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Lessons Learned in Ending Homelessness

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons Learned in Ending Homelessness"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons Learned in Ending Homelessness
Bridges Out of Poverty 2012 Arizona Housing Conference Lloyd S. Pendleton Tucson, Arizona Special Advisor USICH Executive Director

2 Overview and key points
Opening Doors – Federal Plan on Homelessness – June 2010 Goals: Finish the job of ending chronic homelessness by 2015 Prevent and end homelessness among Veterans by 2015 Prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020 Set a path to ending all types of homelessness Utah Committed to homeless plan

3 Utah Committed to Chronically Homeless Individuals
Spoken at this conference the last two years about our organizational and housing first approach State Homeless Coordinating Committee chaired by Lt. Governor Organized 12 Local Homeless Coordinating Committees chaired by an elected official – each has a ten-year plan aligned with state ten-year plan Used pilots to test new approaches and get buy in – especially housing first Re-purposed homeless funding towards housing and providing supportive services with the housing Reduced chronic homeless population by 72% from 2005 – 542 remaining Committed to offer housing to all by 2015 Today I will share concepts in working with individuals in poverty

4 “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges” Sir Isaac Newton

5 Improving Economic Stability
Poverty is a significant contributor to instability and homelessness Economic classes -- poverty, middle class, and wealth – each has hidden rules (language) Business and educational systems operate on middle class hidden rules Middle Class hidden rules –Understanding this allows a person to increase their economic stability

6 What is poverty and how is it generally defined?

7 US Censes Bureau The Census Bureau defines poverty -- The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country. In 2011 the US poverty threshold for a family of four was $22,350 (DHHS)

8 Broader Perspective Make a paradigm shift in our view of poverty
We will explore a broader perspective of poverty Make a paradigm shift in our view of poverty

9 Poverty is More than Money
A broader definition of poverty is “the extent to which an individual goes without resources” and can include: Emotional Mental Spiritual Financial Physical Support Systems Relationships/Role Models Knowledge of Hidden Rules Coping Strategies

10 Leaving Poverty The ability to leave poverty is more dependent on other resources than it is upon financial resources.

11 General Types of Poverty
Generational – Two generations or more in poverty Situational – Caused by circumstances What are some circumstances that cause situational poverty?

12 Behaviors & Circumstances That Promote Poverty
Dependency Single parenthood Negative behavior of individuals and groups Values/work ethic Breakup of families/family structure Addition, mental illness Language experience

13 Mental Models

14 Mental Models Are internal pictures of how the world works
Exist below awareness Are theories-in-use, often unexamined Determine how we act Can help or interfere with learning

15 For a dialogue to occur we must suspend our mental model

16 Economic Poverty What does it look like?

17 Small Group Discussion
Think of an adult in generational poverty. Imagine that you followed that person for a year, observing what happened and how he/she spent his/her time. Write your observations.

18 Mental Model for Poverty

19 Businesses Schools Police Social Services Church Pawn shop
With this slide we expand our examination of the environment to include businesses and other community organizations. Have the group think about the relationship between people in poverty neighborhoods and the police, schools, etc. Is that the same as it is for middle-class people? Analyze the model for stability, safety, and interactions with the dominant culture. ANCHOR: If you think of a ”pocket of poverty” in your community, you will often see certain organizations, services, and businesses. Are these present in your community? In order to understand poverty, we must also address the larger elements that co-exist with poverty in our communities. Businesses Pawn shop Liquor store Corner store Rent-to-own Laundromat Fast food Check cashing Temp services Used-car lots Dollar store

20 Generational Poverty – Mental Model
It is a description of the concrete experience. It is an abstract representation of poverty. It shows part to whole. It depicts the relative importance and interlocking nature of the elements. It is a depiction of the trap: no future story, no choice, no power.

21 Creating a Future Story
Poverty -- Living in the moment and largely based on feelings, thus three concepts need to be nurtured: Future Orientation – Tell me how this moment plays out for me in the future Choice – So busy surviving I do not see choice; help me see where and what are my choices Power – Often fighting social services, healthcare, & criminal justice system; help me see my power and how to effectively use it.

22 Mental model of what it looks like in middle class

23 What Does Middle Class Look Like?
What issues do you face each day? What activities are you involved in? What do you think or worry about? What businesses/stores/facilities do you frequent to support your way of life? What relations do you have with schools, police, church, etc.?

24 Middle class Mental Model

25 Businesses Shopping/strip malls Bookstores Banks Fitness centers
Schools Police Social Services Church This slide continues the investigation into the middle-class environment. The mental models of class show us where the hidden rules come from. Businesses Shopping/strip malls Bookstores Banks Fitness centers Vet clinics Office complexes Coffee shops Restaurants/bars Golf courses

26 Wealth Mental Model

27 The Poor Middle Class Wealth
Summary Survival Relationships Entertainment Work Achievement Material security Political, financial, social connections The Poor Middle Class Wealth

28 Survival Could you survive in middle class?
Could you survive in poverty? Could you survive in middle class? Could you survive in wealth?

