Champion of Innovative Housing Solutions to Receive Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award

Community Solutions President and CEO Rosanne Haggerty has used data-driven partnerships to help communities find homes for nearly 200,000 homeless individuals nationwide

(WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017) – Independent Sector is proud to announce that it will honor Rosanne Haggerty, president and CEO of Community Solutions, with the 2017 John W. Gardner Leadership Award.

Haggerty, RosanneThrough Community Solutions, Haggerty has helped communities become better problem solvers by using data analytics, quality improvement strategies, and design thinking to combat chronic homelessness. Haggerty has been a pioneer in this space since 1990 when she began Common Ground, now known as Breaking Ground, which led efforts to end homelessness and build housing in New York City. Her work at Common Ground stood out because of the strategies the organization used, such as asking homeless individuals directly what they thought were barriers and issues in ending homelessness. This approach led Common Ground to reduce homelessness by 87 percent in the 20-block area around Times Square in just four years.

Today, Community Solutions, founded in 2011, works with charitable, business, and government sectors to identify the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals in communities across the country and work on holistic solutions to their homelessness. The organization’s 100,000 Homes Campaign helped communities find homes for 105,580 homeless Americans in four years.

“Rosanne’s visionary leadership is an inspiration to every changemaker working with and in the charitable sector,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “By focusing on the most vulnerable, using data-driven strategies, cross-sector partnership, and design thinking, Community Solutions is making great strides in transforming individuals and communities for the better. Under her leadership, American cities and communities are connecting the dots to solve one of our country’s most intractable problems.”

Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award recognizes an American visionary whose body of work has empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, inspired movements, and improved the quality of life on our planet. It is named for the founding chairman of IS, John W. Gardner, a cabinet member in the Johnson Administration and a champion of the charitable sector’s role in driving social change. Haggerty will be honored at an awards luncheon in Detroit on Thursday, October 26, during Our Common Future, a conference attended by thousands of changemakers nationwide.

“We are honored to recognize Rosanne Haggerty’s leadership and work,” said Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation and chair of the 2017 John W. Gardner Leadership Award Committee at Independent Sector. “She has humbly and effectively led organizations to combat homelessness not just to improve lives for those individuals but get at the very heart of what is causing the problem. We are all lucky to have her passion and tenacity working to strengthen our communities.”

One of Community Solutions’ signature initiatives is Built for Zero, a rigorous national change effort designed to help U.S. communities end chronic and veteran homelessness. The effort seeks to ensure that communities have real-time data for tracking the needs of specific homeless individuals. So far, Built for Zero has housed 75,000 people, including more than 40,000 veterans, and ensured that more than 50 participating communities have real-time, by-name data on their local homeless populations. Additionally, more than 25 communities are now driving monthly reductions in homelessness among these populations, and 10 communities have ended chronic or veteran homelessness altogether.

You can hear more from Haggerty at Our Common Future, a joint conference of Independent Sector, Council of Michigan Foundation, and Michigan Nonprofit Association taking place October 25-27 in Detroit.


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. Learn more at

Kristina Gawrgy Campbell

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Data, Health and Human Services, Leadership Development, Upswell