Organizing Information as a System Instead of a Collection of Projects in an Effort to End Homelessness

In working with housing and homeless information throughout my career it has always been my mission to get people to think and act like a system instead of a collection of projects. Truth is, funders like to attach the word “Program” to a lot of the work that they do, and this orientation has led many communities to organize their services by funding source rather than by what the outcomes are that the funding is trying to achieve. Across various funding programs there can be comparable, complimentary outcomes that are intended. So let’s take a closer look at how to organize information as a system instead of a collection of projects – which ultimately means organizing our projects like a system too.

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The Importance of Mentoring

Yogi Berra once famously said of Bill Dickey, “Bill is learning me his experience.”

I have the great privilege of being a mentor to about a half dozen people throughout the US and Canada. Of all the many things I do, this is one of the most rewarding.

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Wellness & A Healthy Social Network

One of the themes that we weave through a lot of our work in Human Services is the importance of creating or recreating a healthy social network for individuals and families that have experienced considerable marginalization, poverty, homelessness and the like.

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Appropriately Using Assertive Engagement

So you have a client that has engaged in case management supports with your organization, but they never seem to be around or seem completely unengaged when you do meet. They have high acuity. They likely have several complex issues and have experienced long-term homelessness. Is the fact that they are rarely around or seem completely unengaged sufficient to “cut them loose”? Should your organization move on to another person who is more eager to actively participate in what you have to offer?

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Another Teaching Year Around the Corner

Can you imagine being a student of mine?

I am a thinker first and foremost. Over the years teaching in the Graduate Planning Programme at York University in Toronto students have been subject to my out-loud thinking about various social issues.

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Importance of Team Leader Training

This week we launched our re-vamped two-day Team Leader training program. Through the Introduction and 9 modules, we try to set the stage for excellence in program delivery. Through analysis and synthesis of the main currents of thought and practice in leadership and management across the public, private, non-profit and non-governmental sectors, the Team Leader training covers:

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National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference 2011 – aka #naeh11

My last tweet from the conference claimed that #naeh11 rocked harder than KISS on a stadium tour.

I stand behind that even as the days pass since the conference ended and reflection sets in and turns in part to wisdom. I think what made it rock for me this year was different than past conferences.

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Making Sense of Data

On one of my recent hotel stays, this is what the dashboard showed inside the elevator:

Now, there are a few interesting tidbits that make this story even better. First, when I checked in I was told I was on the 1st Floor, which is AKA “L”. Second, 5 is really the second floor. Third, there are only four floors to the hotel.

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Why I am stoked about the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference

I love the National Alliance to End Homelessness conferences. Great networking. Great learning. Best conference there is on homelessness hands down. Did I mention that I have been doing presentations at the conferences for many years now? All around, super duper awesomeness.

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A Sweet Suite Upgrade, A Fire Alarm, Resuming What I Am Doing & The Guy Who Knocked on My Door

When I do work in Detroit, I tend to stay at the Motorcity Casino Hotel. The main reasons: it is located close to the offices of the organization I am doing work for; and, it is the cheapest hotel in the area on Expedia by a lot.

I stay in a lot of hotels. This is one of the best. Amazing staff. Clean. Fast WiFi. Oh, and the casino has a Star Wars slot machine (that only focuses on the original three movies, so it is cool – Jar Jar Binks free).

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