Your Organization’s Identity Crisis

Instead of reading this blog, if you’d rather watch it as a rant on YouTube, click here.

Does your organization know what it is? Because the more I travel the more I find there are many organizations that have an identity crisis. They are…

  • …a substance abuse program masquerading as a homelessness program…
  • …an evangelical outlet to bring in more followers and increase the congregation masquerading as a homeless shelter…
  • …an alternate transportation provider for individuals without bus fare masquerading as a street outreach provider…
  • …a soup kitchen that measures its success by the number of bellies fed rather than the number of people that don’t need it anymore, masquerading as a food security program that ends homelessness…
  • …a family counseling program masquerading as a permanent supportive housing program…
  • …a youth club masquerading as a youth housing program…
  • …a bible study group masquerading as a housing help resource…
  • …a homeless shelter masquerading as permanent housing…
  • …a group of buildings and organizations lumped together in close geography masquerading as an integrated campus working in partnership…
  • …a senior’s fellowship organization masquerading as a drop-in center…
  • …a 211 community information line masquerading as coordinated access for the homeless service delivery system…

If you are a homeless service provider I know what you should be. You should be the champions of housing. You should be focused on ending each individual’s or family’s homelessness first and foremost. That is your job. You exist in order to not exist. It isn’t about you…it is about the people you serve. Figure that out, and you know who you are.

 

About Iain De Jong

Leader. Edutainer. Coach. Consultant. Professor. Researcher. Blogger. Do-gooder. Potty mouth. Positive disruptor. Relentless advocate for social justice. Comedian. Dad. Minimalist. Recovering musician. Canadian citizen. International jetsetter. Living life in jeans and a t-shirt. Trying really hard to end homelessness in developed countries around the world, expand harm reduction practices, make housing happen, and reform the justice system. Driven by change, fuelled by passion. Winner of a shit ton of prestigious awards, none of which matter unless change happens in how we think about vulnerability, marginality, and inclusion.


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