2018 Community Conversation Recap

Dec 26, 2018  |  at 11:24 am  |  by awright

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The Coalition for the Homeless, as lead agency to The Way Home, facilitated a Community Conversation on Tuesday, November 27. The goal of the Community Conversation was to gather input from community stakeholders to create a new strategic vision for the year 2020 and beyond!

With over 200 people in attendance, members of the community spent a full day brainstorming topic areas for The Way Home to tackle in the future. Attendees had the opportunity to gather in small groups throughout the day to discuss topics they felt were most important and those they wanted to learn more about. Those who attended included community members, CEO’s, national Leaders from the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) were in attendance, as well as partner agency CEOs, individuals formerly or currently experiencing homelessness, faith leaders, funding partners, and other community members.

“I think it went really well,” said Michael Fraley, Coalition Project Manager. “We had a lot of different subject areas that people discussed – 38 to be exact! Once those topics areas are narrowed down, The Way Home Continuum of Care Steering Committee will take a look at everything, and work thoroughly to develop a plan by 2020.”

A survey was also sent out after the Community Conversation to see which of the 38 topics that were discussed were the most important for the future. The Steering Committee will also take these recommendations into consideration during the planning process.

Michael says that workgroups will be formed soon to address some of these topics and areas of work, and that community members will have the opportunity to join those workgroups and be a part of the planning process. “We really want this new plan to be community focused,” said Michael. “This is not meant to be the Coalition’s plan – it’s the community’s plan.”

Eva Thibaudeau, Vice President of Programs for the Coalition, says being able to see partners come together to identify areas of need and create roadmaps forward on some of the toughest issues facing the homeless response system was really inspiring. “As I heard from our national leaders (USICH and NAEH) and local thought leaders and witnessed the synergy in the room, it made me feel as though everything is possible,” said Eva. “Coming out of this event, I feel even more confident that we have the right players at the table, so our community can continue to tackle the social problem of homelessness with forward-thinking, person-centered, evidence-based responses.”

All updates regarding the planning process will be available in CoC Steering Committee meeting minutes, which you can find here.