On the Rise, a community-based program in Cambridge, Mass. that serves homeless women and women in highly unstable situations, created a new program director position and hired a doctoral student who wrote a 2005 research report, What it Means to be Successful: Lessons from the Lives of Homeless Women.
Creation of the new program director position was intended to free the executive director from daily management of staff and clients in order to improve the capacity of the organization to conduct programs for homeless women.
Project staff saw the research report as a prelude to more formal work evaluating On The Rise programs and outcomes. The project lasted from October 2002 through June 2005.
The research report on the organization's community of homeless women concluded that the community "was able to create its own alternative vision of social success that prioritizes kindness over affluence, work over salary, and daily decency over bank balance."
In What it Means to be Successful: Lessons from the Lives of Homeless Women, women defined success as: