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Homeless Solutions Incubator


Homeless Solution Incubator (HSI) is Portland’s student-run incubator that hatches practical solutions to homelessness.



Living on the streets is dangerous.

  • Sexual assault. On average, within the first 72 hours of becoming homeless a woman on the street is sexually assaulted

  • Bodily harm: 50% of the homeless population report incurring violent threats 

  • Public health: Rates of infectious and weather related diseases such as HIV, HBV, TB, and hypothermia are all higher in homeless communities compared to housed communities

Homelessness degrades our community

  • Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear,  recently stated, “As Portlanders we have a lot of priorities, but if we cannot keep downtown safe what will become of our city?” He has threatened to move the Sorel offices out of Portland due to employee safety concerts as a result of Portland's homeless population.



CardsCook is Portland’s first entirely student led program working to end hunger in young adults. 

Yet, it’s not clear what to do. Some groups look to housing, others to health services, some to nutrition. These are all well intentioned and worthy. But there is no way to rapidly prototype and validate potential solutions. We are founding Homeless Solutions Incubator (HSI) to incubate potential solutions, rapidly prototype, validate with data and then scale the most promising solutions. A homeless solution incubator provide a potentially powerful new tool for our community to confront homelessness.


1. Expand. CardsCook plans to expand to include three additional Portland high schools by August 2018.

2. Add Classes. We always need people to volunteer their time to teach classes, lessons, play music, etc. Homeless don’t only need food, they also need a community which includes being able to enjoy things such as relaxing to jazz music or listening to poetry while they enjoy their meal.

3. Raise Awareness. We need people to talk about us. Just mentioning our cause and what we do to other people is helpful and gets us closer to our goal of ending hunger in youth

4. Incorporate CardsCook with Other Community Organizations. Whether your solution is to provide affordable housing units or if you run a homeless shelter, we want to be a part of it. We are devoted to this issue. If you are a part of the community, we need your help. Contact us.

5. Raise Money. Good work takes money. In order to become the brand that we wish to become, we need advertising: shirts, signs, stickers, what is needed to spread awareness about what it is that we do.


What: The Portland Homeless Solutions Incubator (HSI)
HSI is a student-run organization that invents, evaluates and scales novel approaches to reducing homelessness, improving the quality of life for the homeless and our city.

A. The HSI Method

HSI works off a three-step process:

  1. Rapid Prototype / Pilot

  2. Evaluate

  3. Scale

1. Rapid Prototype/Pilot.

    a. Gather ideas for potential solutions

    bApply selection criteria and select limited number of potential solutions

    c. Write plan

    d. Fund

    e. Prototype and run pilot


2. Evaluate
a. Apply data-driven methods to evaluate if it
        i. reduces homelessness
        ii. improves quality of life for homeless population

3. Scale
a. Select the prototypes/pilots with the best results
     b. Seek additional funding for specific solutions

     c. Scale


Received grant from Oregon Food bank to work with homeless people to create long term solutions. See HSI.
Selected as one of Harbor of Hope’s 3 Projects
High School Students cook healthy meals for homeless youth
100 high school students participated in 2016 - 2017
Over 27,000 meals served in 2016 - Present
Over 2,000 student hours (and counting…)

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