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5.9 What Does “Improving Shelter” Look Like? A Discussion for Organizational Change (McDivitt)


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This workshop will explore what it means to improve shelter in the context of two critical areas; (1) measuring length of stay and using that data to improve the program; and (2) quality and effectiveness of the services offered in shelter and the degree to which they are focused on preparing clients for housing.

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5.9 What Does “Improving Shelter” Look Like? A Discussion for Organizational Change (McDivitt)

  1. 1. Improving Shelter: <ul><li>A Discussion for Organizational Change </li></ul><ul><li>Kay Moshier McDivitt </li></ul><ul><li>Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>150 North Queen Street, Suite 610 </li></ul><ul><li>Lancaster, PA 17603 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. Improving Shelter – Systems Perspective: Lancaster County <ul><li>Why the systems perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Steps in making it happen </li></ul><ul><li>System wide measurements </li></ul><ul><li>System wide tools </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. WHY THE SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE <ul><li>Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness Core Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on shifting from a system that… </li></ul></ul>Manages and shelters homelessness Prevents, diverts and rapidly re-houses
  4. 4. <ul><li>Survey of all shelter providers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Philosophical differences regarding what the core focus meant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little consistency in goals, outcomes and standards of measurement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 3 out of 26 interviewed used an assessment that included specifics on housing needs (rental history, landlord references, credit repair etc.) </li></ul></ul>1. WHY THE SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE
  5. 5. <ul><li>Providers often work as “silos”, some collaboration but not much partnering </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized need to create a connection between the system focus and practice for service providers/organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what happens to households across our continuum </li></ul><ul><li>To truly improve shelter, necessary to have “system wide” success </li></ul>1. WHY THE SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>STEP ONE : Fully engage providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Created “action team” to “Define role of Transitional Shelter/Housing” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: Inclusive membership of providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emergency and Transitional Providers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes board members, executive directors, direct service staff, other community member </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Co-chaired by a local business leader and a provider </li></ul></ul></ul>2. STEPS IN MAKING IT HAPPEN
  7. 7. <ul><li>Engaging the Providers to be Part of the Team </li></ul>2. STEPS IN MAKING IT HAPPEN <ul><li>Use of “influencers” </li></ul><ul><li>One on one meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where we are headed as a coalition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How they can help in the “shift” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting a “buy in” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify best practices and successes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How the “housing first” philosophy can work for them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to shift from “what residents need to do to stay here successfully” to “what do participants need to do to leave here successfully” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>STEP TWO: Setting System Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training in best practice model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local success in implementing a “housing focused” model </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find Commonalities (language, goals) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative Goals Set by Team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shorten the length of time households are homeless across the continuum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop standardized tools to: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ensure positive housing outcomes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>effectively measure outcomes and data </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>2. STEPS IN MAKING IT HAPPEN
  9. 9. <ul><li>System goals established: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>70% move to a permanent housing solution in shortest time possible with a standard 6 month maximum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Housing Plan is created within first 30 days of entering program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All programs will use standard tools to measure achievement of goal </li></ul></ul></ul>3. SYSTEM WIDE MEASUREMENTS
  10. 10. <ul><li>Standardized Outcome Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic data easily obtained from HMIS/data system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates standard accountability to the LCCEH Leadership Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funders utilize data to make funding decisions </li></ul></ul>4. SYSTEM WIDE TOOLS
  11. 11. <ul><li>Standardized Housing Plan - Key elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification of Housing References </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing Checklist -Targeted Housing Goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>4. SYSTEM WIDE TOOLS
  12. 12. <ul><li>Success of one organization can mobilize another to adopt successful service delivery models </li></ul><ul><li>Openness to training on best practice models </li></ul>5. SYSTEM WIDE RESULTS <ul><li>Shift from a focus of “what you need to do to stay here successfully” to “what you need to do to leave here successfully” </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a paradigm shift in programming </li></ul><ul><li>One program reduced length of stay from 1.2 yrs to 3.4 months with 75% housing placement </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Paradigm Shift for Organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift from “what residents need to do to stay here successfully” to “what do participants need to do to leave here successfully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on leveraging of external services/providers to wrap services around household when exiting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All goals lead back to the goal of shortest time possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative permanent housing solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased partnerships and collaborations means increased outcomes for those experiencing homelessness </li></ul></ul>5. SYSTEM WIDE RESULTS
  14. 14. <ul><li>Breaking down the “turf” barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from view of “competition” to view of “partnership” </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency can increase sense of “vulnerability” for providers </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges the feeling of “calling” particularly among faith based providers </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging those providers who get no federal/local funding </li></ul><ul><li>Emptying beds as quickly as possible and diverting households challenges financial stability and future role/stability of shelter providers </li></ul>6. CHALLENGES
  15. 15. <ul><li>Keep reminding ourselves of our common goal – to end homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Good communication among team members and leadership structure </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted plan to communicate system tools and strategies to providers </li></ul><ul><li>Offer ongoing training opportunities to learn what's new and best practices from other communities </li></ul><ul><li>Open forum for sharing concerns and as a team strategize for what future may hold </li></ul>6. CHALLENGES
  16. 16. <ul><li>Improving shelter results in positive housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness in our communities </li></ul><ul><li>Stay focused on the goal…a positive housing outcome in the shortest time </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships have long lasting results for our communities and our families </li></ul>