Lotus Campaign is proud to announce that its cofounder and Executive Director has been honored as a "Change Maker" in the latest issue of Drew Magazine, now on stands.
The program is meant to spotlight people across the country doing good for the world. Silverman had the opportunity to share the powerful impact Lotus has had for the last five years and also insights into what has worked well, and what needs to be changed regarding homelessness.
A portion of the article, written by Tiffany Davis, reads, “STATISTICALLY, the length of time it takes to escape poverty is 20 years with zero missteps, unexpected medical expenses, or anything going wrong,” Beth Silverman says. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a year — let alone 20 — where nothing went wrong.”
Silverman is the executive director of Lotus Campaign, a Charlotte, North Carolina– based nonprofit rewriting the playbook to solve systemic homelessness and affordable housing shortages. For her, that means bringing (historically unlikely) allies across the real estate, land development, rental, and social service sectors to one table, then matching unhoused families with access and holistic action plans. It’s a formula that has allowed the foundation to bring the average annual cost of placing and keeping someone in housing to just $906 in neighborhoods of opportunity — neighborhoods with trees, parks, grocery stores, schools, bus stops, and proximity to major employers.
“All of our services focus on removing roadblocks to safe, stable, dignified places to call home,” Silverman says. Lotus guarantees rent and other economic incentives to decrease economic risk to landlords; social service partners provide ongoing support to the individual or family to ensure they have what they need to rebuild their lives — career coaching, mental health services, and more.
Being housed with this big safety net of support makes all the difference. For the record, 98% of families Lotus engages maintain good rental standing, continuing on to either renew their leases or purchase first homes. Landlord partners also win, often offering additional units to Lotus tenants once they experience the double benefit of doing good and working with tenants determined to better their own futures.
Silverman keeps a James Baldwin quote on a Post-it note by her desk that reads, “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by those doing it.”
“I think that is the key to solving these ‘unsolvable’ things,” she says. “You have to let whatever modicum of blinding optimism you have shine, combat the brokenness you’re seeing, and then use it to change the world.”
For more insights from Beth in the article, see here.