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HOMELESS HAVEN

By: Ryan Rezakhani, Gibeom Kim, Kevin George


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Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................................. 3
Background ................................................................................................................................ 4
Unwarranted Causes of Homelessness .................................................................................. 4
Statistical Evidence ................................................................................................................. 4
Shelter Disadvantages ............................................................................................................ 5
Proposal ..................................................................................................................................... 6
Unorthodox Solution to Homelessness.................................................................................... 6
Homeless Haven By Marriott................................................................................................... 7
Plan ............................................................................................................................................ 8
Marriott International’s Mission ................................................................................................ 8
Plan Details............................................................................................................................. 8
Timeline .................................................................................................................................. 9
Marketing .............................................................................................................................. 10
Budget .................................................................................................................................. 11
Staffing.................................................................................................................................. 12
Risk/ Benefits Analysis ............................................................................................................. 13
Authorization Request .............................................................................................................. 14
Citations ................................................................................................................................... 15
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Introduction

Homeless Haven, is a project inspired by Marriott International to tackle one of


the oldest problems known to man, Homelessness. Even though it's an age-old
problem, we have decided to attack it with a new age approach. With homelessness on
the rise, Homeless Haven will be starting in our very own backyard of Dallas, Texas.
With more than 3,789 people sleeping on our own streets, we knew we would make a
difference. We noticed the insufficiencies of the current homeless shelters, and the
improvements that we could make to truly get these people off the street for good. By
allowing people to stay in our unsold rooms, we are allowing people to have enough
time and to create solid foundation to re-enter society. With something as foundational
as shelter being uncertain in someone's life, how can we expect them to grow, and
rebuild their lives themselves.
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Background
Unwarranted Causes of Homelessness
When most people come into contact with a homeless person they immediately
come to the conclusion that it was their poor choices and decisions that caused them to
be in this position. While this may be true for some individuals, it is unfair to hastily
categorize all homeless individuals into one category based on the actions of a few
people. The causes of homelessness can vary from natural disasters, relationship
issues, and could even be due to mental illness (“Top Causes of Homelessness”, n.d.).
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes happen every year in
the United States and due to that alone millions of people are displaced each year.
While some are able to rebuild their homes and lives, others lack the necessary
financial assistance to rebuild and as a result they are living on the streets. Another
common cause of homelessness is relationship issues and divorces. During a
relationship breakdown of any sort between spouses, friends, or even family members
one side is at risk of losing their housing accommodations. It is estimated that 10% of
homeless individuals cite relationship problems as the cause of their homelessness
(“What are the statistics”, 2015) . Another potential cause could be an untreated form of
mental illness. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder is extremely prevalent
among combat veterans and causes them to exhibit symptoms that could cause
problems with their personal relationships and jobs. It is easy to judge people from the
outside without understanding the experiences that caused them to be in the positions
they are in currently. All of these causes are due to outside factors interrupting the lives
of these individuals and could happen to anyone without warning.

Statistical Evidence

The statistics for homeless people in the United States is alarming to say the
least. According to a 2016 survey, there are an estimated 565,000 people who are
currently homeless and are living in their cars, homeless shelters, or on the streets
(Johnson, 2015). Even more surprising is that, 15% of that population are considered to
be “chronically homeless.” This term is used to describe the individuals who have been
homeless for a total of one year or longer. The 15% accounts for almost 83,170
individuals who have not had the chance to escape from the grasp of the cycle of
homelessness (“2016s Shocking Homeless Statistics, 2017)”. As depicted in figure 1-1,
states such as California, New York, Florida, and Texas make up a big bulk of the
homelessness population in America. Texas is ranked number 4, for the most homeless
people with more than 29,615 people displaced. On a much more local level, Dallas,
and Collin county account for nearly 3,789 homeless people. Out of the 3,789, over
1,087 people are unsheltered each night which means they are exposed to the weather
and call the streets their home (“Number of homeless people”, 2017). The fact that
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these people don’t have access to even the most basic of needs truly warrants our
attention and help.

Figure 1-1

Estimates of U.S. homeless population by state, 2013 [Digital image]. (2014, December 4).
Retrieved November 27, 2017, from https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/health-
care/homelessness-u-s-trends-demographics

