Rosanne Haggerty founded Community Solutions to end national homelessness. She believes every community can combat homelessness by sharing innovations, and replicating solutions that work.
“I often see a lot of nods when I say that our premise is that what is needed are new ways of working collaboratively and efficiently...that it’s not about more money, but about getting better results for people with the resources we have.”
If anyone knows about eradicating homelessness, it’s MacArthur Genius Rosanne Haggerty, who built NYC-based Common Ground into the largest developer of permanent supportive housing in the country. Rosanne is now taking what she’s gleaned from over 20 years combatting homelessness to the national level with a Common Ground’s spinoff, Community Solutions.
Rosanne knows what works, and what doesn’t, and she has the data to prove it. She know that if it’s broken, you fix it, and once you’ve fixed it, you replicate that solution again and again. She hopes to end homelessness by bringing proven, replicable innovations that help public systems deliver cheaply and effectively. The organization’s efforts are focused on “tipping point” communities where homelessness is most prevalent, and effective solutions can have the widest impact. The innovations Community Solutions develops can then be shared nationally to accelerate the pace of change.
It’s about more than just building homes. “Creating new affordable housing is expensive and takes years,” says Rosanne. “The 650,000 people homeless in the United States at any given time need solutions that work immediately.” Community Solutions partners with community leaders, public agencies, non-profits, property developers and health and human services organizations to create practical, scalable, and cost effective solutions.
A cornerstone of their national efforts is the 100,000 Homes Campaign, an unprecedented attempt to leverage national organizations and local communities to collectively house 100,000 homeless people by July of 2013. Community groups can teach each other what works and what doesn’t, and so far, it's working: 150 community groups are already sharing notes. In two years, Rosanne and her team of social entrepreneurs have identified community solutions that have already helped over 20,000 people out of homelessness; only eighty thousand to go.