Bill Becker

1,000 True Fans

I attended a virtual public meeting today on “Housing and Homelessness in Oklahoma,” where they discussed how to use Federal funds for local initiatives. A couple of things irritated the hell out of me…as often happens. 😬

First, it’s 2023 folks. Learn how to use Zoom! It’s inexcusable not to know. 119 people had to listen to “Alicia” order lunch in the drive-thru. Second, I get that not everyone is sympathetic to those less fortunate. I also understand there are idiots out there who sincerely believe some people choose to be on the streets. What was stunning is that we spent 10–-15 minutes discussing how wrong Oklahoman’s perceptions of the homeless are. 

Seriously??! I know I shouldn’t be surprised in a state where 30% of the voting public supports the ongoing destruction of the public school system, but this is about compassion, not politics. 

Municipalities and agencies have to fight the perception that money spent on the homeless is not a good idea. As one of the moderators said, “I thought we were a Christian state?” Right. This proves my point from my previous post

Someone in the meeting asked, “Why not start a media blitz to educate the public about the homeless?” Educate them on what exactly?  That living on the street or under a bridge isn’t the paradise you think?! If you don’t already understand that on your own, on a basic human level, then I don’t want to waste my time with you.

All this nonsense highlights the reason for my approach to ending homelessness, as outlined in “The Goal.” —First, focus on a comprehensive plan to help specific individuals get whatever they need, A to Z. Second, get a designated group of people (social workers & the general public), each with a specific responsibility, to work together to help this person rebuild their life.) That’s where the 1,000 True Fans come into play.

1,000 True Fansis an essay written by Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine. It is an opinion piece about marketing and how it is better to have 1,000 passionate fans or customers than to have tens of thousands of fans who were only interested in varying degrees of what you were offering. The same goes for this project. 

I would take a consortium of people who are focused on ending homelessness for a specific individual over a larger group of people who donate money or clothes or help serve Thanksgiving dinner once a year. I believe if we can show real results in ending homelessness, with the actual face and name of someone whose life was changed for the better, we can inspire more people to help.