Innovating for Others

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When we find a successful solution, we stick with it for a long time. Are there other uses for the things we have in place? By combining successful solutions and new ideas, we can do even more to help others. Communities across the U.S. devise creative solutions to provide people in need with access to food, shelter and transportation. Here are some examples.

Marion-Polk Food Share is innovating its way out of hunger with low-cost solutions. It’s protein-infused, veggie patty provides families on assistance with needed nutrients. Furthermore, Marion-Polk gardeners beautify their space with edible landscaping that also yields produce for people in need. These are just a few ideas coming from Marion County, Oregon. What else is out there?

In DC, subsidized public bikes provide greater mobility for the homeless. Getting to and from appointments is a struggle for people with limited to no means of transportation. Thus, the DC Department of Transportation, Capital Bikeshare, and Back on My Feet teamed up to make the city’s Bikeshare program accessible to the city’s homeless. There’s a catch, er, carrot. Participants are required to physically run in sessions conducted by Back on my Feet as well as attend job seminars. If the pilot program succeeds, DC homeless may soon have a cheap, green and easy way to get around the city.

In Philadelphia, there is an app for do-gooders. The Sheltr app for smartphones stores information on local shelters and food pantries. Users have the power in their hand to help those in need of immediate assistance find a shelter or food resource.

We change the world by looking at things differently. What around us can be repurposed and used differently to help others? Just by tweaking one little thing can make a big difference.