Finding Hope and Opportunity in Challenging Times

March 23, 2020 / News

During challenging times such as these, a mindset of abundance over scarcity is more important than ever. 


By Marie Morrison,
Director, Built for Zero Canada


A scarcity mindset is born out of fear. Fear zaps the brain of its flexibility, creativity and ability to problem-solve. In Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two symbols – danger and opportunity. While the danger increases urgency and shakes up our usual ways of working, staying hopeful with an abundance mindset helps to remain open and watchful for the opportunities before us.┬á

Listed below are some of these potential opportunities:

– The Canadian federal government has acted quickly by offering more money through Reaching Home to support people experiencing homelessness (in the US, the federal government has provided $0 for homelessness as part of the emergency response). How this money is invested in your community could create a lasting impact for ending homelessness in your community.┬á What are the opportunities for keeping your response housing focused?

– More than ever, homelessness will be seen as a public health issue and creates an opportunity to build will for ending homelessness for the overall health of our communities.

– Use this opportunity to build relationships and work more closely with the health sector.┬á If you have not yet, get connected to the Canadian Network for the Health and Housing of People Experiencing Homelessness (CNH3).

– We have upped our emergency and pandemic preparedness and will have embraced techniques that will assist in reducing the spread of illness more generally for people experiencing homelessness and our communities.

– People will be working and connecting differently through the use of technology – how can we capitalize on this now and in the future (e.g. saving money and time through virtual meetings and working from home arrangements).

– Canada and the world’s response to COVID-19 shows what is possible when there is a will to act – ending homelessness is possible!┬á


Tips and tricks for reducing anxiety and staying hopeful:

1. Stay Action Focused – get your facts from a reputable source that helps you stay focused on the the actions you can take and the things you have control over. Check out the resources in this BFZ-C Updater Newsletter.┬á Found this to be a helpful video – Caronavirus Explained and What You Should Do – (8 min animated)

2. Have An Attitude of Gratitude – whenever you feel overwhelmed – think about the things what you feel grateful for – its a great mindset restart.

3. Find Thin Slices of Joy – find joy in the little things – a concept discussed in Chade-Meng Tangs Joy on Demand book and in Canadian Neil Pasricha’s The Book of Awesome outlined in his 3 A’s of Awesome Ted Talk

4. Breathe!  Take 5 slow belly breaths.

5. Practice the 3-3-3 Rule – Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body ÔÇô your toes, fingers, or shoulders. This mental trick can help calm your mind and bring you back to the present moment.┬á

6. Take a break from the news – it will be still be there later and remember “bad news sells” so that is what you are going to see the most.

7. Read about positive things:

– COVID-19: 5 Reasons to Be Cautiously Hopeful (from a treatment and prevention perspective)

– Caronovirus – Stories of Kindness and Joy


Thank you to everyone across Canada working to support their communities and people experiencing homelessness.┬á Stay safe and take care of one another. We are a sector that knows that the alternative response to fear of “fight-or-flight” is to “tend-and-befriend“.┬á

Be a part of the solution. Help us end chronic homelessness. Donate