New York City has a large population of homeless people. As of December 2017, their were around 63,000 homeless people in NYC. Studies show that the majority of homeless people have mental illnesses. Based on experience with a family member who has mental illnesses, I know that in general, the psychiatric industry is messed up. Like many things in our capitalist society, many wards are focused on money and don’t actually care about the wellbeing of their patients. That’s why solving homelessness is a wicked problem. It is a failure of many different systems in our society. My goal is to solve this by using taxes to fund a facility that aids in mental and physical ailments for low income and homeless people. If we could solve homelessness we would have more productive, caring societies, where everyone is treated fairly.
My facility would be funded by state income and local taxes. It would be sustainable because everyone in society would be funding this facility through taxes. It would also be sustainable because by getting people on track with brighter futures, they will be more productive, and better contribute to society. The desired effect is to keep people who need care off the streets and return those who recover back to the work force. In real time, it would probably take a couple years to build and raise enough funds to create a well functioning and productive facility. Their could also be arrangements with big companies that offer training programs for their employees. The companies could help fund the facility and in return, the facility could recommend recovered people to work at the company.
The facility would accept people without health care or insurance plans. The employees that work there could get large tax breaks. Doctors would be paid by the hour instead of the patient. The goal would be that as families or individuals came through the system they would go through counseling and be offered job opportunities so that hopefully they could create better lives for themselves after they left the program. Patients with short term and long term health problems would be accepted. Housing would be found for family members who don’t need psychiatric attention. Doctors and patients would work together to choose which is the best way to solving their problems, whether it be with medication or holistically.
For my prototype, I created an advertising campaign on Panera’s paper packaging. I chose Panera because all income levels eat there. Either someone can see the packaging and realize they could use the facility or someone sees it and recommends it to someone else. I also chose Panera because it isn’t often eaten in a car. Yes people take it to go sometimes but it doesn’t have drive throughs. If people are eating it at a table they will most likely notice the packaging as opposed to if they were eating while driving.
Some of the challenges faced by this facility are raising enough money to continually keep facilities clean and safe, and having people know and admit when they need help. These can be overcome by allowing funds to build before the facility is created so that it has enough money to start and prosper. Also, the community could have vans that they send out to look for and help people in need.
The Bowery Mission is a shelter that provides clothes, food, beds, and recovery programs for homeless and low income people. The primary focus of my facility is to aid people mentally when they don’t have the proper resources to otherwise do so. Manhattan Psychiatric Center offers inpatient and outpatient treatments for adults with mental illnesses. My program gives treatment to anyone any age and although it doesn’t have an inpatient program, they offer temporary housing solutions for those who need it. New York City Rescue Mission is another place that offers emergency food, shelter, and clothing. They also offer career development opportunities and learning centers. My facility is specifically for people that want to heal mentally so that they can be productive and contribute to society.