This project is designed by a proven methodology demonstrated and documented by The Hunger Project. Over fifty million people have transformed their lives from abject poverty to self-sufficiency in the poorest of the poor regions of our world. We are allowing ourselves to be inspired by them to transform America’s expressions of poverty. Strategic Planning-in-Action.
This methodology has proven effective in transforming entire communities in some of the poorest regions of the world where people living in abject poverty have become prosperous and self reliant on a sustainable basis. By applying this approach, together, we can create a new future for our community. The steps include: Mobilize and build the capacities of committed indigenous leadership: The first step is to enlist the leadership of individuals of great commitment, complete integrity and the stature to access anyone in society necessary to ending hunger, homelessness and poverty. These individuals must become completely clear about, aligned with and utilizing the Strategic Planning in Action methodologies. Bring together all sectors of society: Ending hunger, homelessness and poverty cannot be accomplished by any one organization or any one sector of society. We must bring together leadership from all key sectors business, academia, media, artists, non-profit/service organizations and government agencies building alliances for advocacy and action to empower people’s self-reliant action and transform the social conditions that hold hunger, homelessness and poverty in place. Build a shared understanding: For people to work together effectively, they must achieve a comprehensive shared understanding of the prevailing conditions, the effectiveness of existing programs and the priority areas where action is required. Bringing all the information together, and making it clear, finite and confront-able is fundamental in implementing the Strategic Planning in Action approach. Commit to achieving a strategic intent: As a community, we must develop a powerfully articulated, unifying and achievable vision a strategic intent and clear, near-term strategic objectives appropriate to solving the problem, society-wide. We must never be content with helping a few, but rather commit ourselves to transforming conditions throughout society so that all people can build lives of dignity and self reliance, free from poverty. Commit to playing a strategic, catalytic role: Once people are committed to actually achieving the goal, they must then recognize the possibility of taking catalytic, high-leverage action that can affect the “big picture” - breaking bottlenecks to progress, improving existing programs, mobilizing and making better use of resources, effecting structural changes in society that can unleash the creativity and productivity of the people living in conditions of poverty. Identify what’s missing: Strategic Planning in Action is always guided by the question, What’s missing? What, if provided, would allow for a breakthrough? This is very different, and far more powerful, than the more common questions, What’s wrong? Why isn’t it working? These latter questions tend to call forth blame and paralysis, not action and cooperation.
By respecting and acknowledging the work already being done by organizations and by focusing on what’s missing, we avoid duplication. Take immediate action to catalyze “what’s missing” being provided. Take action first where it can succeed and produce near-term results. Create a momentum of accomplishment: One must constantly assess and sharpen the strategy. Each accomplishment gives a new landscape: new leadership, new obstacles, new openings for catalytic action. Each failure can lead to a deeper understanding of the nature of the challenge. Creating and sustaining this campaign mentality and style of working is crucial to breaking the mind-set of resignation and unleashing the human spirit. Power of Context
As soon as we commit to “all” people, we are confronted by our “old” ways of being. The “new” thinking required, followed by new actions, developing new habits and producing new results are to be learned and developed.
From a “systems thinking” perspective, one can see current “treatment” systems total sum, doesn’t add up to “all” nor does it equal “each and every”. “All-In” creates the context for systems design.
The commitment, in time, sets the schedule. The schedule is the context for the rate of change. When our commitment exceeds what has been done before, an authentic breakthrough is required. Transformational ways of being replace process. Enrollment of others, to “break” themselves open to discovering for themselves all that is possible, is the rate of growth. Our commitment is the context for action. Our strategy is the context for coordinated action.
Empowering people living in the condition of poverty to lead us out is a promise to follow. Follow-ship is not inherently passive. The committed “focus” and strategic thinking on the root cause(s) of poverty provides the context for the sustainable end of homelessness.
All-In is the context for being willing and able to give up who you’ve considered yourself to be to discover who and what you “really” are. Where “new” thinking comes from...
Once a person can step back and listen to the chatter that is constantly occurring within their heads, it becomes possible to consider existing “outside of” and “beyond’ that chatter. You become aware that this chatter is with you as you lie down to sleep and there when you awaken, providing a narrative of everything including oneself. Identifying yourself distinctly from beyond the chatter calms and “stills” the experience of living. When one is still, fears disappear. The courage to be vulnerable is recovered.
Acceptance of facts, odds, history and ‘how life really is’ replace fears and judgments. Connection and being “one-with” become the natural state of existence-- immediately taking over one’s experience. Primitive and fundamental habit-patterns are altered, shifting attention from reliving incidents from the past to healing them.
Being still means being calm, balanced, at-ease and in harmony with one’s self, the physical universe and all living beings and things. Committed curiosity about this stillness is all that is required to begin one’s inward journey toward peace. Being at peace, from within, is critical to the design of the foundation of “self” reliant futures worth seeing, committing to, acting on and having. Prior to “going” there, we are not positioned to address the “condition” we are All-In. Needed and wanted
This list is in order of priority and represents six months of listening to people without homes, who are currently living on the streets and in shelters.
Education and vocational training
A “personal” plan
Job location and placement
Empowering people to provide what they need.
Taking the top three needs and supporting the building of adequate facilities for showering, laundry and safe storage for belongings is our first priority project. A Dignity Center is to be built with land provided by the community, work crews of people from the homeless population, leadership and management from throughout the community along with corporate generosity, we are shovel ready and prepared to empower the ground-up development of our economy. We will continue to build these facilities throughout the community until All people in our community have access to being clean and secure with their belongings. With this phase complete, we will empower “phase II” of development. The facilities are designed to be self sustaining "green" learning centers. Phase II, will naturally include establishing businesses and services arising from needs that become apparent.
Some we can see now include:
Bicycle repair and sales
Cleaning services Vending machines in the centers
Every initiative we take will be generated from the priority of needs of the people being served at the scale required to include “all”. The initiatives foster dignity, pride of ownership, hope and a sense of accomplishment.
Through video documentation and viral social marketing we will “trend” this methodology throughout the country. The momentum of the stimulus, accelerated by the accomplishment and empowered by inspired community and civic responsibility, we will “flip” and rise to our collective current occasion.
This “flip” is scheduled for landing on 12/20/2012. This promises to be the most leveraged spending use of “stimulus” money. We also offer inspired leadership beyond the last economy.