29 Hidden Rules

30 Hidden Rules Defined In all classes, groups, and cultures, there are hidden rules about food, dress, decorum, etc. Hidden rules are the unspoken cues and habits of a group that an individual does or does not fit. A child will learn the rules of survival in their environment by breathing – no flip chart needed You know you have broken a hidden rule when there’s an awkward silence, or you get “the look”

31 What are some of the hidden rules in organizations to which you belong, i.e. work, church, volunteer group, etc?

32 Possessions POVERTY MIDDLE CLASS WEALTH People Things
One-of-a-kind objects, legacies, pedigrees

33 Time Poverty – Present most important
-- Decisions made for the moment based on feelings of survival Middle Class – Future most important -- Decisions made against future ramifications Wealth – Traditions & history most important -- Decisions made partially on basis of traditions/decorum

34 Money Poverty - To be used, spent Middle Class - To be managed
Wealth - To be conserved, invested

35 Food Poverty - Did you have enough? - quantity important
Middle Class - Did you like it? - Quality important Wealth - Was it presented well? - Presentation important

36 Clothing Poverty - Valued for individual style and expression of personality Middle Class - Valued for its quality & acceptance into norm of middle class Wealth - Valued for its artistic sense & expression

37 Education Poverty - Valued & revered but abstract and not a reality
Middle Class - Crucial for climbing success ladder & making money Wealth Necessary tradition for making money and maintaining connections

38 Language Poverty - Casual register - Language is about survival
Middle Class - Formal register - Language is about negotiation Wealth Formal register - Language is about networking

Language that is always the same. For example: Lord’s Prayer, wedding vows, etc. FORMAL The standard sentence syntax and word choice of work and school. Has complete sentences and specific word choices. CONSULTATIVE Formal register when used in conversation. Discourse pattern not quite as direct as formal register. CASUAL Language between friends and is characterized by a 400- to 800-word vocabulary. Word choice general and not specific. Conversation dependent upon non-verbal assists. Sentence syntax often incomplete. INTIMATE Language between lovers or twins. Language of sexual harassment.

40 Research – Children 1-3 age by Economic Households
Number of words exposed to Economic group Affirmations (strokes) Prohibitions (discounts) 10 million words Welfare 1 for every 2 20 million words Working class 2 for every 1 30 million words Professional 5 for every

41 Key Points

42 Economic class is a continuous line, not a clear-cut distinction.
Key Point Economic class is a continuous line, not a clear-cut distinction.

43 Poverty occurs in all races and in all countries.
Key Point Poverty occurs in all races and in all countries.

44 Key Point An individual brings with him/her the hidden rules of the class in which he/she was raised.

45 We cannot blame the victims of poverty for being in poverty.
Key Point We cannot blame the victims of poverty for being in poverty.

46 Key Point We can neither excuse persons from poverty, nor scold them for not knowing. As professionals we provide support, insistence, and expectations.

47 Key Point Schools and businesses operate from middle-class norms and use the hidden rules of middle class.

48 Key Point For the poor to be successful, we must understand their hidden rules and teach the rules that will help them to be successful at school, at work, and in the community.

49 Key point In order to move from poverty to middle class or from middle class to wealth, an individual must give up relationships (at least for a short time) for achievement.

50 Key Point By building relationships of mutual respect with those served, we are assisting them in building resources needed to move toward stability or maintain it, AND we can be transformed too.

51 “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it”
Albert Einstein

52 Helping, Fixing, Serving
“When you help, you see life weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life a whole. Fixing and helping may be, the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.” Naomi Remen

53 What will do differently based on what learned today?
Can you make a difference in the lives of those with whom you work? How we “help” is very important! Henry experience

54 No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.
–Dr. James Comer There are four main reasons one leaves poverty: (1) It’s too painful to stay, (2) a vision or goal, (3) a key relationship, and/or (4) a special talent or skill. Education also can be a bridge out of poverty. No significant learning—and no significant change—occurs without a significant relationship. Talk at your table about the changes your organization expects from customers. Most of our organizations ask people in poverty to change their thinking and their behavior. It all hinges on the quality of our relationships. When we develop community-engagement models, everyone can be transformed by the relationships. SEQUENCE: Bridges Out of Poverty introduces a perspective to help us understand that economic class brings a sense of identity with it. We’ll discuss how we can reframe our own thinking in order to build and maintain relationships with someone who may not come “wired” for middle-class structures and organizations. REINFORCEMENT: By building relationships of mutual respect with our customers and employees, we’re assisting them in building resources needed to move toward stability or maintain it. AND we can be transformed too.

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