How To Talk About Housing Needs

May 20, 2016

I came across this discussion about mission messaging in the “Framing and Messaging Toolkit” of the National Housing Conference. Its key takeaway point is that providers should not overwhelm their audience with problems.

They say: “When a problem seems intractable, people are less likely to be motivated to get involved or to take action.” 

We try our best to make sure that we do not make the lack of affordable housing an overwhelming problem.  We talk about the lack of affordable housing; but then we always end with the solution of GSH housing.

For example, on our bus tours, when we take supporters to see our affordable housing and visit inside a unit, we are showing them the impact created by GSH.

We are showing them the lifecycle of housing instability and homelessness for a family.  That is, we are saying to the bus tour participants: Here’s where our residents start as unstably housed families…and here’s where they end up in our affordable housing.

More to the point, we show them the problem, but also the solution.