Randy Harris was born on Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, studied history, social science, and communication, and worked in agriculture, media, energy conservation, and entrepreneurial creativity.
In 2010, Harris engaged Las Cruces citizens to participate in a series of civil and informed community dialogues called The Great Conversation. To focus on the homeless situation happening on-the-ground prior to City of Las Cruces legally sanctioned overnight camping, Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) asked Harris to coordinate and facilitate The Great Conversation with those experiencing homelessness.
A way to negotiate the needs of the homeless community through respectful dialog, and to make available timely opportunities to access local services, MVCH clients, and residents living temporarily at Camp Hope, meet to discuss a range of topics such as transitional housing programs, on-site options for healthcare, and reliable sources of food. Each Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, The Great Conversation begins with an orientation session for those new to Camp Hope, a MVCH staff attended exchange of information and discussion about the progress of individuals seeking permanent housing opportunities.
In this March 2nd, 2018 interview, Harris spoke about 2011 origins of Camp Hope on the Hope campus, the importance of community dialogue to support collaborative problem-solving, and approaches to limiting short-term symptoms and long-term causes of homelessness. Since 2010, The Great Conversation has hosted approximately 1,500 dialogues in the Las Cruces community.