Introducing our Project Phoenix Advisory Board:
Andrew Funk, Founder #HomelessEntrepreneur
“Stereotypes are due to lack of knowledge. People don’t know how they can help so they just forget about it and don’t deal with it”.
Passionate about social impact and a supporter of inclusion in the labor market, Andrew spends his time promoting opportunities for refugees and currently runs his own impact business – HomelessEntrepreneurs.
As a spokesperson for the homeless population, Andrew serves as an advocate to change the social stigma of the homeless by empowering them to work and become active citizens. Most people think of homeless as those common stereotypes of drug abuse or mental health, when actually 67% of the reasons people end up homeless is due to job loss, family break up, or not enough income. Most people think they are there because of addiction or mental health.
As Funk explained, “There are CEOs with drug habits and presidents with mental health. It’s not the main reason they are homeless, they don’t have the right network. Lack of income and network pushes them to homeless”.
By offering resources, training programs and a professional network, the aim of this organization is to kindle the entrepreneurship spirit in people and help them start a new life. Andrew’s passion for social impact came from his personal experiences of being homeless and knowing the difficulties and challenges that come with digging yourself out.
The object of this organization is to comply and promote the UN sustainable development goal of reducing the number of individuals living in poverty. To do so, he is utilizing inclusion in the labor market it by working with people involved in the hiring process and explaining to them that these people are professionals who can add to the company and they should receive a chance.
Andrew has dedicated his career to changing the mindset of others by spreading knowledge about the reality of being homeless, so they can recognize who and how they can help.
“Not everyone who begs is homeless, and not everyone homeless begs” Andrew explains, “Stereotypes are due to lack of knowledge. People don’t know how they can help so they just forget about it and don’t deal with it”.
The values and mission of Homeless Entrepreneur are very similar to ours at Project Phoenix, being that we both want to bring awareness to the stories about refugees and the homeless. By doing so we hope to improve the public knowledge and inspire action for change.