1a: the burden of physical or mental distress
1b: the constraint of circumstance: the weight of social or economic imposition
2: the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it
If you were to survey the general public on which professions they’d consider “high pressure” you’d likely hear a lot of the same responses: surgeons, air traffic controllers, first responders, etc. But working for the Alliance’s Center for Capacity Building provides a clear view into a profession that’s under pressure like few others: the work to end homelessness.
In our technical assistance to communities nationwide, we see how hard systems and providers work in the face of under-resourced systems, under-staffed organizations, a nationwide housing crisis, NIMBYism, barriers to access, and a litany of social and systemic inequities.
That kind of pressure makes everything more difficult. It affects not only the well-being of people who do this work each day, but also the very crisis response systems that they work within. Pressure slows down system flow, reduces the options for getting people into permanent housing, and causes uncertainty as to who can be served with which resources.
That’s why the Alliance has launched a new resource series called “Pressure Points.” This series is designed to outline specific strategies, practices, and philosophies that can help relieve the pressures experienced by providers and systems alike. The first installments of this series include resources on implementing Housing First, shared housing, and progressive engagement within your organization and across your system.
Adopting Effective Practices
These are critically important concepts. Fully embracing them requires commitment, determination, and belief. But we have seen firsthand – both in our work providing technical assistance and in our own experiences working as providers on the front lines – that communities who faithfully adopt these practices can effectively relieve the crippling pressures that systems most commonly face. As a result, communities become more effective at ending homelessness, and those on the front lines are less overwhelmed.
All of the resources we are launching are designed to be clear, concise, and easily sharable with your teammates and partner organizations. They include fact sheets, blog posts, short graphics and videos, and resources shared by partners and communities. Our hope is to give you a quick view of each topic, and provide a solid foundation for further exploring each issue.
Of course, there is a lot more to cover than just these three topics. Crisis response systems face pressure from several directions, so there are plenty more resources to create.
Please keep a look out for more updates to this series as the Alliance continues to identify “pressure points” and create resources to help us all work towards our shared missions to end homelessness – in our own communities and across the country.