Rosanne Haggerty and Community Solutions have been long term friends of DSI. Over the years we have partnered on projects in Brownsville, and conducted workshops for a gathering of communities working to achieve zero chronic and veteran’s homelessness through an organization called Built for Zero.
Last fall, the Larson Family Foundation engaged DSI Chair Cheryl Heller to lead an initiative to support foster youth through their transition to independence and wellbeing. Implementing the project is Diagram, a consultancy working at the intersection of design and healthcare, founded by Miya Osaki, DSI faculty, Tina Park, founding DSI faculty, as well as Tory Flack, project manager. Six second year students and three first year students are a core part of the team.
In the fall, Catalina Cipri, Corinne Reynolds, Danielle Shepard, Jessica Panicola, Mary Beth Lumley, and Taylor Sokolowski, began by surveying the landscape to identify the stakeholders, studies, programs, and technology involved. They participated in a series of community calls to understand the current state of foster care and youth homelessness across the country.
The project is now entering the second phase, where we will work on the ground with communities in Phoenix, Arizona and Springfield, Massachusetts to understand the journey from foster care to independence from the perspective of young people.
This year, the team is excited to welcome three first-year DSI students – Catherine Mazzocchi, Elana Wolpert, and Jennifer Ulloa – who will help support the project. The next phase will leverage the tools and processes of social design to reframe the problem, from the point of view of youth and caregivers, and identify where/when to intervene to have maximum impact.