Inclusive Solutions for Homelessness

Since 2020, the Community Foundation of Utah has partnered with Morgan Stanley to offer the Morgan Stanley Community Development Graduate Fellowship, advancing the belief that our community’s brightest minds should be addressing our community’s biggest challenges. 

Through the 2022-23 Morgan Stanley Fellowship, graduate student Bridget Stuchly spearheaded an innovative research project with The Road Home to incorporate the knowledge and experience of those with lived experience into the design, engagement, and implementation of homeless services.

While completing a Master of Social Work at the University of Utah, Stuchly was drawn to Morgan Stanley Fellowship. She developed an interest in intersectional problem solving and was inspired by the mission of The Road Home.

The Morgan Stanley Fellowship pairs graduate students with community development organizations and provides a $20,000 stipend to launch an aspirational project together. She was excited to gain experience working with agencies on the front lines of social issues in Salt Lake City. 

In her “People With Lived Experience” project, Stuchly researched how organizations across the country elevate and incorporate the voices of people with lived homeless experience into solutions. “Lived experience provides an important perspective and insight that often leads to innovative solutions. Organizations can get caught up in the process of problem solving and wait to ask the community until the end for input when it is valuable to consider their perspective from the beginning,” she said.

Stuchly identified the opportunity for The Road Home to begin an ambassador program that invites those with lived experience to engage with program planning, access job training, and connect them to employment opportunities. The Road Home was enthusiastic about Stuchly’s research and plans to pilot the ambassador program in the coming months. “It was inspiring to work in an environment where everyone is committed to making a difference,” Stuchly said.

Thanks to her Morgan Stanley Fellowship experience, Stuchly gained a broader understanding of how the social sector works together to create an impact. “I was able to see firsthand how The Road Home works with other nonprofits, agencies, and policymakers to advance solutions to homelessness in Salt Lake County. Especially during the legislative session, I saw how they leverage their relationships to advocate for meaningful change,” she said.

Stuchly is excited to apply what she has learned to her future career as a social worker. She hopes to create change on a systems level in addition to providing one-on-one treatment.

“I saw the diversity of people impacted by these issues and gained an understanding of the complex systemic factors that can lead a person to experience homelessness. By talking to people in our resource centers, I gained a deeper knowledge of what needs to be done to address this and the need for human connection in the solution,” she said.

Her time as a Morgan Stanley Fellow reinforced the importance of advocacy and intentionally inclusive program development to create lasting impact. 

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