Updated Sep 05, 2019

Healthily Housed

Making America Housed Again


The innovation has no owner


Stage 1 : Ideation


Improve the health and quality of life for homeless communities by reducing hazardous waste in the shelter system by taking a zero-waste, health-centered approach. We all hear about waste in Washington, & don’t hear how waste affects Washinton's homeless. 7,000-some homeless residents contend with piles of plastics, mountains of discarded bedding, food scraps & recyclables, contributing to the accumulation of vermin, pests and black mold. Respiratory illness and bacterial infections.

Innovation Description

Much of this waste can be diverted into recycling and compost streams while fresh, organic, local and healthy foods rather than prepackaged and processed foods to be accessed in the shelter system. Fresh produce and homecooked meals as well as organic, non-toxic cleaning products will improve the dignity, sanitation, hygeine, health and safety for DC's homeless. Researching Developing an app targeted to homeless users - where to access healthy resources for housing, food & cleaning products, as well as templates and direction on how to report consumer complaints. App will include resources for free and low-cost health programs like yoga, electric scooter & bike share programs - &community garden programs. Housing and food security is at an all-time high in Washington, DC. The Mayor's FY 2019 budget dedicates $40M for a new emergency housing program. A building boom in its Southeast neighborhoods is pushing residents from their generational homes. 7,000 people are homelessin Washington, made the more vulnerable by lack of access to healthy food, bed-bug free shelters & impending spread of tuberculosis. Trash mingles with cans & plastics on top of bedding.NIH, CDC, PEW Research and WHO have consistent reports showing that organic, healthy diets and stress-relieving exercise like yoga will boost the immune system, and prevent the impacts of respiratory illness like tuberculosis. By taking aa health-centered rather than a housing-centered approach to homelessness.

Competitive Advantage

DC has a wonderfully intense innovation sector, with a host of tech and social good incubators like General Assembly & coworking buildings that support organizations like local urban farming communities. DC has an increasing focus on local food systems as a key ingredient to health of residents as well as ecosystems. Moreover, urban and rooftop gardens are increasingly used as a tool to measure resiliency against climate change. Currently, the city hosts dozens of new rooftop farm to table enterprises, like Up Top Acres which grows thousands of squarefeet of greens and produce. The micro level economy is turning more macro, with these groups selling and catering to local businesses. The shelter systems have budgets for comprising food security, and could direct these funds to the local growers and producers rather than purchasing in bulk from Walmarts and Sams Clubs. The funds are a direct investment back into green roof and other urban farms, aiding in climate resiliency and carbon reduction as well as supporting the local economy. Less fuel and carbon emissions is needed to transport and package produce.