"A Civic Leader's Guide to Solving Homelessness" FREE Instant Access Now Available

Building a Shared Path Forward from a Common Understanding

Join the hundreds of civic leaders who have received a free copy of our guide to visualizing "The Modern Homelessness Crisis."

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The Must-Watch Orientation

Whether you are brand new to the movement to end homelessness or a seasoned veteran, "A Civic Leader's Guide to Solving Homelessness" is the must-watch orientation for understanding what's driving "The Modern Homelessness Crisis," and learning proven strategies and frameworks to rapidly drive change in any community.

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A strategy for uniting and accelerating our collective efforts.

A Shared North Star

Think about the most defining features of modern homelessness:

  • Tent encampments
  • Unsheltered people suffering from addiction and mental illness
  • Debates about whether to build new housing or new shelters
  • Agreement that yes we should do something - just not right here 

The critical issue underlying all these failures is something almost no one talks about, yet anyone who has worked in this space will recognize it almost immediately. Our core problem is decentralization.

For all intents and purposes, local communities have been left to their own devices to figure out how to respond to modern homelessness. Decentralizing responsibility has created powerful feedback loops that are making it nearly impossible to effectively respond.

STEPS is the antidote. 


STEPS Is about Simplicity.

It is about focusing on the small number of core building blocks that serve as the foundation of every homeless system of care.

From this shared understanding and alignment, incredible transformation becomes possible ...


10 Ways to Use STEPS in Your Community

"The Modern Homelessness Crisis"

How we got here. How we move forward.


This website and community is intended to be the go-to resource for civic leaders working to end "The Modern Homelessness Crisis." 

The information and tools that you will find here are rooted in two simple goals. First, as a sector and movement, we need a shared story of how we got here.

From this understanding, we must then adopt a common strategy and change management framework that aligns communities across the country in adopting proven best practices.

Seeing the System

Homelessness is often framed as a singular problem - it’s the cost of housing, it’s people lost in addiction, it’s bad choices. These explanations will always be insufficient because homelessness is a “systems” problem. It arises from the intersection of multiple related and reinforcing challenges. Solving homelessness requires seeing the ways in which housing AND behavioral health AND individual circumstances can interact to make an episode of homelessness more or less likely to occur. 

Guide to Seeing the System

"The Modern Homelessness Crisis"

There have been many eras of homelessness throughout our nation’s history. Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we entered "The Modern Homelessness Crisis." This crisis is being driven by a portfolio of socioeconomic policies that are making it more likely for individual crises to result in episodes of homelessness, particularly in our nation's most thriving metropolitan areas.  

1. A Crisis We Didn't Create

A Failed Response

If the The Modern Homelessness Crisis is "what happened," then the next question is - how have we responded?

Over the last 40 years, we have fundamentally decentralized the response to homelessness, largely leaving cities and counties to their own devices to figure out what to do. This decentralization has created powerful feedback loops that are making it even harder to effectively respond.

2. A Failed Response


From a place of deep understanding about what is driving this crisis, we are advocating for a new strategy called “STEPS AHEAD.” Our goal is for STEPS AHEAD to become the national organizing principle for addressing homelessness. 

At its core, STEPS helps our sector visualize the optimal system design of homeless services, and AHEAD is a change management framework that helps communities implement best practices.

3. A Better Strategy

Going Back to "Day One"

What I wish I had known then ...

This website was born out of education and advocacy work led by Andrew Hening. Over the past 15 years, Andrew has provided front-line outreach in some of our nation’s largest homeless encampments, managed a growing workforce development nonprofit, served in an executive leadership role in local government, and ran his own consulting firm working with city and county government agencies on homelessness strategic planning, financial planning, and affordable housing development. 

Andrew has held all of the roles and experienced all of the blindspots. The ideas and resources that you will find here are what he wishes he had known on "Day One."

Katie Rice, County Supervisor:

"Andrew has been critical in transforming our community’s approach to homelessness - the strategy, the partnerships, and the community conversation. If it weren’t for his leadership, we wouldn’t be seeing the reductions in homelessness that we’re now observing."


So You Want to Solve Homelessness? Start Here is now available as an audiobook.

“This well-researched book provides important historical context, systems-based analysis, and suggests policy and service outcomes, all in an easy-to-read and enjoyable prose.” - Customer Review

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