Josh Schukman of Social Change Nation

During a year I spent as an AmeriCorps member, I saw how blighted neighborhoods suck opportunity from children and families in our cities. Abandoned homes, in particular, are an enormous problem that attracts crime, vagrancy, and insecurity.

It is for this reason that I've chosen to partner with a local company that has devoted its philanthropic efforts to combatting community disintegration. Affinity Enterprise Group is a Kansas City based company whose business mission is serving the needs of residential real estate investors. Affinity's social mission is to build better communities across their national footprint by donating to non-profits who share this vision. 

In order to realize this vision, Affinity recently formed COPR Security. COPR's startup mission is to donate 300 mobile security systems to secure vacant homes in Kansas City, Detroit, and Baltimore/DC. This is all being made possible thanks to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates in our partner cities. Read on for details on our plan and the technology...

How do we secure abandoned homes? We've found that one of the biggest challenges faced by land banks and other CDCs is that most security systems are not mobile, require contracts, or are difficult to set up.  That's why we are donating a solution that collects proven security devices such as video monitoring and glass break detection into one simple tower that can be easily moved from home to home.

Here are some other key features of the security towers:

  • Uses existing cellular networks - no internet connection required
  • Mobile & DIY
  • Here's a video of the towers in action:

Why is a for-profit company doing this? Affinity has a long history of philanthropy in Kansas City and their work has personally impacted me in some very powerful ways. Affinity is also attuned to shifting business trends. Today's consumer is demanding that businesses become an authentic force for good, so the current campaign marks one of Affinity's largest endeavors to share the story of its community impact as a core piece of its business mission.  These towers will be sold to residential real estate investors, which in turn will lead to a transparent donation to a partner non-profit.  

In short: COPR is a social entrepreneur's business much like Toms Shoes, so we're searching for non-profit partners who share our vision and can continue to be recipients of these donations as the tower business grows.

How are they doing this? We are running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign because we believe this is the best way to raise national awareness about this issue.  Our for-profit clients will be purchasing towers via the campaign with the understanding that Affinity will match the purchase by donating towers to our partner non-profits. We believe this will lay the foundation for a cause driven company that considers it's success based on its ability to sustainably donate to community change.

How can you become part of this campaign?  We're looking for community development corporation's, land banks, and other community non-profits who are dedicated to combatting abandoned homes in Kansas City, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore/DC, and Atlanta. If you're in one of these cities and dedicated to securing vacant homes, we will give you the tools to do this. Click the button below to express your interest and stay informed on the campaign: