Brian Hilliard - Reinventing Homelessness, Part 1

Growing up in Portland, Oregon as a young child, Brian Hilliard and his Mom would go to his Grandma’s house, driving through Skid Row on the way, which was where all the homeless people lived at the time. Much to his mother’s shock, he began inviting homeless men into the car with him when they stopped at stop lights, giving them a ride wherever they wanted to go. He felt compelled to do what he could, and it didn’t stop there.

Brian’s curiosity, compassion and commitment to help the homeless grew as he did. He grew up working with “Sisters of the Road” and “Operation NightWatch” in Portland, organizations that he could see really cared. They had dignified dining, barter programs, help with housing issues, approaching the homeless in the doorways, loading docks, and campsites where they were settled in for the evening.

Realizing how huge the homeless problem really is very early on, Brian volunteered as a little kid and now continues to invest his time and money, even living under a bridge for periods of time, shedding his Armani suit for life with the homeless. He has worked in transitional facilities, shelters, big hospitals, mental health facilities and more.

Stating that 40% of the population is 1 emergency away from living on the streets, and that the biggest part of the growing homeless population is single women with children, Brian believes the long term solution – the key – is affordable housing. He continues to go out into the homeless camps, connecting one on one with people directly, with respect and dignity, developing relationships that.

Tune in to hear Brian discuss with Steve, Mary, and Richard discuss the homeless in America, what the root causes are for becoming homeless, how we find the breaking points to prevent it before it happens.



In This Episode

Intro to the homelessness series

Make Wade The Emperor

The homeless population is growing, particularly for single moms

Brian’s initial exposure to the homeless

Developing relationships

He used to live under the bridges – by choice – in his 20s

Men and women created the problem.

Men and women need to fix the problem.

Finding solutions to homelessness

Homeless by choice

He has a reason to live

Symptoms vs Disease

The key is affordable housing

The stigmas attached to the homeless

Learn to listen better


Previously On Reinvention Radio

Reinventing Product Creation – In this episode, tune in to hear Marisa Murgatroyd chat with Steve, Mary, and Richard about her vision: a world in which there is no separation between what people want to do and what they have to do – a world in which everyone can win – and have a whole lot of fun while they do it!