With the increasing rent rates and low paid jobs that do not allow individuals to afford their own homes, there has been an increased housing difficulty among the Bethesda’s population. With monthly income approximately $35 per household, in the context whereas the median income per household reaches $107 monthly, the low paid workers who earn approximately less than $8.40 hourly risk the risk of being evacuated from their homes and confront to the possibility of being rendered homeless.
In regards to the information above, it will be benefitual for Marriott International Inc. that has its location in Bethesda Maryland to consider its involvement in the community homelessness issue. This will be achieved through the development of partnership with the local homeless shelters to provide vacant rooms to the homeless locals at lower prices during the period of the inclement weather conditions. The program will be essential in generating awareness and increased brand reputation for the local five star hotel increasing the number of customers visiting. It will also attract media attention that the company will use as an advertising strategy. This report therefore, details on how the corporate social responsibility program needs to be implemented in an effort of solving the homelessness issue in Bethesda as well describing how the hotel will benefit from the program.
The homelessness issue faced by the community
The major problem affecting the Bethesda’s population is the issue of homelessness. Being a community challenge, there are a number of factors that have been associated with the menace. Among them, include low wages by the seasonal unskilled workers, domestic violence especially on the women resulting to an increased number of homeless women and children and associated alcoholism and substance abuse leading to wastage of money that could be used for other benefitual purposes (Congressional Research Service, 2014; Bethsedas Cares, “About homelessness”). If the issue is not addressed under the appropriate channels, it will gradually affect the local businesses, the area economy at large as the homeless will be under isolation, and most of them will lose their jobs. This will affect businesses negatively in the area.
Company connection with the issue
Marriott International hotel main objective is the provision of accommodation facilities at lower prices in an effort of solving the homelessness issue faced by Bethesda’s population. This will be achieved through a corporate social responsibility program (CSR) that is stipulated to produce a substantial benefit to the community and company as well. According to Michael Porter, shared value among corporations is not a social responsibility, philanthropy or a way of enhancing sustainability rather; it is a way of achieving economic success among organizations (Porter & Kramer, 2011). Thus, if the company associates its image in trying to solve the homeless problem that is facing the locals, it will contribute to its own success.
Benefits of the program
Through the company’s commitment of supporting the homelessness reduction in the region, the company will gain media awareness that will generate an increase in brand awareness. This will increase the number of customers visiting the Hotel. This will increase the company’s brand association, reputation and equity (Kotler & Lee, 2005). According to research studies conducted by Friedman (1970) and Kotler $ Lee (2005), brand equity and reputation can be enhanced through organizational engagement in CSR programs in the communities.
The objective of the proposed CSR program is to increase the company’s reputation and brand image in Bethesda Maryland through involvement in the stringent community issue “the increased homelessness levels in the community”. The program will be involved only on providing reduced accommodation facilities only to the homeless.
The programs target population is the homeless individuals with no housing.
The beneficiaries of the program will be the homeless individuals from Bethesda, Maryland who will be able to attain housing at reduced rates. Indirectly the company Marriott International will benefit from the program by gaining increased image and brand reputation as well as equity that will increase the number of customers visiting the hotel translating to success.
Additional costs of approximately $10, 000 will be involved in constructing and partitioning available rooms. In future, the company looks forward to building more facilities in an effort of solving the homelessness issue affecting the community.
Bethasda Cares (n.d.) About homelessness. Retrieved from http://bethesdacares.org/about-homelessness/
Congressional Research Service (2014) Homelessness: Targeted federal programs and recent legislation. United States: Congressional Research Service.
Fitzgerald KBE, N. & Cormack, M. (n.d.) The role of business in society. An agenda for action. Harvard: Harvard University.
Friedman, M. (1970) “The social responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits” New York Times Magazine. Pp. 211 – 227.
Kotler, P. & Lee, N. (2005) Corporate social responsibility: Doing the most good for your company. San Francisco: Wiley.
Marriott International, Inc. (n.d.) Core values and heritage. Retrieved from http://www.marriott.com/culture-and-values/core-values.mi
Miles, M.E., Weiss, M.A. and Berens, G. (2000), Real Estate Development: Principles and Process, 3rd ed., Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC
National Coalition for the Homeless. (n.d.) Why Are People Homeless? Washington, DC: National Coalition for Homeless
Porter, M.E. & Kramer, M.R. (2011) “Creating shared value.” Harvard Business Review. Vol. 89, no. ½, pp. 62-77.