People are Assets to be Appreciated
NOT Problems to be Fixed
Typically, homeless strategies look at individuals from a needs based perspective, identifying what the person needs and then providing the solution. From this prospective, the question for the homeless individual is, What is wrong with you? Or, what do you need? At times there isn’t a question at all, instead it’s more of a statement, “I’m going to tell you what is wrong with you and provide for your needs.”
Our asset based approach is opposite of the needs based approach to homelessness. The asset based approach starts off with, what is right with you, not what is wrong with you. What gifts, abilities, assets do you have? What are you able to do? How can you utilize these abilities to attain your goals? The solutions to their challenges and resources that are provided come from them as much as possible.
Our asset based approach is derived from Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) that is utilized to help revitalize communities across the county. “The appeal of ABCD lies in its premise that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often unrecognized assets, and thereby responding to and creating local economic opportunity. ABCD builds on the assets that are already found in the community and mobilizes individuals, associations, and institutions to come together to build on their assets– not concentrate on their needs.” https://resources.depaul.edu/abcd-institute/Pages/default.aspx
We walk alongside people and show them how to utilize their assets and add them to our micro-community at the Medford Gospel Mission. We take and hone these assets and develop them to enable people to thrive while in our program over a sustained period of time. This gives people skill and confidence to thrive when they are ready to look for employment and housing in our community and leave homelessness behind for good.