Homelessness emerged as a major crisis in the U.S. in the 1980’s and has remained a problem for nearly thirty years. The tragic flaw in the traditional response to homelessness (2 million people are homeless each year in the U.S alone) is that it has concentrated resources in soup kitchens, temporary shelters, and emergency rooms rather than in permanent solutions. Rosanne Haggerty is working to end homelessness by housing the chronically homeless and convincing governments and developers to commit to large-scale projects. Common Ground identifies the chronically homeless and then works to finance an effective alternative housing system. This focused strategy lifts vulnerable people out of homelessness, dramatically reduces the presence of homeless people living in public spaces, and redirects resources to prevention.
In 1991, Rosanne Haggerty successfully converted New York’s historic Time Square Hotel from a dilapidated drug den into the nation’s largest housing development for the formerly homeless. She proved that homeless individuals could be integrated into a mixed income building, and that an ambitious project for the homeless could serve as a catalyst for community economic development. In 1999, she proved that her success was replicable by transforming The Prince George Hotel. She has created large-scale, cost effective demonstrations that homelessness can be ended.
Web site: http://www.commonground.org/