Program: Solutions for Change
Solutions for Change is an organization that has successfully worked to assist homeless families permanently move into a productive normal lifestyle. In 1999, Chris and Tammy Megison were helping out at an emergency winter shelter with their two boys, when a 9 year old girl named Jessica pulled Chris’ sleeve and innocently asked, “Hey mister, do you live here too?” Chris looked at the girl and then over to her mother who was preparing a bed on the shelter floor. Chris got down on one knee, looking into the girl’s eyes, and said, “I don’t live here, sweetie, but my wife and I are going to do everything possible so that you, and your family, won’t have to live here too.”
The girl’s eyes welled with tears, and so did Chris’, and a vision was born—to solve family homelessness. This one night forever changed not only the lives of Jessica and her family, who solved their homelessness, but also the lives of over 2,000 other children and their parents who have since found their way here. Through this promise an imperative evolved that is known today as Solutions For Change.
The founders Chris and Tammy Megison recognized that much of the assistance for the homeless, although well intended, was counterproductive, only providing shelter from imminent disaster: the disaster of starving or freezing.
Solutions for Change's objective has been to get families out of the system of temporary intervention from imminent disaster and "Change the Situation to a Permanent New Lifestyle."
A defining moment for Chris and Tammy Megison was in 1999, Chris and Tammy were helping out at an emergency winter shelter with their two boys, when a 9 year old girl named Jessica pulled Chris’ sleeve and innocently asked, “Hey mister, do you live here too?” That realization, that the little girl thought that living in a shelter was a normal way to live had a huge impact on the Megison's.
Solutions for Change was founded in 1999. They started with a 300 sq. ft. office in Vista, growing since then to a much greater facility infrastructure with campuses in Vista and Escondido and an Aquaponics farm in Vista. They call the campuses "Solution Universities"
Instead of addressing deep poverty (homelessness) from a socialized housing design, they try to emphasize these concepts:
- Connect the homeless to a purpose
- Equipped them with the tools (S,K,R) to work in meaningful jobs
- Transformed from being on the public good, to actually becoming the public good
- Achieve objectives through the power of the free market using a social enterprise design