The Systems Approach
Most communities have many groups working in the general area of homelessness. Here in Clatsop County we have Clatsop Community Action, the Harbor, Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare, Filling Empty Bellies, the Astoria Warming Center, Helping Hands, the Astoria Rescue Mission, the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, and Riverfolk. There are others. What’s missing is a coordinated, systems approach. See the insights below:
“By far the most frequently requested strategic advice has to do with the overcoming street homelessness. While the municipal leaders, nonprofits, advocates, communities, and resources involved are as varied as the people who are on the streets, the challenge is the same: persuading outreach, shelter, behavioral health services, and the housing providers to coordinate their services in a way that reaches each person on the street, assesses their individual needs, and offers them safe shelter and stable housing, that works for them” (Gibbs, Bainbridge, Rosenblatt, & Mammo, 2021, p. ix).
“Our message: follow the evidence of what works, implement and iterate, monitor data in real time, and pivot when signals indicate something is amiss” (p. xi).
Gibbs, L., Bainbridge, J., Rosenblatt, M., & Mammo, T. (2021). How ten global cities take on homelessness : innovations that work.
Creating Systems That Work
To address homelessness, communities should take a coordinated approach, moving from a collection of individual programs to a community-wide response that is strategic and data driven. Communities that have adopted this approach use data about the needs of those experiencing homelessness to inform how they allocate resources, services, and programs.
Read the entire article here.
Built for Zero
The Built for Zero Collaborative is a one-year program designed to help your community measurably reduce and end homelessness— and sustain this progress. In our model, your community will have the support of a dedicated team of coaches from Community Solutions, experts from across the country, partners from key federal agencies, and a coalition of other community teams all committed to get to zero homelessness.” —Built for Zero
See the full story here.
“Imagine a Homeless-Serving System that quickly responds to a person’s housing crisis, supporting them to return home. A system that empowers people through choice and self-determination. A system committed to restoring dignity by knowing people’s names and circumstances. A system that instills confidence and trust by delivering on our mission to house people and keep them housed.”
How Communities are Building Systems to Reduce and End Homelessness
From the National League of Cities (article by Community Solutions):
Our work has always been dedicated to ending homelessness. But the complex nature of homelessness has challenged our notions of what it takes to solve it, over and over again.
In 2014, our organization Community Solutions announced the completion of an initiative known as the 100,000 Homes Campaign. 186 participating communities aimed to collectively house 100,000 of the most medically vulnerable Americans experiencing homelessness. In many regards, it was a tremendous success. Communities had increased housing placement rates for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness by over 200%, connecting more than 105,000 Americans to a home in under four years.
But there was a problem: none of those communities ended homelessness for a population….
Read about the solution they developed “that works” here.