An insight is a learning, an "a-ha" moment -- a provocative statement of truth that is grounded in data. In insight is usually a new way of viewing the challenge we are trying to solve. Based on our Discovery Phase, which included personal contact and interviews with over 120 people with lived experience of homelessness and service providers, the iTeam developed our list of "Insights" along the pathways described in the previous section. 

Click "Read More" on each insight to view supporting information, including photos and video interviews. You can also download our official Insights Presentation. 

People get sicker when services are not grounded in their realities. 

Insight 1

Some people avoid engaging in downtown services. They do not want to put their health and safety at risk. 

Insight 2

When services are hard to access, it piles on to make mental health conditions worse. 

Insight 3

Drugs and alcohol are easier to get than services. They are an easy way to numb trauma and escape a harsh reality. 

Insight 4

The working individual is not able to achieve financial stability. Holding down a job and receiving services are often in conflict. ​

Insight 5

The system puts the most vulnerable first in line for service. Everybody else risks getting sicker. People get pulled to the front when they become sick enough. 

Insight 6

In the absence of collaboration tools, service providers' informal relationships get things done.

Bonus Insight 1

People rely on the sharing of street knowledge to keep each other alive. Without each other, they often have no direction. 

Insight 7

The public calls the police to intervene, but they don't have the right tool for the job. 

Insight 8

Healthcare interventions fail supporting services are unavailable. 

Deteriorating Path Insights

Relapsing Path Insights

People relapse when services are not designed to support social, emotional, and mental needs. 

Bonus Insight 2

People must be ready to engage for services to succeed. Often, people struggle to find services that are ready for them. 

Insight 9

Homelessness can occur when families fall apart. This pattern can repeat in the next generation. 

Insight 10

To keep their loved ones alive, some people stay homeless or forfeit services rather than leave their family and friends behind. 

Insight 11

Successful change may rely on breaking away from community formed on the street. But change is hard without social support. 

Insight 12

The system prioritizes serving physical needs. People's emotional, mental, and social needs often do not get met, giving harmful sources a window to step in. 

Resilient Path Insights

People bounce back when their needs are holistically met instead of only focusing on physiological needs.

Insight 13

People can change when connected to health role models and learning environments. But these opportunities are rare. 

Insight 14

The broader community can connect people to untapped resources. But not everybody has a link to the broader community. 

Insight 15

People can wait years or never even receive housing due to a limited supply. People stay hopeful and confident when they can work on other goals.