• Jennifer Rich

Three Lessons to Strengthen Our Case for Housing Justice

Before joining @TheCaseMade last summer, I worked at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness with some of the smartest people I know on the task of ending homelessness. But despite all the great progress we were making on solving the technical challenges of ending homelessness, we still weren’t making the progress we needed.

Because even with the political support of the Obama Administration and all the evidence and hard work from the field, we simply weren’t convincing the larger group of Americans we needed to bring our solutions to scale. We keep spinning our wheels in all these really unhelpful narratives: The problem is too hard. The government can’t fix anything. Those people want to be homeless. But my property values!

I recently joined former colleagues at the National Alliance to End Homelessness virtual conference to share three lessons on shifting the narrative and making the strongest possible case for systems change that is grounded in racial equity and laser focused on justice as the ultimate outcome. Because if we miss this moment to address the toxic racism embedded in our housing system and get America on a path to housing justice, it may never come again.

Lesson 1: Making a strong case for our work is an adaptive leadership exercise not a communications exercise.

As a communications person, I’d be the first to tell