We’ve all heard the phrase “housing crisis” a thousand times these days. Many of us have been personally impacted by a lack of available housing, whether you’re a young person who has been hoping to buy your first home, but are totally unable to because of high costs and competition—or whether you’re someone who has experienced homelessness because of eviction, job loss, or any number of other reasons.
There are a lot of people proposing solutions to this housing crisis and one of them is today’s guest on The Bottom-Up Revolution podcast, Beth Silverman. But the solution she’s been working on isn’t one of the typical responses you might have heard lately, like “we just need to build more homes,” or “we just need more government subsidies for housing.” Rather, it’s about uniting for-profit landlords and developers, together with non-profit service organizations toward a common goal of getting people housing who need it.
Beth Silverman is the founder and executive director of the Lotus Campaign, whose mission is “[t]o increase the availability of housing for people experiencing homelessness by engaging the for-profit sector as a partner in the solution.” She sees herself partly as a translator between entities that typically work separately and rarely talk to one another. She knows that nonprofits have services, connections, and insights to offer, and that landlords and real estate professionals can bring innovation, capital and access to housing, for homeless people or people at risk of homelessness.
During its short time in operation, the Lotus Campaign has already housed more than 360 individuals and families for a cost to their organization of less than $1,000 per person each year, and most of those people are able to stay housed after their participation in the program ends.