Re: today 10-11am webinar: #BuiltForZero [homelessness] & Public Interest Technology #builtforzero

Tim McCormick

thanks Andy, I agree.
I think you are getting that from this Willamette Week article by Sophie Peel on Tuesday, which for those who haven't seen is available at: 
[Bcc: Sophie Peel - Sophie thanks again for this, please feel free to join this list and join conversation here if you would like].

I was in attendance at that (virtual) meeting, it was pretty shocking -- for Portland, I'd note -- and affecting.

I sent this note in the meeting chat channel to the panelists, ie all AHFE Coordinating Board members present, just after Commissioner Meieran spoke: 

"Formerly and not so far from houseless, Portland-born committed advocate here. I want to thank Commissioner Meieran, and say that she has *greatly* stood out among local officials and leaders in being willing to listen and participate with our houseless-centered advocacy group. We have felt treated with open contempt or general indifference by others here. 

"Went to a committee; they offered me a chair...

But where shall we go to-day, my dear?"

- W.H. Auden, "Refugee Blues" 1939


On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 7:18 AM Andrew Olshin <Andrew.Olshin@...> wrote:

Commissioner Sharon Meieran is my hero.  If you agree with what she is saying below, please post a comment here. 

Below is a quote from the May 5th AHFE meeting:

“Sorry, my motto is speak your mind even if your voice shakes, and I know my voice is shaking right now. The way that we even have this conversation is to me so disrespectful. We talk about having difficult conversations, we talk about inclusion and equity and respecting people, and what I find is, we actually don’t have those difficult conversations because certain voices and perspectives are silenced or mocked or disregarded for whatever reason. It does not actually feel like a safe space in many ways, and in recognizing that I’m privileged, I’m an elected official, that I’m white, all of these things—and for me it doesn’t feel safe. I can imagine it might not feel safe for other people.”

Andy Olshin

On May 13, 2021, at 5:40 AM, Tim McCormick <tmccormick@...> wrote:

recent story on Built For Zero, in Next City:
"Bakersfield is the first city in California to achieve functional zero for any category, and Maguire says that’s an important milestone in a state with an infamously tough housing crisis.

“[Bakersfield] is not L.A., but it’s a decent-sized city combined with a huge rural county,” Maguire says. “It’s a large, complex geography in one of the highest-cost states in America, with conservative politicians and lots of things that would make people say, ‘That’s not the place to go solve homelessness.’ But actually, Bakersfield did it.”

One reason why Bakersfield has had success in reducing its chronically homeless population is because the Housing Authority of the County of Kern has committed time and resources to helping. Heather Kimmel was leading Built for Zero work at the California Veterans Assistance Foundation before joining the housing authority, where she now works as assistant executive director. The Housing Authority of the County of Kern has been uniquely committed to serving people experiencing homelessness for years, Kimmel says, but more housing authorities are starting to focus explicitly on the issue.

“The link between the housing authority’s resources and ending homelessness is becoming more and more clear,” Kimmel says. “A community can’t effectively address homelessness without a strong partnership with the housing authority.”

Sounds good, right? Solutions Journalism! 

with apologies, I find I once again have a contrarian take... see below cartoon

how the story went..How the situation's going..
Chronic homeless reduced by 70 people; 
total, by PIT count, increased by 570 people, 27%, in a year.
Perhaps better story is, why we're hearing #BuiltForZero story, vs of the less attention-deserving poor?
 c/@anikasinghlemar @JakeMaguire

as I tweeted to story author, editor, Next City co-founder acquaintance, and #BuiltForZero program head Jake Maguire. 

Not so incidentally, I recently watched Maguire present to Portland area's  homelessnes policy board, A Home For Everyone.  AHFE's Executive Committee has basically preemptorily adopted BuiltForZero's program and policy guidance, with no public discussion, in a manner and direction I find rather problematic for multiple reasons.

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 5:27 AM Tim McCormick via <> wrote:


Join us for an event featuring the book's authors and Built for Zero leaders.
May 13, 2021


Online event today 10am PDT, 1pm EDT, featuring #BuiltForZero program from Community Solutions, and the well-known founder of CS, Roseanne Haggerty. 

You MUST register here: 
** If any issues, contact hosts Community Solutions - I am not running this, won't be able to help. **

Built For Zero is a very significant program/org that recently got huge funding boost from the MacArthur Foundation.  

They have a particular approach to defining and achieving "functional zero" homelessness for target populations -- typically, either chronic or veteran homelessness. 

This particular webinar appears to be looking especially at an  "Public Interest Technology," and features authors of recent book on this. #BuiltForZero is a key example discussed in the book.  

From what I know and can see, I really recommend this webinar. If you haven't yet heard about BuiltForZero in your community, chances are you will before long, and your officials / agency heads have already. Including recently in Portland, -- where basically their program was adopted straight out by A Home For Everyone, Executive Committee, without public discussion or consultation with the Coordinating Board. 

Could be fine, great, in outcome -- I don't know, I'm just skeptical as usual, especially when they didn't ask us our views on it. 
The Executive Committee peremptorily chose Community Solutions - seems like the typical amusing ironic way of the world, from my p.o.v., but who asked my opinion on that anyway, ever? ;)

Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

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