers were daunting, the task formidable.

One year ago, Newark and Essex County leaders unveiled an ambitious plan to get the county's nearly 4,000 homeless residents off the streets in 10 years. The first step in the plan, called the Newark 50 Project, was to target the 50 most vulnerable of Newark's homeless — those most likely to die on the streets —and put them in housing by the end of 2012.

The process of finding those 50 people began last month.

Today, officials said they have been able to provide housing for one woman.

Falling Through the Cracks

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In a recent survey of the nation’s homeless, it was uncovered that more than one in five had visited an emergency department or had been hospitalized over three times in the last year.

Twenty-two percent of homeless people who participated in the survey are living with triple diagnoses: they have substance abuse issues, a mental illness diagnosis and a chronic physical condition.

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It goes without saying that audacious goals require teamwork—no group or organization can end homelessness alone. At Community Solutions, we’ve learned that people are naturally motivated to pitch in if they feel like their contributions will make an impact. The bigger and more diverse the team, the greater the change we all make together.

20% of Homeless Hospitalized 3 Times in Last Year

Monday, July 18, 2011

A survey of the nation's homeless in 30 cities has found that more than one in five visited the emergency department or was hospitalized over three times in the last year, nearly 40% had no health coverage such as Medicaid and more than one in five were living with triple diagnoses.

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In his column for the New York Times last Thursday (“The Unexamined Society”, July 7, 2011), David Brooks assesses new research on the “psychology of scarcity.” In times of plenty, he argues, people adopt problem-solving approaches aimed at producing long-term benefits. Faced with scarcity, however, the brain can become so preoccupied with immediate demands that it struggles to engage with the complex factors involved in long-term planning.

Homelessness is a Solvable Problem

Friday, July 8, 2011

Homelessness is a solvable problem. Yet there is an enormous gap between what we know works to end homelessness and what is actually done in most places. This week we are launching a new not-for-profit organization, Community Solutions, to try to close this gap.

A Leadership Conversation with Rosanne Haggerty

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rosanne Haggerty, an Amherst College Life Trustee, founded Common Ground Community, a not-for-profit organization started in 1990 that develops strategies to end homelessness in New York City. Haggerty, a MacArthur and Ashoka fellow, is currently president of Community Solutions, a new organization aimed at strengthening communities to end homelessness nationwide.

Submitted by Rosanne Haggerty on

Homelessness is a solvable problem. Yet there is an enormous gap between what we know works to end homelessness and what is actually done in most places.