Who We Are
Rethinking Homelessness is a national initiative of impassioned people who are dedicated to advancing homelessness solutions based on data and best practices. We exist to empower civic leaders to build coalitions of influential leaders, conduct groundbreaking homelessness research, and perform high-level advocacy to prevent and end homelessness – one community at a time.
As a national thought leader on homelessness, it is our mission to advance the way society views homelessness and works to solve homelessness-related challenges such as panhandling, encampments, and evictions. With fidelity to Housing First, Rethinking Homelessness works with communities across the nation to confront some of their most pressing homelessness-related challenges.
What We Do
Since Rethinking Homelessness was established in 2016, we have partnered with cities and municipalities of various sizes and zip codes that have courageously abandoned methodologies that were not working in order to embrace our collaborative approach to homelessness that has yielded impressive and unprecedented results.
Andrae Bailey, Founder & CEO of Rethinking Homelessness, launched the Rethinking Homelessness Initiative after devoting more than 10 years of leading community-wide advocacy campaigns to combat homelessness.
A veteran of more than 20 years in the field of social innovation, Andrae has advised and partnered with some of the most successful organizations in the United States to address deeply entrenched societal problems like homelessness and opioid-related deaths.
Prior to the launch of Rethinking Homelessness in 2016, Andrae served as the President and CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. During his tenure, he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Council on Homelessness due to his pivotal role in pioneering a regional, collaborative initiative that reduced homelessness in Central Florida by nearly 60% in three years. He was also selected by the Orlando Sentinel as the Central Floridian of the Year and was named one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Orlando” by Orlando magazine. Andrae’s work on homelessness was described as “historic” by Barbara Poppe, former Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in 2008 for President Barack Obama, dubbed by media as the nation’s “homelessness czar.”
Andrae graduated from Heritage University and Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in pastoral theology. He also completed the Crummer Graduate School of Business mini-MBA program at Rollins College, and he is an instructor at the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. Andrae is recognized by Certified Fund Raising Executive International as a certified fundraising executive (CFRE).
Rethink Homelessness was a regional initiative launched by Andrae Bailey during his tenure as CEO of the Commission on Homelessness in Central Florida to alleviate chronic homelessness with fidelity to Housing First.
Its compelling advocacy video campaigns drew more than 6 million views and resulted in national press coverage, including from the likes of Justin Timberlake, who shared a clip of homeless individuals dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” upon receiving housing.
Rethink Homelessness released a study in 2014 titled, “The Cost of Long-Term Homelessness in Central Florida,” illuminating the cost disparity on funding homelessness versus supportive housing solutions. The study found that it costs three times as much to leave homeless people on the street than it does to provide them with supportive housing — leading to coverage on the John Oliver Show, Vox, Think Progress and the Orlando Sentinel.
Its high-level advocacy resulted in housing for more than 60% of the chronically homeless over several years – a riveting case study that serves as the baseline for our work at Rethinking Homelessness.