The Foundation


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My Final for Systems Thinking & Life-Cycle Analysis-it's called 'The Foundation'. The idea was to take a current system (homelessness and transitional services) that is obviously broken and reengineer it by create a new segue-society. I really hope I get the opportunity to actually create this some day.

© Zamin Dharsi

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The Foundation

  1. 1. FOREWORD >>
  2. 2. If only it were that easy. Homeless people come into their sorry situation suddenly, or by chance. We are all one paycheck short of being on the streets and that’s a fact. More than 27% of homeless people in America say that they did paid work within the last month, and yet...they are still homeless?’ The current cycle is an open-loop system that has unrealistic expectations. Society deems homelessness as a deviance associated with crime and expects these people to get o the streets and on with their life. The problem comes in when the question of how is ignored. 1) No Address to put on the Application’s 2) No Experience 3) No Clean-clothes/Impressions 4) No Educational merit 5) Lack of hygiene-no medical insurance 6) Lack of con dence, self-worth
  3. 3. Good or Bad, Righteous or Evil - the fact is that money makes our world spin. Money is a concept that society has developed that has become essential to become a contributing part of it. Money de nes your place in life, and for homeless people - that puts them at the bottom rung of the social ladder. The problem with tradi- tional transitional services is the lack of money that is incorporated into the spectrum. Everyone wants to help the homeless by giving them charity-but they cannot be reintroduced to society (as an equal) unless they are treated as one. This means no freebies and no hand-o s. If homeless people are given an opportunity where they can be o ered money in exchange for their services, they will automatically be given the opportunity to feel better about themselves. But if they can’t get a traditional job in the rst place- how can this happen? Current Interactions between homeless But how much money? A survey showed that 96% of homeless people and outsiders are a hierarchical behav- Americans said that they would do anything (legal or otherwise) in ioral system that does not simulate true exchange for money. Any job would do, no matter how much they are equality and doesn’t facilitate the ‘unable’ to getting. Fine-the corner store needs someone to clean the bathrooms. move up within social ranks: But they can only pay below minimum wage. According to the survey, a homeless person would gladly take that job. But realistically with the principals of economics, the person would be making so little that it wouldn’t necessarily keep them o the streets. This is why an environment needs to be created where home- less people can earn minimal wages, be proud of their hard-earned money, and still be able to a ord living a self-sustained life, as a means to be reintroduced to society.
  4. 4. INTRODUCING >>
  5. 5. The groundwork’s for ‘The Foundation’ is simple with a ROWE oriented (or consumer-empowered) concept. For the People, by the People. A social structure will be in order so that the participants of The Foundation will work together to build their own social culture. Instead • Get homeless people off the streets of an institution-like facility where upper members of • Allow them to practice using money society come in to assist social deviants in rehabilita- • Treat them with respect (no freebies) tion, The Foundation will be a community program • Provide a Safe/Hygenic environment to live where each participant will contribute to building the • Provide counseling/mentorship/tutoring framework for the structure of their own sub-society. • Facilitate Certification Programs for them The idea is similar to the contribution of adjunct • Teach them to help each other professors in academia-professionals earning experi- • Transition them into society within 2 years ence by providing learning services within an institu- • Keep them off the streets forever tion. The residents of The Foundation will not only reside in the structure but also get a real job in main- taining the facility or providing other services that will help them gain skills they can utilize in the real world. Teach a man to Fish, feed him for Life. For example-a person skilled in the English language may get an on-site job to tutor other residents in read- In this new system, the social interactions ing and writing skills. This will allow him/her the oppor- within the community will be on a counter- tunity to get real-world training experience while the clockwise circular platform. Residents of 24 students will get the opportunity to improve their months will help the residents of 21 months command of language. Ideally there will be govern- seeing as they were recently at that stage. ment facilitated certi cation programs for both these In-turn, residents of 3 months (newbies) will groups. Half of the structure will be integrated into help residents of 24 months get reacquainted traditional society with workers getting the with the outside world since they had the opportunity to use their skills on people outside most recent access to it. Additionally, ‘The Foundation’. This may include a full-sta ed residents of 12 months and above will restaurant in the city where workers will get to cook, begin reintegration into traditional society serve and host the general public. self-sustained life, as by working part-time in ‘the real world’. a means to be reintroduced to society.
