For those of us who have toiled to raise funds from philanthropic foundations to support community efforts, the above words may seem at first to be oxymoronic (like “military intelligence” or “honest politician”). Foundations are famous for having a specific type of attention deficit disorder that looks for just the latest and greatest innovation and then quickly moves on. When dealing with complex social problems that developed over many years, however, that strategy often leads to fleeting success at best.
I am fortunate to be working at a foundation that has been able to overcome that ADD-bound approach. An article in the most recent issue of Health Affairs, a leading health policy journal, profiles the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s seventeen-year partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to increase the supply of permanent supportive housing (PSH) in the United States. PSH has proven to be a successful model in reducing chronic homelessness, especially among the mentally ill. For the next month, you can access the article for free on the Foundation’s website (after a month, you’ll have to pay for the article so hurry up!).