“Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.” Brene’ Brown
PRESCRIPTION FOR HUMAN CONNECTION
Chase and his dad had noticed the homeless population in their area and wanted to do something to help. How can we help? Well, ask them, his dad responded. This was the first spark, the lightbulb, the brisk wind under his tiny cape that inspired Chase and his dad to begin their quest of becoming humble vigilantes on a mission. The Hansen men didn’t just want to hand out sandwiches or donate money or canned food. They wanted to find a sustainable solution to the problem, not just bandaid. Thus, Project Empathy was born.
The approach was simple; sit down person-to-person over a simple meal and listen. Tap into the mindset of an innocent child and listen without judgment and with only curiosity. It was asking what they said they need. As it turns out, what most of them needed was a person to listen to them and connect with. To sit down with over 130 homeless individuals person-to-person over a meal, and ask them what they need. They discovered in the end, a free meal is always great, but having someone to listen to them and hear them was immeasurable.
Chase and his dad have just begun their journey, as they made very clear. It’s not for glory or news headlines but the future of their community and the improvement of the lives of those most-at-risk. Chase is now 11-years-old and has no plans of slowing down any time soon. His pure motivation and desire to make the world a better place will no doubt make a lasting impact on the world. Chase hopes to grow Project Empathy even more in the future and end homelessness in their city. Kids like Chase have the power to create real change in the world with the right encouragement, environment, and little bit of superhero magic.
They saw a problem that they knew they could solve, even if it was one person at a time out of thousands. They’ve collected data and researched and talked to hundreds of people with a simple mission to serve and foster the community. It’s not as easy as putting on gloves and handing out sandwiches but it is as simple as sitting down with a person in need and listening. — Nugent Magazine
We are recruiting volunteers and interested community stakeholders who are willing to invest in others with their time and their attention over a Zoom conversation, meal or dessert.
Participants should have great listening skills, be curious, brave, kind, open minded, compassionate, and positive.
We are developing a prototype, a process that is simple. Being present, connecting, hearing about each other’s life, will have a positive impact on all involved. In this way we, as a community can develop meaningful relationships that are authentic, develop trust, gain insight from those we seek to serve about their gaps, and connect others to services that are needed, and have a good, friendly conversation.
John and Chase Hansen
PROJECT EMPATHY IN THE NEWS
JANUARY 23, 2020 | GOOD MORNING AMERICA
JANUARY 9, 2020 | WASHINGTON POST
DECEMBER 29, 2019 | THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
WHAT IS EMPATHY?
Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective.
Our brains are wired to run from pain — including emotional pain — whether it is ours or someone else’s. Sharing a listening, caring ear is something most people can do. When we feel heard, cared about, and understood, we also feel loved, accepted, and as if we belong. — Brene’ Brown
HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN
Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs.
Design thinking is a powerful process for problem-solving that begins with understanding unmet customer needs. From that insight emerges a process for innovation that encompasses concept development, applied creativity, prototyping, and experimentation. When design thinking approaches are applied to business, the success rate for innovation improves substantially.
Design Thinking for Social Innovation: Stanford Social Innovation Review
EMPATHY as a project was designed alongside community advocates and experts, and 100s of individuals experiencing homelessness and often addiction through a process called human centered design. We asked them what they needed.
THANK YOU to all those allies who sat down with our team, who were brave and open to new ideas.
“The process of learning an art can be divided conveniently into two parts: one, the mastery of the theory; the other, the mastery of the practice.” Erich Fromm