How do we help ensure that one bump in the road does not cause an entire life to derail?
Through our decades of service in the Pacific Northwest, we have seen firsthand that the most complex issues facing our communities are so challenging to address because they do not have a single cause. It is often several contributing elements that collide in unique ways based on the individual’s circumstances that then propel them into a challenging, often painful, cycle.
In no issue is this more prominent than homelessness. A universal struggle in communities across our region, homelessness presents a unique challenge to solve because individuals can enter the cycle through any number of circumstances – from addiction to employment loss to abuse to mental illness – and it is rare that one solution can effectively help restore that individual or family’s stability once it has begun.
However, there is reason for optimism. As we have shared previously, the value of collaboration to address the complex challenges facing a community cannot be over stated. Research has shown that communities thrive when individuals and organizations can come together and address a problem as one .
In this spirit, we are incredibly fortunate that there are countless nonprofits across the Pacific Northwest using this very strategy of collaboration to help address significant issues facing our region such as homelessness. Rather than try to address “homelessness” with a single strike (which would be effectively impossible) these groups identify one area where they can make a positive impact. They then connect and collaborate to create a web of support to serve the unique needs of the individual.
In this video, the Murdock Trust met with a collection of our current and former grantees that focus on elements of homelessness and poverty to show how this sort of collaboration can help move the needle on the complex challenges in our communities.
We are grateful to the nonprofits from across the Northwest that participated in this project, including Covenant House Alaska, Hopa Mountain, The Idaho Foodbank, IRCO, LEAP Charities, Love INC Fairbanks, Millionair Club, Mountain Home Montana, REAP, Salem Free Clinics, United Way of Pierce County and Vine Maple Place, as well as the individuals who shared their heartwarming stories with us.
Our thanks and gratitude go out to the countless organizations that work to ensure that every individual, family and community has an opportunity to flourish and thrive.