Housing Focused Shelter

This week, I bring to your attention a more in-depth piece we have been working on regarding Housing Focused Shelter. You can download the entire piece here.

Shelters are a critical piece of a high functioning system of care. But in order to achieve the objective of ending homelessness, the shelter has to maintain a housing-focus in all that it does. Otherwise, they become warehouses of waiting, or we run the risk of therapeutic incarceration.

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12 Reflections on Outcome Based Thinking & Ending Homelessness

We have had several assignments lately that have required thinking through how organizations are designed relative to the pursuit of ending homelessness. If there is a common theme amongst these projects it is that the organizations or communities are not designed to get the outcome that they wish they were getting. Furthermore, there are a number of things that get in their way of optimal success. So, I wanted to explore with you 12 ideas and strategies related to ending homelessness using outcome-based thinking.

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Let's Review the Basics of Effective Coordinated Entry

Tick. Tock. Time is passing as your community moves forward to being in compliance with coordinated entry requirements. Or you are a community in a jurisdiction other than the United States where you are doing coordinated entry not because you have to, but because you know it is the right thing to do.

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The Importance of Lifelong Learning

One of the great privileges of my work is the ability to strengthen lifelong learning within myself, and to share the knowledge that I have with others. As you know, we deliver a lot of training at OrgCode, and when we have the chance to revisit communities after training - often months or even years later - we can see if what was learned translated into action. Sometimes we have multi-year engagements with organizations or communities and we can see growth incrementally over time. And then there is the conference circuit - especially state conferences - where I will complete my 9th in just the past few months later this week. All of this comes down to the importance of lifelong learning. Why do we need it? What should it look like?

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What's Your Motivation?

Why do you still do this work? 

Not what brought you into it 10 years ago or 5 years ago or 6 months ago or whatever. Why do you still do this work TODAY?

This work is generally thankless, yet critically important. While everyone else is running out of the proverbial fire, you wake up each morning and decide to run into the fire. You believe the people you serve are worthiest of your highest esteem. You believe that biography does not equal destiny. You believe that people can have a better life and housing situation than their current circumstances suggest today. 

But why are you still motivated?

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An Introduction from Ann on Her Role With OrgCode - Why Leadership?

Ann takes over the blog this week to outline her role as "Leader in Residence" with OrgCode and outline her passion to improve and develop leaders working to end homelessness.

Since Iain announced last week that I am coming on board with the team at OrgCode as a Leader in Residence, lots of people have taken time to welcome me back to the work of ending homelessness and to ask about what I might be working on.  After a few months off, I found that I am eager to start working on projects that have two non-negotiable components:  that the project is impactful, and that the project itself allows me to feel joy in my work.  It has been a while since I have had the chance to actively choose projects that meet both of those criteria, and I am taking full advantage of the opportunity.

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Ann Oliva is OrgCode's Leader in Residence

At our first Leadership Academy in 2015, OrgCode brought together a cohort of professionals dedicated to ending homelessness to learn more about how to be authentic, thoughtful and successful leaders in their communities.  In addition to two days of content presented by Iain, we heard from a couple of guest speakers – including Ann Oliva, who took time away from her day job at HUD to talk to the cohort about her leadership journey. In 2016, Ann came back to talk to the new group, and in those two years she fell in love with the idea of helping other professionals hone their leadership skills and therefore get one step closer to reaching their goals.  Earlier this year, Ann announced she was leaving HUD to decompress and reflect for a few months before rejoining our collective work towards ending homelessness.

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An Alternative Perspective on Operation Rio Grande & the Criminalization of Homelessness

Anybody else remember when Utah was the envy of the country as they implemented Housing First? A relatively conservative state brought Housing First to life on scale. You may remember Lloyd Pendleton at national conferences touting their achievements and approach, or The Daily Show’s feature on Housing First in Salt Lake City. And while there has been healthy debate on whether Salt Lake and Utah as a whole was achieving what they said to have achieved, the progress they made and the strategy to get there was still enviable.

Those. Days. Are. Gone.

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Bigger Facilities or Better System?

I have been thinking about a question recently posed by Deb DeSantis, who is the President & CEO of CSH (which I am paraphrasing): How do we move the collective thinking from having bigger homeless facilities to better systems of care with housing at its foundation?

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Better By-Name Lists

This week's blog comes from David Tweedie on the OrgCode team (David@OrgCode.com):

If you're a street outreach worker, you've likely struggled to locate people referred to you through your community's Coordinated Entry system.  You have their name, and where they were last surveyed, but knowing where someone surfaced two or twelve or twenty days ago seems a lot less helpful than where they're staying now.

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