What makes your organization unique in its approach to addressing homelessness?

2,700 faith-based organizations in San Diego own 4,400 acres of land, much of which is underutilized and could be used to provide affordable housing to their communities. YIGBY (Yes In God’s Back Yard) helps them navigate design, develop, and finance housing. We use a self-supporting, scalable model, where the money invested stays within the community, building economic security and self-determination.

YIGBY leverages philanthropic and impact investing capital together with Self-Help Credit Union financing, ensuring flexible financing isn’t dependent on high interest rate loans, tax credits, or subsidies. Projects are self-supporting with sustainable rental income to the faith-based organization.


What is a misconception you think the public has about homelessness?

One of the most common misconceptions about people experiencing homelessness is that they all have mental health or substance abuse issues that led to their homelessness. However, the most common reasons for homelessness are economic, which cause an inability to afford rent. 


When was the organization founded?

Founded by homeless advocates seeking to address the housing crisis in our community, YIGBY emerged from Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego (FTEHSD), a regional collaboration of grantmakers that combine/align resources to end homelessness in the county. YIGBY is a unique organization of cross-sector professionals volunteering their time, motivated to address and improve racial equity, social justice, homelessness and human potential through housing capacity. Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, a philanthropy-serving organization with 40 years of experience, facilitates FTEHSD and fiscally sponsors YIGBY. YIGBY’s advisory council includes experts deeply committed to accelerating our housing supply, and you can learn more about themat https://yigby.org/about-yigby/. 

(Full disclosure: FTEHSD is one of the giv4 curation partners; however, it did not take part in consideration of YIGBY’s grant application) 


You are part of the "systems change" giv4 homelessness category. Can you explain more what work your organization does in this area?

We believe housing is the solution to homelessness. YIGBY is improving the system of building affordable housing to reduce homelessness by advising and funding faith-based communities and non-profits to use their excess land to build housing for people to end their homelessness. We are innovating the housing development system with modular construction and private financing, rather than using traditional tax-credit funds. 


Is your organization looking for volunteers? Are you looking for committee/board members with particular skill sets? Do you need in-kind donations of any sort?

Yes, we would welcome volunteers who have expertise in housing development, land use, architecture, and financing who would be interested in joining our advisory committee. Please contact Amy Denhart at [email protected]. 


I would love to learn more directly from YIGBY
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