Our Front Porch offers a unique opportunity where your investment not only creates returns but also creates better communities.

Many people are trying to address disaster recovery.  Governments and non-profit agencies try to put their dollars where they are needed most, but are limited by funding and timing restrictions. For profit companies, mainly the insurance industry, are solely profit motivated and in the business of limiting their repayment of claims. Our solution is the first time a hybrid model has been proposed: we make money and help people. We are here to provide the time and space to figure out next steps and long term, sustainable solutions.

The Problem

Disasters don’t discriminate. They can strike anyone, anytime and anywhere. We have worked with people of every race, socioeconomic status, and family makeup. While some clients are affected by large-scale events that garner national attention and resources like Hurricanes Harvey or Irma, many others are forced to deal with more routine events like house fires and flooding. But for anyone affected by a disaster, the long-term recovery is a process for which no one is prepared.

The most needed resource after a disaster is temporary housing. Unfortunately, the options are often extremely limited, expensive, and do not cater to the specific needs of the disaster survivor. After years of working in disaster related crisis work, it became clear to us that short-term, client focused housing does not exist. Our Front Porch is the first of its kind to provide a solution that has everything under one roof. There is no other housing model that addresses long-term recovery while meeting the client’s immediate needs.

The Solution

Our solution to this problem is to build temporary rental housing so families can stay together in a safe environment while figuring out their next steps. From the moment a disaster survivor walks into Our Front Porch, the healing process begins. We provide on-site case management and therapeutic services, with the understanding that people recover faster when they surround themselves with others who have been through similar experiences.

Our Front Porch is community oriented housing, inspired by the cohousing model. This design includes individual living units similar to an extended stay hotel with shared common spaces, including a kitchen, kids play area, laundry facilities, and a large living room. Units range from 1, 2 or 3-bedroom units, and are adaptable depending on family size. As well, one unit will be dedicated to a Master level student from one of our partner schools so that student can complete their internship requirements while living on-site.

Our Impact

The typical disaster response is crisis driven with short-term solutions. Generally, the organizations that respond are the government, non-profits like Red Cross, and insurance companies. Each has their inherent limitations, which is why Our Front Porch is an L3C: a for-profit business with a social mission. This allows us to put the rental income we generate toward the individualized, specific needs of our clients without having to be bound by what a grant dictates. This hybrid solution does not yet exist.

The impacts of experiencing a disaster are social, financial and emotional. Research has proven that community and social engagement decreases anxiety and provides support and understanding among the entire group. By providing ongoing and regular therapy from the beginning, mental health and substance abuse disorders are reduced. By having a place to live at Our Front Porch, additional and unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses can be avoided. By paying slightly less then market rate rent, our clients are able to focus on stabilizing their income and rebuilding their savings accounts without the added stress of trying to meet the demands of a high rental market. We are there to ensure that these families are not rushed into making poor housing choices during a time of desperation.

All it takes is one disaster to financially and emotionally destroy a family, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Our Front Porch is here to help our clients maintain their basic needs in a time of crisis, while providing them the necessary time and space to figure out their next steps and long term, sustainable solutions.

Our Financial Model

The design and construction of the first Our Front Porch will be funded by a combination of outside sources: low interest loans, grants, program-related investments (PRIs), and donations of both cash and in-kind goods and services. The daily operations of Our Front Porch will be sustained by the income generated from rental housing, facility rentals, therapeutic services, on-site laundry facilities, and in kind donations and fundraising.

We are looking for social impact investors interested in providing low interest loans and being part of a paradigm shift in how people recover from disasters. We envision a day where there is a Our Front Porch in every community.

50 States.

50 Front Porches.

concept design