In program evaluations and job shadowing as of late, I have seen many very busy frontline workers. In almost all instances they are very well intentioned, dedicated, compassionate people who are trying to make a difference. They are also, in many instances, overwhelmed by the demands of their caseload and the litany of intrusions on their time. No doubt they are busy. But are they effective? How busy a person is should not be confused as a metric of effectiveness.Continue Reading 1 reaction Share
My mind has been blown twice this month looking at shelter data.
The push that many of us have been trying to make is to know the people touching in your system of care by name, and to cross reference those same people by shelters, outreach, and other services, as well as your By Name List or Priority List. In the case of assembling priority lists for coordinated entry, as David Tweedie on the OrgCode team has pointed out before, once you dig into the data to look at it by people that touch your system rather than people on your list, you will quickly see that there are a number of people in your shelters or served by outreach that have not been assessed and therefore are unlikely to end up on a priority list for housing. Who you are serving and who you are housing may be two different groups.Continue Reading 1 reaction Share
From time to time, Ann Oliva is taking over my blog as part of her Leader in Residence role with OrgCode. Despite having different leadership styles and career trajectories, Ann and I share a passion for cultivating leaders in the pursuit of ending homelessness and in leadership driven by values. I hope you enjoy reading Ann's guest blog as much as I did.
Last March, Iain wrote a blog post called "A Letter to Myself of 15 Years Ago" that I found particularly compelling for both the similarities and differences in our leadership experiences. I bookmarked the post with the vague idea that I might one day have the chance to respond with my own thoughts. I figure now is my chance.Continue Reading 1 reaction Share
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.Comment on this article Share
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.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
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.Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
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?Continue Reading Comment on this article Share
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?Continue Reading 1 reaction Share