Appreciative Inquiry Saved A Man From Homelessness ?

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”~William Arthur Ward

"Birdman" (Under the 101 Freeway at Alvarado Street, Silver Lake)

“Birdman” (Under the 101 Freeway at Alvarado Street, Silver Lake)

Birdman lived under a bridge in Silver Lake for 20 years. But when he was able to picture himself in his living room, thanks to guerrilla artist Skid Robot, everything changed.

As reported in the LA Times, Skid Robot, says: “I built him a living room, and then people began to take his picture. Within a week, he shaved and cut his hair for the first time in a decade. Soon after that, he went to a nonprofit to get help. Now he lives in supportive housing.” As a social worker and a USC faculty member in the school of social work, who has more than a casual understanding of the challenges in getting people out of homelessness, I was stunned by this result.

But when I thought about it I wasn’t. I actually see these kinds of results all the time in my practice of Appreciative Inquiry. Using Appreciative Inquiry, I coach individuals, groups and organizations to “dream” about their preferred best futures. It turns out, like Birdman getting out of homelessness after 20 years, it is surprisingly easy for people to achieve their dreams when they are able to visualize themselves in their new metaphorical living rooms.

[Tweet “Want a new future? Learn how to dream it.”]

One tool for developing your own visualization for your future is to create a Vision Board.  Check out The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One.

Curious about Appreciative Inquiry? Read more about my work with Appreciative Inquiry on my blog.

If you are interested in seeing more of Skid Robot’s guerrilla art, you can at his website.

Interested in a coaching session to visualize yourself in your metaphorical living room? Schedule one with Dr. Lynn K. Jones at



Dr. Lynn K. Jones

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.


  1. […] Curious about this idea of how an “image in our mind” can spur you into action? Read about the power of imaging and how it even moved a man out of homelessness here. […]

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