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HOTS Overview & Guide
Overview of the HOTS Network:
The YRAEH Mission is to be collaborative solutions to poverty and homelessness in York
The purpose of HOTS network is to provide housing, outreach, transitional support workers
with an online platform were relationships between workers can be strengthened and the
networks of support that directly impact the well being of service users are enhanced. By
sharing insights, experiences, strategies and tools on the HOTS network, members contribute to
the collective knowledge of their community which further strengthens the social safety net for
The YRAEH sees the potential for discovering new solutions to complex problems affecting
people experiencing poverty and homelessness. An underlying premise/assumption is that
when front line workers operating within a cross sectoral network, supported by a foundation
of trust derived from their shared experience, they are well positioned to identify gaps in
services and emerging critical issues, that once identified may be addressed through
Online Network Coordinator Role:
The HOTS network employs one staff called the Online Network Coordinator. This person
monitors activity on the network and is available to assist members in all aspects of using the
HOTS network. Responsibilities include: facilitating participation on the Network; answering
questions regarding using the network; posting responses; directing members to other
members for information or linking members to other members with specific expertise;
ensuring guidelines for using the HOTS network are followed; clarify or resolve any
communication issues that arise.
This person also conducts monthly metric monitoring and identifies potential service issues,
gaps or areas that are emergent and may need further examination by the YRAEH and its
member groups. The person will also tracks changes in member participation in terms of
member’s overcoming resistance or fears about publishing content online.
Guidelines (policies) for Participation on HOTS
1. Be Responsible. Posting comments and using other forms of online dialogue such as photos
or videos are individual interactions, not your organizational communications. As a staff person
employed by your organization, you are personally responsible for your post. On the HOTS
network, you participate as an employee of your organization and it’s expected that your
participation on HOTS network complies with the policy standards set by your organization.
2. Be Smart. A community post is visible to all members of the HOTS network. Remember that
what you write will be public for a long time – be respectful to the other members of the
network, the organizations you mention, your own organization, your colleagues, service users,
3. Identify Yourself. Authenticity and transparency are driving factors of the HOTS network. Fill
out your profile so people know who you are and your area of work.
4. Include a Disclaimer. At certain times when you post on the HOTS network (and we hope you
make lots of posts) it is important to make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on
behalf of your organization. If your post has to do with your work or subjects associated with
your organization, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t
represent “your organization’s” positions, strategies or opinions.” This is a good practice but
does not exempt you from being held accountable for what you write.
5. Respect Privacy of Others. When posting about service issues and challenges keep your
posts general and without any breach of privacy. Don’t post comments or cite personal details
(or any content) about your service users, fellow colleagues, volunteers, donors or partners
without their permission. Any disclosure of confidential information will be subject to the same
personnel policies of your organization that apply to wrongful dissemination of information via
email, conversations and written correspondence.
6. Write What You Know. You have a unique perspective on your organization’s purpose, your
own talents, skills and current responsibilities. Share your knowledge, your passions and your
personality in your posts by writing about what you know. Your colleagues on the HOTS
network will appreciate and understand your specialty and interests.
7. Include Links. When you discover useful web based resources please cite them with a link or
if you’re an active commenter, make a post on their web site or blog. By doing this, you are
connecting to the bigger conversation and reaching out to new audiences.
8. Be Respectful. It’s okay to disagree with others but cutting down or insulting your colleagues
on the HOTS network is not. Respect your network members and don’t use obscenities,
personal insults, ethnic slurs or other disparaging language to express yourself.
9. Work Matters. Ensure that you’re commenting on the HOTS network doesn’t interfere with
your work commitments. Discuss with your manager if you are uncertain about the
appropriateness of publishing comments during business hours.
10. Don’t Tell Secrets. The nature of your job may provide you with access to confidential
information regarding your organization or fellow employees. Respect and maintain the
confidentiality that has been entrusted to you. Don’t divulge or discuss proprietary information,
internal documents and personal details about other people or other confidential material.