It feels nearly biological: The mix of reflection and planning that happens as each year ends.
As I write this letter, I’ve been taking stock of the monumental impact we’ve had during our fifth year. I’m simultaneously thinking through how to bolster our Landlord Participation Programs in Charlotte and the Triangle in the coming months. I’m considering the dire state of homelessness in the places where we currently work and how we can scale to new communities that need a new solution like ours.
And while all of that is running around in my head, I am drawn to organizing it numerically, which is rare for me. I’d rather write an essay than a budget, but to explain why it’s not an overstatement when I say Lotus has the model to solve homelessness and to also highlight the significance of your support specifically at this time in history, I want you to consider these latest, powerful numbers.
The data is clear: This is one of most intractable issues of our time, and the biggest barrier to solving it is supply and demand. But if you looked at these numbers alone, you would believe homelessness is too far gone – an unsolvable epidemic. That’s why I’m also sharing these:
Lotus Campaign is increasing the supply of housing for people in need NOW. No waiting for new houses to be built. Lotus Campaign brings together unexpected allies to break down typical financial and social barriers that prevent private landlords from renting to people experiencing and at risk of homelessness.
Our program covers application fees and guarantees against loss of rent – minimizing risk and financially incentivizing landlords to say, “yes” to renting to neighbors in need. We work with landlords in “neighborhoods of opportunity,” where the housing we facilitate is near to public transportation, grocery stores, and schools – an important differentiator for many affordable housing options today. And we ensure each program participant has the ongoing, professional support they need to break the often-unrelentless cycle of homelessness.
The numbers tell us our model works, but maybe even more importantly, the people do.
“My life has changed tremendously. I can now work on my goals. I want to be a homeowner one day.” – Mario, a formerly incarcerated individual who struggled with homelessness and addiction
“Now it’s just me, signing just my name. That’s powerful.” – Melina, a mom of four who entered homelessness after going through divorce
More than a half a million people across the country lack safe and stable housing. We have a proven model to change that, and your generosity this year-end will help guarantee we can meet the urgent and critical needs of this current moment.
Cofounder & Executive Director
P.S. The proof is there. Together, we can solve homelessness. While we appreciate any amount you can give, for $83 a month, you can make sure that an individual or family in our program stays housed for an entire year, and we know that that year is system-breaking and life-changing. The longer an individual stays housed, the less likely they are to end up unhoused again. Thank you for your support.