Giving Circles Portfolio

13 07 2009

By: Hannah Kim

Another great piece of feedback received after presenting the Homeless Sponsorship idea to the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group on July 10, 2009 revolved around expanding the portfolio of giving circle solutions.

A concerned citizen advocate suggested applying the giving circle model to simply subsidize homeless clients’ rent for 6 – 12 months. Whereas our original model centred on rounding up investors to purchase housing units, we would first find existing empty spaces available for rent. Then, members of the suggested variant of the giving circle would each contribute about $100 per month to subsidize rent payment of the 2 – 3 homeless clients per housing unit. In essence, the giving circle would be purely donation-based in covering the rent requirement above the monthly $375 social assistance housing allowance that each homeless client receives. For instance, two homeless clients would be able to collectively pay $750 per month for an apartment suite that requires $1,200 in rent; a donation-based giving circle consisting of five members would then contribute $450 per month (=$90/month per member) to make up the difference for 6 – 12 months.

Giving CirclesI’d like to note that another way of expanding the portfolio of our novel solutions is to implement giving circles with differing degrees of involvement in interacting with the homeless clients. On the one extreme, giving circle members would be completely hands-off and only supply funding (whether that funding is a down payment for purchasing property or subsidizing rent). On the other extreme, giving circle members would participate in some of the support services for homeless clients, such as providing companionship and mentorship.

Watch for further posts that detail further development of these ideas!

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