Futures Friday — Scenario 4: Rising Tide

The Futures of Homelessness Part 12 — A Futures of Homelessness Scenario

Today we get to look at our final scenario, Rising Tide, that gives us a glimpse into a more transformational future. That does not mean that it is an easygoing, everyone is happy scenario. To get to this level of transformation requires A LOT of work and dedication from the public and the government. And not everyone will be a winner. Taxes will likely rise and it may be a bit of a bumpy start.

Scenario 4— Well Planned Policy meets Unrequited Compassion

We saw in Scenario 1: Sharing is Caring that a compassionate public and progressive businesses can lead to real change. However, in that scenario, the governments themselves were largely ineffective in this change. In Rising Tide, we see what happens when governments are very effective at long term urban planning for homelessness. For some, this may seem the least realistic scenario, however we are seeing trends right now in many cities that provide guideposts that transformation is possible.

Rising Tide — Transformation in 2040

California enacts a series of large programs with strict success metrics for communities. It is a 20 year plan with significant progress at each milestone. In the first five years, massive budget increases start to pay for themselves as less is spent on homeless care and more is spent on keeping people homed — and employed.

Photo by Jorge Maya on Unsplash

This change in demographics means more at risk people keep their homes and employment, adding to a new urban economic boom. California realizes that both urban and suburban communities are undergoing a major shift in employment needs and empower at-risk individuals to help supply the expanded workforce cities require. Programs such as urban farms, safety monitoring, city ambassadors, and gig jobs help open new opportunities with the support of state and local oversight.

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

Other state programs decriminalize homelessness and many drug offenses and offer effective behavioral and mental programs.

California becomes the nationwide model on how to win the fight against homelessness.

Now we have four scenarios for homelessness in California, each with a very different outlook. Each requires us to make it happen (or not happen). Futures is not a bench-warmer sport. We all play whether we like it or not.

Next week we will do some comparisons and look at the implications of these futures.

I am an innovator, storyteller, futurist, and problem solver. I have a passion for sustainability and social justice. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jtmudge/