With homelessness becoming a major discussion not only in Houston, but across the nation, the Houston Housing Collaboration and FordMomentum! are working together to reduce the barriers around this discussion, improve language and help get everyone -- from the people affected to the officials– get on the same page about what contributes to homelessness, how it can affect people, neighborhoods and cities and finding long-term solutions that don't cause harm.
FordMomentum! Continues Major Work in Improving Houston Housing
A new partnership with the Houston Housing Collaborative will clarify critical values & language in the fight for affordable housing
Local, affordable, high-quality housing continues to be a major discussion. To ensure these conversations are equitable and accessible, FordMomentum! is continuing its work to center residents in the ongoing discussion on housing through a new partnership with the Houston Housing Collaborative.
To do this, FM! uses Standard of Love (STOLO), a science-based approach to communication, to facilitate discussions and dig deeper into complex solutions. Using five pillars (literacy, self-esteem, values, economic power, and justice), FM! helps audiences articulate their desires and then accurately communicate them, allowing for collaborative solutions with long-term benefits.
“We’re going to use STOLO (standardoflove.com), to ensure that everyone is heard and that we have the right language,” explained FM! founder Maya Ford. “We’ll use STOLO to extrapolate the Collaborative’s values and assets. "We'll then help the organization express their mission, vision and values in a multitude of ways that is both authentic and accessible. When the Houston Housing Collaborative arrives to advocate for safe, fair and humane housing for Houstonians, people in the region will know what to expect because they'll say what they mean, and mean what they say. It’s important to know your interests and concerns are well-represented."
Currently, FM! is also in the middle of MyHomeisHere, a crucial housing survey for Harris County that will impact housing policy and development through 2030. Residents shared their ideas regarding safety, accessibility and many other housing needs during this 18-month endeavor. Both campaigns highlight the firm’s ability to facilitate authentic discussion between different audiences, despite historical exclusion, power imbalances and the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
FM’s Ian Smith will lead the new HHC partnership, after working on MyHomeIsHere. This is especially noteworthy because Smith is one of the firm’s first apprentices, which was made possible through a registered apprenticeship program in communications and community engagement with the U.S. Department of Labor. The apprenticeship offers a short-term alternative to conventional education and equips apprentices with innovative, market-ready skills in face-to-face, digital and virtual marketing, communications infrastructure, and public engagement.
“I'm very excited for the chance to really flex the things I've been working on and learning during the apprenticeship,” said Smith. “This project will be a bit faster paced than what I'm used to and this client is a collaborative so there are TONS of moving parts on their end…. I think this will be challenging but also help me gain new perspective and hopefully new connections.”
The collaboration begins immediately with the goal of getting HHC ready for an impactful launch in 2022.