Idea Guide

From HousingWiki


Idea Guide: How Anyone Can Help and Build Community

Robin, Ibrahim, Abby, and others.

Idea guide.jpg
Idea guide.jpg


People who live in houses often fear or avoid people who live on the street.

We need to take responsibility for your own community, things that institutions can’t do for us. We can build relationships, build resilience, and break down borders.


Website, and/or book that explains what individuals, churches and community centers, neighborhood associations, small and large businesses can do to strengthen relationships between housed and unhoused communities/villages.

(added Feb 3 2017) The ACLU report about decriminalizing homelessness mentions PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH:

Public perception of unhoused communities is rooted in a lack of education, fear, and bias towards people experiencing poverty and homelessness. These stereotypes play a major role in fostering public anxiety and unease, which pressure city o‰icials and politicians to perpetuate criminalization. Instead of limiting our ability to liœ up communities most impacted by economic inequity, poor health, and no housing, we should work to create pathways to prosperity.

Governments should cultivate understanding among the housed community about homelessness, including public education about poverty, homelessness, and the civil rights and liberties of unhoused individuals. Policymakers can also develop programs that bring diverse groups together and encourage intermingling and cooperation. Finally, policymakers and the broader community could develop a better understanding of unhoused individuals and their experiences and needs by engaging them in the process of planning and making policy decisions. < suggestion - contact ACLU and collaborate:

This is some brainstormed content that would be written into content, listed within each categore from simple to most challenging. 

Study/report on messaging about the urgency of homelessness (2016)
You Don't Have to Live Here: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It - SummaryPDF - 24 pages
In this paper, we lay out the challenges that advocates face and use new research conducted by the FrameWorks Institute to put forward evidence-based messaging  recommendations that can be used to advance a strong affordable housing and community development agenda.


  • Take trash bags to a camp, pick up filled bags
  • Find out who picks up your bottles
  • Join Free Hot Soup for mobile outreach
  • Just say, “hello”
  • Install a permanent “free box” in front of your house and put useful items in it
  • Offer locked, dry storage at your house to a homeless person
  • Stop by a houseless village and ask what they need
  • Turn your social gathering in to a fundraiser, invite your neighbors
  • Convert your basement or garage in to a place to slee
  • Foster a child
  • Make a video - talks with local people - online or on disc
  • Repair on cars, RVs and boats

Churches and Community Centers

  • Write positive stories about houseless people
  • “Adopt” a local homeless person - check in on them, crowdsource what they need
  • Talk about fears, evoke acceptance (fear is real but not a barrier)
  • Take group tours to shelters & villages
  • Houseless speaker’s bureau
  • Host storage facilities in parking lot
  • Host RV’s for winter w/ a port-a-potty
  • Build a pod village on your property
  • Serve as a warming shelter in winter

Neighborhood Associations

  • Organize a storytelling event
  • Identify neighborhoods that are willing to host villages
  • Convert “zombie house” in to low income housing

Small Businesses

  • Small business group - talk fears, solutions
  • Subsidize trash pickup for campers
  • On call port-a-potties for street side
  • Provide dumpsters

Large Businesses

  • Invite some folks outside your building that you see regularly to lunch. Learn about them.
  • Build an outdoor shower and outdoor bathroom, open to the public
  • Sponsor an outreach worker (pay their salary)
  • Host RV’s/winter boating in your parking lot
  • Host a tiny home village