by Connie Mitchell, Executive Director
I recently had the pleasure of meeting some extremely creative and compassionate young ladies from a local Brownie Troop that had been learning about homelessness. As part of a service project, the girls collected some toiletries, food, and other household items to donate to IHS. These hardworking girls also collected recyclables and gathered enough bottles and cans to donate $100. I was invited to attend one of their meetings to teach them a bit about IHS, but what they taught me was much more inspiring and will stick with me for a long time to come.
Each girl had spent time coming up with “inventions” that could help solve homelessness that were then woven into a skit. What they came up with was nothing less than astonishing.
Among the inventions was a portable home that could be folded up to fit in a backpack. Another was a robotic claw to help people with disabilities reach items they needed. Still another invention was a vehicle equipped with a digital “maker” that could manufacture needed supplies with a programmable keypad. Finally, there was also a time machine to help bring all the futuristic inventions into the present.
I found myself wondering what could happen if adults charged with solving homelessness allowed their imaginations to run wild like these girls did. Instead of constantly talking about what needed to change and what can’t be done, what if we began to imagine all of the possibilities, and figure out ways to make them happen? Maybe we can’t build a time machine, but are we allowing ourselves to be constrained by only what is known to has worked in other places?
At IHS, we pride ourselves on being innovative and trying out new solutions. These young ladies have truly inspired me to continue to push the boundaries and continue to search for new angles for ending homelessness. When these girls grow up and their creative minds are the ones in charge, I hope that they will have inherited a world where homelessness is no longer a burgeoning problem, but may have met with a storybook ending in which homes have been delivered to everyone who needs one.