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4.7: Rethinking Services: Partnering for Results
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4.7: Rethinking Services: Partnering for Results

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Presented by Kay Moshier McDivitt. …

Presented by Kay Moshier McDivitt.

4.7: Rethinking Services: Partnering for Results

Families could benefit from a wider array of services than homeless programs are typically able to provide. This workshop will examine how homeless service providers are developing new partnerships to leverage quality services for families and improve housing outcomes.


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  • 1. Rethinking Services Partnering for Results Kay Moshier McDivitt Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness 610 North Queen Street, Suite 610 Lancaster, PA 17603 717-735-8485 [email_address]
  • 2. Local Shift
    • Transitional Living Center
      • 2005
        • 54 Room Long Term Transitional Housing Program with mandated 6 months program services
        • Average length of stay 2 years with 35% “graduation” rate
        • Budget Issues: Merger with larger organization
      • Current
        • Transitioned to a “housing first” philosophy model
        • Length of stay not program or participation driven
        • Determined by individual family plan to find permanent housing, not by program “requirements”
        • Developed service partnerships to provide the supportive services
  • 3. Why the change
    • What we were doing wasn’t working
      • Long length of stay
      • Low success rate moving to permanent housing after long program stay
      • Fostered cycle of “dependency” on programs services
        • Revolving door
      • Experience with “rapid re-housing” successes
      • Fiscally responsible
  • 4. Steps in Making the Transition
    • Evaluate current program
    • Create the vision for the transition
    • Shift in approach requires systemic change
    • Re-define role of “supportive services” (move from mandatory to voluntary supportive service model)
    • Identify service partners needed
    • See the Results
  • 5. Evaluate the program: What we found
    • Required “program” participation in staff driven services created barriers
    • More households exited for non participation with mandatory services than for “program completion”
    • Trying to be “all” to “all issues”
    • Creating a “cycle of dependency”
      • Folks asking to come back even after program completion to access services
  • 6. Create the Vision
    • The result we want is:
    • Successful move to a permanent solution in the shortest amount of time with household connected to services that can support them outside the facility
  • 7. Next Steps
    • Redefine role of program
      • Individualized program for each household
    • Redefine role of supportive services
      • Leverage external service providers
      • Voluntary “program” participation
    • Redefine role of staff
      • Supportive Service Coordination
  • 8. Transition to a “Service Brokerage" Approach
    • Services are unique to each household needs
      • Intake identifies current support systems, individual strengths and gaps/barriers for each family
      • Individualized supportive service plan developed specific to that assessment
    • Engage external service providers
  • 9. What that meant for us
    • Redefined Staff Role: Supportive Service Coordinator
      • Shift from “what you need to do to stay in the program successfully” to “what you need to leave successfully”
      • Role is not to counsel or “fix” but to connect residents with the services identified on the supportive service and permanent housing plans
      • Required reaching out and developing partnerships with community providers
  • 10. What that meant for us Developing Strategic Partnerships
    • Identify services and providers to engage
        • driven by the population(s) served
    • Networking
      • More time in community to develop relationships
    • System of Coordinated Services
      • Includes existing supports and identifies new systems to meet gaps
      • Collaboration and coordination critical
  • 11. Strategic Community Partnerships
    • Job Readiness and Employment Programs
    • Food and Clothing Banks
    • Parenting Programs
    • Counseling Centers
    • Financial Literacy and Budgeting Programs
    • Child Care
    • Faith based Organizations and Houses of Worship
    • Treatment Programs
    • Mainstream Providers
    • VA
    • Re-entry Management Organization
    • Community Based and Agency Programs
  • 12. Benefits of Service Parternships
    • Creates a “comprehensive" support system
    • Less dependence on the program
    • Ensures an ongoing sustaining support system within the larger community
    • Allows for specialized expertise
    • Staff job can now be more focused
    • Cost Effective
  • 13. Developing Your Partnerships
    • Identify providers needed
    • Build on existing relationships with providers/partners (who shares common goals)
    • Who do you know in that organization
    • Be prepared to present your “Win Win”
    • Identify a single point of contact with partner agencies
    • MOU’s to define each organizations role
  • 14. See the Results
    • Participation with supportive services increased
    • Community Service Providers became active partners
    • Supportive Service and Housing Plans were followed
      • They “owned” them
    • Average length of stay dropped from 8-12 months to 3-4 months
    • 74% of households in the Transitional Living Center moved to permanent housing
    • 90% + maintain permanent housing for six months
    • Revolving door stopped
      • Families return only to share how well they are doing
  • 15. Additional Benefits/Results
    • Staff retention increased
    • Staff benefited by being out in the community networking
    • Greater sphere of services
    • Improved/positive atmosphere
    • Increased cooperation
    • Mentoring program started
  • 16. Challenges
    • Change is hard; “fixing” is what we do
    • Staff and Community can be resistant
    • Overcoming “old ways” of thinking, easy to slip back to “we must do it all”
    • Partnerships can be challenging
    • Clearly defining each partners role
      • Communication is key
  • 17. Final Thoughts
    • Service Partnering requires a culture that embraces change
    • Clear roles and relationships are imperative
    • Create partnership services that can adjust with each unique households-its not about the “right families” for our program but about the “right program” for each unique family
    • Evaluate and adjust
    • Remember, “its not the letting go that hurts, it’s the holding on”.
  • 18.
    • Thank You

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