Shelter Disadvantages

Shelters are the current answer to the problem of homelessness, but they fail at
serving their intended purpose. Some homeless people even refuse to stay at homeless
shelters because of their lack of compatibility with work hours, fear of contracting
disease, and even due to their lack of space (Why Some Homeless, 2012). One of the
main complaints many homeless people have about shelter is their inability to
accommodate the working class. Shelters are open for their check-in periods during an
allotted time that might not work for individuals who work the evening or those who even
work the normal 9-5 shift. The check-in process for shelters is on a day-to-day basis so
not only is availability unstable, the lines and check process is long and tedious. By the
time people get back from their 9-5 shift, they are often too late to get in line (“Why Do
Some Homeless, 2016). On the other hand, people who work evening shifts often get
back after curfew thus losing their bed for the night. Another problem with homeless
shelters is that they are a breeding ground for diseases. Having a large quantity of
people who don’t have immediate access to doctors in an enclosed location makes
together for a bad combination. Shelters also are unable to provide shelter for all the
homeless people in one city, they constantly face problems with overcrowding. For the
lucky few who are able to secure a spot in the shelter, they have to worry about making
sure that spot is available for tomorrow. Shelter offer a less than ideal solution to
homelessness and could end up creating more problems than it solves.
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Proposal

Unorthodox Solution to Homelessness

According to a recent report on homelessness legislations in the United States by CBS,


it was found that many states and counties are starting to adopt ‘anti-homeless” rules. In
Houston, for example, people are banned from blocking sidewalks, building doorways, or even
the roadway median. This legislation is inadvertently trying to halt people from panhandling
which the main and only source of income for many homeless people. Another rule which
Houston has also passed, prohibits people from carrying “around belongings that take up space
more than three feet long, three feet wide, three feet tall”. Even more surprising is that, people
are not allowed to “spontaneously feed more than five homeless people without a permit”
(Flynn, 2017). It is not just Houston that has created laws to drive away homeless people,
according to Figure 4-1 many other major cities like Dallas, Atlanta, Sarasota, Lawrence, Little
Rock and Las Vegas are also following suit and are starting to implement similar rules.
The city councilmen claim that they are not singling a certain group of people out with
these rules and are aiming to create safer communities, but it is clear through their specific
diction that their goal is to to get rid of all homeless people (Jouvenal, 2016). By taking a hostile
stance on this issue, the city councils are not directly addressing the issue at hand and are
focusing on a temporary solution by simply throwing the homeless people into prisons. This
solution benefits neither the cities or the homeless people, and eventually the prisons will start
to face issues such as overcrowding.

Figure 2-1
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Homeless Haven By Marriott

While some cities have taken the initiative to address the issue of homelessness
by creating laws to make it illegal for them to stay there, others have decided to ignore
the situation at hand. However, at Marriott International we look at these people as
“works in progress” rather than a lost cause. If they were put in the right situation and
circumstances they could be productive members of society. By ignoring this situation,
we as society are neglecting our social responsibility and will only be making the issue
tougher to tackle in the future. To provide a more viable to solution to the growing
homelessness issue, we have decided to implement a new program called Homeless
Haven. This program will take homeless people off the streets and give them a place to
stay to get back onto their own two feet. These people are in a completely vulnerable
and unstable position in their lives, by providing them with the most basic of necessities
we can give them the confidence to take back control of their own lives.
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Plan

Marriott International’s Mission

At Marriott International, we have always believed that businesses can play a big
role in the community. As a company that prides itself in providing people with a “home
away from home”, we are fully aware how important housing is for people. The
Homeless Haven program aligns strictly with our Serve360 goals that was recently
established later this year. The Serve360 program was established to positively impact
the community and society around the world. These 12 goals deal with environmental
sustainability, human rights advancement, and economic growth. One of the serve360
goals is to have 80% of corporate owned hotels to participate in community service
activities by 2022 and another one is to contribute 15 million hours to support the
community. In order to fulfill these goals, we have to create a universal strategy that
most, if not all, hotels can implement into their business plan. Each year thousands of
hotel rooms go unsold at just one location and they are not of use to anyone. The room
is not profitable to Marriott and while that rooms stays vacant, someone sleeps out on
the street after being denied entry into a homeless shelter. With the number of
homeless people continuing to grow each year, and the wide distribution of the 5,700
Marriott locations worldwide this is a perfect opportunity for Marriott to give back .

Plan Details

We want to start the Homeless Haven program in the DFW metroplex and have
picked five corporate owned locations that are listed below.

1. Courtyard Dallas Expressway Address: 10325 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75231


2. Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Richardson at Spring Valley Address: 1000 S
Sherman St, Richardson, TX 75081
3. Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Richardson at Campbell Address: 2191 N Greenville
Ave, Richardson, TX 75082
4. Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Plano Parkway at Preston Road Address: 4901 W
Plano Pkwy, Plano, TX 75093
5. Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Las Colinas Address: 1151 W Walnut Hill Ln, Irving,
TX 75038
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The five locations are strategically placed in the major cities of around and in
Dallas to trial and test the effectiveness of the program. We are specifically taking
applicants from homeless shelters who have jobs but find it difficult to find a place to
sleep each night. These people have already taken the initiative of finding a job but are
still stuck in the unforgiving cycle of homelessness. By giving them an unsold room in
the hotel, they have a little more stability in their lives and take comfort in the fact that
they have clean clothes and a room to get back to after work. Contrary to popular belief,
45% of homeless adults have jobs and that is astonishingly only 14% points behind the
United States general population.

