So You Want to Solve Homelessness

Start Here

Cover of 'So You Want to Solve Homelessness'

By Andrew Hening

From the author:

In 2010, Andrew Hening threw everything he owned in the trunk of his car and drove across the country to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the movement to end homelessness. What started out as a year of national service with AmeriCorps VISTA has turned into over a decade of working to end one of our nation’s most pressing moral crises.

Having provided front-line outreach in some of our nation’s largest homeless encampments, managed a growing workforce development nonprofit, and served in an executive leadership role in local government, Andrew has taken 10+ years of on-the-ground experience and written the book he wishes he had been able to read on day one.

So You Want to Solve Homelessness? Start Here attempts to answer three fundamental questions:

  • Why has homelessness gotten so bad in the United States?
  • Why have most efforts to solve it failed?
  • What actually works?

In answering these questions, Andrew offers an unprecedented breakdown of the systemic factors driving “The Modern Homelessness Crisis.” He addresses issues like “Housing First” and the “Homeless Industrial Complex,” and he helps to explain why many investments and so-called solutions do not deliver the results that communities are seeking.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Andrew shares his experience of working in a community that as recently as 2017 had the seventh highest per capita rate of homelessness in the entire country, and how a team of local leaders came together in a few short years to double the supply of supportive housing, house over 500 of the most vulnerable people experiencing long-term chronic homelessness (94% of whom have stayed housed), and drive measurable reductions in homelessness.

Whether you are a concerned community member, advocate, civic leader, funder, or service provider, and whether you are brand new to the movement to end homelessness or a seasoned veteran, this book will provide immense value as a roadmap for understanding and ultimately solving The Modern Homelessness Crisis.

Andrew is a UC Berkeley MBA with nearly 20 years of social sector leadership experience, and he is currently consulting with public agencies to solve complex social challenges, including measurably reducing homelessness, spurring civic innovation, and redesigning systems of care for vulnerable community members.

In 2018, Andrew was named the top national influencer in local government by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), which has over 4,800 members from all 50 states plus Canada, UK, Israel, and Australia, for his work with the City of San Rafael, breaking down the complex issue of homelessness and mobilizing community engagement around solutions. This book was, in part, inspired by a newsletter Andrew wrote while working for the City, which was filled with pictures, infographics, and other visuals. So You Want to Solve Homelessness? Start Here has incorporated that same style.


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Cover of 'So You Want to Solve Homelessness'

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