Life Lessons and Beyond

27 07 2009

by: John Gill

The last six weeks has made me frustrated, sad and enthusiastic all at the same time. To come up with a novel solution to the Homelessness issue in the Tri-Cities was quite demanding.

I learned that in Theory an idea may sound fiscally sound and feasible, but when you actually put the pen to the paper there is a lot of planning involved and obstacles to overcome. Having met with various professional in the field such as outreach workers, investors, and city councilors each provided valuable feedback and insight, but along with a new set of questions and concerns. This usually led us back to the drawing board to come up with better solutions or alternatives to satisfy all parties concerns.

I found that whenever a new problem arises, having an open discussion within your team tends to lead to greater ideas; this is where true collaboration occurs.  One key thing I learned is that a problem needs to be looked at from all angles, it may sound simple but when you talk to each stakeholder and dig deeper, you tend to get more questions and ideas from their point of view.

Another thing that I found very interesting was that to propose this model to landlords.
We would need to meet them in person and provide them with specifics and clear up any preconceptions. Although this is a huge obstacle I see it overcome with persistence.
A model like this cannot be explained through the phone or via emails.

I found out that although many landlords would like to help, it just seems like a risk to them to house a homeless individual. It is understandable they have many concerns and we as a group will have to address them because after all they are opening their home to a stranger, even if it is for rent.

Overall, I learned that sometimes a simple solution has many complicated steps involved and requires you to think outside of the box. At times it gets discouraging thinking our ideas will not be implemented or feasible at all, but if you reach out and talk to different individuals, I found that there was always a different way to look at a problem and come up with a solution collectively. Indeed the last six weeks has taught me a lot about the social problems in my neighborhood and a deeper appreciation of individuals working to make a better society.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the individuals that helped us along this project and all the feedback that we received on our blog!

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