Timeline

The program itself will last 2.5 weeks or exactly 17 days and that timeframe gives
the individual enough time to receive their first paycheck from their job and soon after
we will assist them in finding low income housing. Since hotels can be divided into two
distinct periods, the busy peak season and the off-seasons, the program will run strictly
for 6 months out of the year. The reason for this is to create a stability in the number of
rooms available for each occupant since the hotel rooms are more likely to be sold out
during the busy season. The 6-month period will start in mid-April and will run until mid-
June and then will restart again in mid-August and will finally conclude in mid-
December. This timeframe will allow each hotel to run a total of 8 programs which will
translate to over 40 programs over the course of 1 year at the 5 initial locations. While
this may not seem to be a very high number, 40 programs is equivalent to 40 lives
transformed. With over 5,700 locations, Marriott has the potential to change millions of
people's lives.
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Figure 3-1

Marketing

We will be primarily spreading the word about our program by using online
mediums and by using celebrity endorsements. We will be placing directly onto the
general Marriott website and will be specifically putting location markers on the
participating locations. In addition to online advertisements, we will be having celebrities
like NBA superstar Jimmy Butler and Oscar winning actress Halle Berry who were once
homeless themselves to promote out program (Jacquelyn Smith, Natalie Walters,
Business Insider, 2016). The main goal of creating this publicity is to increase
awareness for homelessness and to generate donations from the public to help
compensate the costs of running the program.
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Budget
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Staffing

Due to the employment nature of hotels, we are not in need to hire any personnel
to fulfill the needs of this program. However, each location that decided to implement
this program needs to promote one of their current employees as the designated
manager/overseer of the homeless haven program. The designated manager will be in
charge of making sure the program runs smoothly and that its benefits both parties. For
example, they will oversee the selection process of applicants, marketing the program,
and will also assists the applicants in procuring low income house when their stay at the
hotel ends. All other hotel employees will perform their regular duties and will treat the
program participants as regular guests by providing them with the exceptional service
Marriott is known for.
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Risk/ Benefits Analysis


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Authorization Request

After careful review of the proposed ideas and details, we request your
consideration in the approval and implementation of the Homeless Haven program in
Dallas, Texas. If you are in accordance with our program details, please provide your
signature in the allotted space below.

J.W. Marriott, Jr.,


Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board

Signature: Date:

Arne M. Sorenson
President and Chief Executive Officer

Signature: Date:
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Citations

Jouvenal, J. (2016, June 02). Homeless say booming cities have outlawed their right to sleep,
beg and even sit. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/homeless-say-booming-cities-have-
outlawed-their-right-to-sleep-beg-and-even-sit/2016/06/02/7dde62ea-21e3-11e6-aa84-
42391ba52c91_story.html?utm_term=.e15cfc3aab4a

2016s Shocking Homelessness Statistics. (2017, January 09). Retrieved November 15, 2017,
from http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/2016-homelessness-statistics/

Flynn, M. (2017, April 25). It's Close to Impossible to Be Homeless in Houston Without
Breaking the Law. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from
http://www.houstonpress.com/news/all-the-ways-homeless-people-can-be-arrested-
and-jailed-in-houston-9376854

Executive Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2017, from


http://news.marriott.com/p/executive-leadership/

Home. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2017, from http://serve360.marriott.com/

Jacquelyn Smith, Natalie Walters, Business Insider. (2016, October 07). 17 rich and famous
people who were once homeless. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/17-rich-and-famous-people-who-were-once-
homeless-a7350941.html

Johnson, E. M. (2015, November 19). More than 500,000 people homeless in the United
States: report. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-
usa-homelessness/more-than-500000-people-homeless-in-the-united-states-report-
idUSKCN0T908720151120

Number of homeless people living on the streets of Dallas, Collin counties is up drastically .
(2017, March 09). Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/social-justice-1/2017/03/09/number-homeless-
people-living-streets-dallas-collin-counties-drastically-increased-year

What are the statistics on homelessness due to divorce? (2015, February 27). Retrieved
November 27, 2017, from http://homelesshub.ca/blog/what-are-statistics-homelessness-
due-divorce

Why Do Some Homeless People Shun Shelters? (2016, February 22). Retrieved November
15, 2017, from http://www.housethehomeless.org/why-do-some-homeless-people-shun-
shelters/
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Why Some Homeless Choose The Streets Over Shelters. (2012, December 06). Retrieved
November 15, 2017, from https://www.npr.org/2012/12/06/166666265/why-some-
homeless-choose-the-streets-over-shelters