With around 1 in 200 people experiencing homelessness in most international cities, it is easy to feel helpless. Matt Granfield didn’t – and he decided to do something about it after his uncle passed away in tragic circumstances.
But to fix a problem, you need to understand it properly. When Matt learned more about the complexity of homelessness, he realised something that significantly shifted his perspective: the average ‘face’ of homelessness is actually a 25-35-year-old woman, most likely escaping a violent situation. She may be living in her car, on the streets, or in a hotel room.
Matt realised that, with hotels running at an average occupancy of 75%, there were more than enough vacant safe spaces to end the homeless housing crisis. He argues that it’s often these simple solutions that can solve complex problems. Matt is a writer, entrepreneur and business person with 15 years’ experience in the marketing, start-up and tourism industries.
By day, Matt is in charge of marketing the City of Brisbane, as General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Brisbane Marketing – the city’s economic development and tourism board. When the sun goes down, the cape comes out, and he is founder and chair of Spare Keys, a ground-breaking charity that makes spare hotel rooms available to people who need a roof over their head.
Matt studied marketing at Harvard Business School, has an MBA from the University of Queensland and is a proud Queenslander, father of two, retired hipster and occasional author.