Exercise 6


Rosanne Haggerty: TED Talk

Haggerty and  her team created what they thought to be a solution to the homelessness in Times Square. They converted a old hotel into housing for low income or formerly homeless individuals. Soon, Haggerty realized that she was missing the big picture of homelessness itself. She realized that they did not have a lot to offer to people that were not in the program. She hired new staff in order to address this problem, and they took the time to know the homeless on the street. Soon after, homelessness was significantly decreased in Times Square. Soon after, other cities were observing her work and trying to find easy to implement the same idea in their community. This is where her concept of a program versus a process is mentioned. A program is the easy way to find a solution while a process is finding the right solutions to a particular problem using certain methods. She realized that she could not apply the same program that she used in Times Square in other cities, but she discovered that she could use the same process. Haggerty and her team used this process in order to help Los Angeles reduce their homelessness in Skid Row. She proposes specific steps to a process that can be applied to solve issues in many different areas.

Her steps in a process are considered to be a proposal because she is offering a solution to a problem by way of specific steps. These steps can be used not only to help reduce homelessness, but also in other areas of society that need more attention. Her argument is that by using these steps, organizations can offer many different methodical and useful solutions to one problem. This is more effective than a program which often results in one fast solution that does not always prove to be the answer.

Her argument does offer elements of a formal proposal because she offers a real world problem, in this case homelessness, and she describes how prominent this issue is in urban cities today. She discusses the initial solutions that were put into place by her own team and how they did not solve the problem of homelessness itself. Haggerty then went back and assessed the situation as a whole and realized that she was missing the big picture. She and her team then came up with a more efficient process to deal with this issue. This process consists of the steps that are needed to take in order to offer methodical solutions to an issue. She states that after they implemented this process they had “in three years an 87% decrease in homelessness.” The evidence of these results prove that this process was effective when applied to the issue itself.

Reflecting back on Haggerty’s TED talk, I found her narration of her experience very strong and clear. There was no point during the video where I recognized weakness. She was aware that her first try at reducing homelessness was not the answer, so she was determined to find a more efficient solution to her problem. She found that solution through those five steps of a process, resulting in a massive decrease in homelessness in Times Square. These five steps can be used anywhere throughout society in order to solve current issues today. Her argument is strong and effective and she has successfully proposed a viable solution to the issue of homelessness through a five step process that can be applied to many issues.