Heidi Roberts

039 Misunderstanding Homelessness

Heidi Roberts

Heidi, with her husband John, is the co-founder of Haaven Shared Housing, which has provided safe, comfortable housing and social/emotional support to more than 160 formerly homeless people since the Haaven doors were opened in April 2018.

Heidi has lived in Venice for nearly twenty years and was disturbed to witness so many homeless people rotting on the streets, year in and year out. To try to understand and impact this societal failure, she began researching the causes and digging into solutions. She used her strategic planning skills honed during a twenty-five-year career in advertising to try to create solutions to the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the streets of LA. She spent years working with government officials, serving on their various task forces, volunteering at homeless shelters and she even moved a young homeless man into her own home for a time.

During this process, she was inspired by the concept of shared housing and peer support as an efficient, effective and immediate solution to homelessness. Rather than wasting any more time working within the broken government system, she and John decided to create shared housing on their own and prove how it could quickly help get people off the streets and into housing to start recovering from the traumas that made them homeless in the first place. To learn more about Heidi and Haaven, please visit the Haaven website.