Cincinnati Hacking Homelessness™

Vision: We envision a Cincinnati that has solved the problem of homelessness, where all people have a safe place to reside.

Mission: We will accomplish this vision by gathering the Wisdom of the Community.  This especially includes those who are not usually considered part of the solution. Using several methods, members will be guided and supported to find new solutions. These solutions will be community derived and supported. 


Despite national and local efforts to address homelessness, it remains a problem. In fact, on any given night, more than 550,000 people experience homelessness in the United States. New solutions are needed to reduce and end homelessness. We believe the best ideas can be found at the local level. 

To this end, we are planning an event (targeted for May 2020) called The Cincinnati Region Hacking Homelessness.

We will gather 100 community members for this weekend event. We will guide and support them in their efforts to define the problems leading to and caused by homelessness from the community viewpoint.

Afterwards, new ideas will be used to develop creative solutions and partnerships to improve the situation. The attendees will be intentionally chosen to represent all sectors of society to allow the most innovative and informed ideas to be developed. 

After the weekend, our expectation is to support 15 “1% solutions.” These may include for-profit companies, non-profit companies, social ventures, and programs to implement solutions based on the passion, skills and enthusiasm of participants. We will plan future actions and develop measures to monitor our success “moving the needle.”

Are you interested in joining us?

Some of the Stakeholders to Engage for this Event

  • Homeless
  • Families of homeless
  • Previously homeless
  • Contractors/builders
  • Homeless advocates
  • Government agents (City, county, state, country/nation)
  • Local politicians
  • Nonprofits
  • Business owners
  • Service providers
  • Foundations
  • College students
  • Military supporters
  • Military veterans
  • Mental health advocates
  • Churches/Religious groups
  • Anti-trafficking groups
  • Prisoner reintegration advocates
  • Drug advocates
  • Employment advocates
  • Abuse related advocates
  • Motivational speakers
  • Neighborhood associations/Community Alliances
  • Libraries
  • Arts groups or organizations
  • Universities, colleges, K-12 schools
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Men’s and women’s groups
  • Media, radio personalities
  • Local unions (teachers, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Sports teams
  • Donors, funders, foundations
  • Law enforcement
  • Libertarians, Democrats, Republicans, Charterites
  • Business Coaches
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Sexual Orientation

Proposed Participants

  • Affected populations: 12
  • NPOs large: 4
  • NPOs small: 12
  • Government: 8
  • Business Large: 4 
  • Business Small: 12
  • Funding Experts: 10
  • Service providers: 10
  • Practitioners (experts): 6
  • Members of the public: 20

Draft Agenda

0th Day Evening


Experiential Event



1st Day Morning


Welcome and speakers (1 hr)

Brain dump (30 minutes)

-       What are biggest needs?

-       What are solutions?

Innovation Thinking (“What’s The Big Idea” Game) (2 hr)

-       Random seat assignments

-       What are biggest needs?

-       What are solutions?

1st Day Lunch


-       Marketing

-       Legal

-       Financial

-       Etc.

1st Day Afternoon


Review and update:

1.       Sphere of Influence Mapping

2.       Top Causes of Homelessness

3.       Homeless Journey (Steps out of Homelessness)

4.       Needs Assessment

5.       Solution set

1st Day Closeout

Voting for tentative solution set to pursue


1st Day Dinner

Vendor Tables

Support Tables

1st Day Evening


Experiential Event(s)




2nd Day Morning


Identify solution paths

-       Silo (industry) working groups

-       Randomly mixed working groups

-       Solution specific working groups

How can we impact…

Top Three Solutions

Top Three Challenges

Top Three Fund Resources

2nd Day Lunch

Topic breakout groups

-       NPO training

-       Business training

-       Social venture training

-       Government Interaction training

-       Job training

2nd Day Afternoon


30—60—90 Day Action Plan (what)

Roles and Responsibilities (how)

Monthly Review Process (accountability)