A letter from our President/CEO

Jan 02, 2020  |  at 12:25 pm  |  by sbrown

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Dear Friends,

As we begin 2020, I wanted to take time to reflect on my first year with the Coalition for the Homeless.

I joined the Coalition last January, excited to bring a business perspective to the work of solving homelessness. I strongly believe that the programs and resources exist to solve homelessness in our community – we just need to coordinate more effectively and efficiently.

I was quickly impressed by the level of collaboration already underway in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. More than 100 partners have been working together through The Way Home since 2012 with meaningful results: more than 18,000 people have been housed with an 84% success rate. The Coalition is fortunate to work with outstanding partners and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them better over the last 12 months.

The Navigation Event in November 2019, coordinated by the Coalition for the Homeless and hosted by The Beacon. This event reduced the amount of time it takes to move into housing by as much as three weeks.

I also learned a great deal about the unique role that the Coalition plays in the community. As a financial and management intermediary, the Coalition plays a valuable role as the conductor of the local homeless response system symphony. Just like a symphony has musicians and instruments, the Houston region has wonderful nonprofits, funders, and programs working directly with those experiencing homelessness.

However, the Coalition plays an essential role as the coordinator and convener, leading the collaboration and planning, and developing and directing funding and resources that make Houston so successful at solving homelessness.

Over the last year I’ve been fortunate to work with a very talented team of individuals at the Coalition who work tirelessly every day to implement homelessness solutions. Both they and our Board of Directors have worked beside me to improve the organization’s financial stability and implement a new operating model to ensure that we are being as effective and efficient as possible.

In November, the Board removed “Interim” from my title and named me President/CEO. I am thrilled to continue working with the Coalition and some of our priorities for the coming year include:

  • continuing to develop staff talent,
  • growing in the areas of public advocacy and communications,
  • aggressively exploring sustainable areas of funding for our local homeless response system, from healthcare groups, pay for success programs, and others,
  • developing new programs for those experiencing homelessness who have serious mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders and need higher levels of care, and
  • ensuring the financial and funding sustainability of the Coalition.

I believe that Houston could be the first major city in the US to solve homelessness. We are a one-of-a-kind place with a yes-we-can spirit. I also believe that the success of our local homeless response system is dependent upon the success of the Coalition.

We can achieve our vision of a Houston region where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. I look forward to working with you to get us there.


Michael C. Nichols