Amidst the great wealth creation of the industrial revolution and information age, millions of marginalized people still struggle with basic subsistence and safety at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. As with all such basic needs, shelter is a category of great complexity, shortages, and resistance to innovation. What’s more, the challenges of affordability for the “least of these” intersect with other complex issues such as homelessness, mental health, eviction, property rights, and migration.
We’re interested in ventures taking non-traditional approaches to these massive issues—including but not limited to areas like technology, materials, supply chain, governance, and business and incentive models.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.
Praxis VEntures Working On This ORI
aims to relieve suffering and grow resiliency for those displaced by war, persecution, and disaster through the design, creation, and delivery of shelter products, beginning with durable floor and roofing solutions (Scott Key, Nonprofit 2021).
has introduced economically sustainable and scalable programs that eliminate homelessness due to nonpayment eviction in Massachusetts, for families with subsidies as well as the working poor (Matt Pritchard, Nonprofit 2018).
pioneers solutions to build human-centered communities around the world, led by innovations in community-led design, construction methods, and fundraising (Brett Hagler, Nonprofit 2017).