  6. 6. The Business Various businesses will be created within the grounds of The Foundation which will give the residents the opportunity to work and gain technical skills. These businesses (and the contributing workers) will provide the structure that runs The Foundation. Various businesses will revolve around the following The Dormotories subcategories a) The Capsules– these will be rooms with roll-in beds much like a ling cabinet where residents can sleep. Under each of the bed capsules will be a roll-out a) Housing – o ce space that collects rent and runs closet for their things/shopping carts/etc. Residents the facilities of both The Capsules and The Flats including maintenance subsectors. will be provided a free space for a maximum of 3 months during which time they may collect the b) Eating – various restaurants will be in place on-site and some may be o -site. Included will be a deli, a money through their jobs at the Foundation. Should co ee-shop, an upscale restaurant, a vegan café and a diner. they wish to stay in the space beyond that time, they will be required to pay for their bed-space. c) Learning – Peer Counseling and Mediation/Tutoring services will be a big part of the Foundation. Included will be sub departments in administration (that run the o ces of ‘Learning’ including a department that looks b) The Flats – Studio Apartments will be available to and facilitates certi cation programs including GED) as well as the actual tutors, appointment-makers, assis- residents after 3 months for a low subsidized amount tants, etc. Tutoring/Certi cation programs will be provided in Sustainability, Computers, Business and per month. The Apartment will be minimally furnished Language skills-real world sectors that today’s empowered professional needs. Additional classes will be (a table and chair, sofa and bed) giving the residents provided to suit residents interests including several arts and crafts including theater, dance and comedy. the opportunity to personalize their space. Residents will be allowed to stay at the Flats for a maximum of d) Shopping – Onsite shops will be plentiful to provide everything from the essentials (toiletries, batteries, 21 months. They will be required to sign 3-month or toothepaste, etc), groceries, farms, clothes, furniture, health-clubs, etc. Workers will work in di erent depart- 6-month leases to simulate real-world experience. ments from transportation, customer service, and tness trainers. Where available will even get to make the items they sell (for example, in the furniture shop there may be a sewing department for draperies, cushions, etc). Residents may also petition to open up their own businesses if they choose to do so, however this would require them to look for outside investors (charitable services) e) Living – An administration department will be on-site to run the entire facility of ‘The Foundation’. Including will be housing associations, security departments, greenhouse/farming (to grow/sell produce to make an income), janitorial services, transportation services and social event planning departments. One of the big weekly events will be an on-site Flea Market. A marketing department will advertise this event outside The Foundation and people can come and shop for hand-made things created by the residents of The Foundation. This will be an excellent way to introduce sustainable culture within this society as well as give the residents an appreciation for hand-made items and folk-culture as well as provide the artists with a sense of accomplish- ment, while beginning to reintegrate them with the outside world on an equal platform (business consumer relationship as opposed to a uent beggar relationship) Corporations may choose to get ‘The Foundation Stamp’ by opening franchises within the Foundation community or outside provided they hire residents of the foundation and adjust their prices so that they equate to on-site stores, as well as provide a charitable donation to The Foundation.
  7. 7. • The Dormotories - The Capsules - The Flats • The Business - Housing - Admin - Maintenance - Eating - Cook - Waiter - Host - Learning - Tutoring - Mediation - Counseling - Certi cation - Shopping - Farming - Customer Service - Business Owner - Living - Transportation - Security - Janitorial
  8. 8. 1-3 months – introduced into Foundation society. Free Capsule residence-get a job in society for real money-use that money for initial medical examinations and tutoring/mediation services. 3-9 months – sign rst 6-months lease, well integrated into society including attending and managing social events, etc. Regular doctor visits. 9-18 months – full- edge member of Foundation society. Including social activities, work- ers will get a promotion for higher pay including the opportunity to go and use their skills Economic – The foundation will sustain itself by bringing outside the walls of The Foundation. Begin re-integration into society by tutoring high the money back into the system. Residents will work school kids, working at restaurants in the city, transportation to and from di erent compa- on-site for minimal wages, and will use those nies, etc. wages to purchase groceries, pay rent and earn their education in a form of independent social structure. The 18-22 months – last phases of reintegration into society including Classes on money entire foundation will be run on a structure of di erent management. Take certi cation tests to be government certi ed in whatever subject. economic values. Minimum wage may be $6 Including taking GED testing if not passed. but residents would make a half of that, however they would also pay minimal costs for living expenses and 22-24 months – counseling/mediation services to nd a home, a job and be reintroduced supplies. The goal is not to earn money from these people, to society. but rather to create a system in which the homeless can practice money-management skills as well as be treated 24 months beyond – regular visits with counselors every 3 months for services. For the rst with respect. Nobody wants a freebie or charity – this year, these 3-hour long sessions will be free. Beyond that, alumni will be required to pay. way they wouldn’t be getting any. They will learn to sustain themselves in order to gain true nancial freedom. Equity – Residents will gain a sense of comradely. By working within the system through peer-mediation Instead of having architectures and big profes- services, they will dispense their knowledge onto others sionals create the reality of this project, and help them sustain themselves. This will allow for a The Foundation would begin helping the sense of accomplishment boosting individual con dence homeless from Day One by utilizing them to and promoting a healthy positive outlook. 2 years from create the structure, paperwork, business-plan, their initiation, they can go back into society and have marketing, etc! An initial investment for a housing something they are proud of to talk about at an interview. shelter for the workers (and pay) would begin thisproject and would be the initial 2-years.The Ecology – using handmade and onsite gardens for goal is to have the homeless people build farming and creating produce. Locally grown/produced their own perfect transitional service in order to and purchased. Help sustain the economy of the local sustain themselves and their community. community that is The Foundation and surroundings.