Submitted by Jessica Spangler
Girl Scout Cadette Elizabeth completed the “Think Like an Engineer” Journey with the help of her multi-level troop. She planned a blog to help improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in the Denver Metro area. First, they used the Design Thinking Process (identify the problem, brainstorm, design, and test) to make a life vest for a dog, camp cabin, and model elephant prosthetic. Next, they identified the causes of community problems with the question “But why?” They identified the problem they wanted to address: people experiencing homelessness . The girls came up with many questions about the problem. They learned that in 2019, 5,755 people were living in shelters or on the streets in the seven-county region and 946 people were staying in “unsheltered” locations, such as outside in tents, parks, vehicles, or underpasses.
Elizabeth and her troop thought making a blog and a comic to educate and inspire were both good ideas, so they chose to do both. They chose to make a blog with their comics to advocate for the un-housed in our community to help create understanding and compassion. Her idea was that if people learned more about how homelessness can happen, why it continues, and what is needed, the whole community, including people experiencing homelessness, will benefit from the knowledge being shared.
To make the project sustainable, the girls wanted individuals experiencing homelessness themselves to be able to contribute to the blog. The troop leader contacted The Delores Project, which provides safe, comfortable shelter and services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. The Delores Project staff was delighted to learn about the blog and how individuals could share their experiences and feelings anonymously. Individuals can contribute by commenting on one of the girls’ comics, or by working with a staff member to submit a blog entry of their own.
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