Every day, the team at the Alliance works to help communities build more effective systems for ending homelessness. That work rolls out in several forms: through on-the-ground trainings and technical assistance in communities; with webinars, blogs, toolkits, and conference workshops; and with other Alliance resources.
The whole idea is to help communities understand where they stand in their efforts to end homelessness, show them how to measure their progress more effectively, and then help them embrace the best practices that will help them reach bigger and more ambitious goals.
If only it were that easy.
The truth is that changing your system doesn’t come from attending any single training. System improvement is a continuous process. It’s a strategic and sophisticated effort that requires long term focus, commitment, and consistency.
We know this first hand. The staff at the Alliance has worked in the field before, so we understand the challenges: the limited capacity, the disruption of trying new things, the deadlines that seem to stand in the way of a long-term improvement efforts.
And one of the most daunting of those deadlines is on the horizon. In the coming months, HUD will issue the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the CoC Program competition.
The stakes are high, of course. And, so, countless CoC applicants will engage in the annual tradition of scrambling to pull data, document outcomes, and demonstrate that their homelessness system is operating at peak performance, all in the hopes of submitting a competitive NOFA application.
For weeks, these tasks will consume energy and focus. Upon their completion, many will be left wishing “if only we had done something differently last year.” Or, perhaps, “if only we can work differently next year.”
That’s where we come in.
This year, the Alliance is kicking off a new series of resources to help communities make system improvement part of their ongoing work throughout the year, not just in preparation for preparing a competitive NOFA application. We want to encourage momentum after the application has been submitted. The goal, after all, is to make an observable impact in homelessness throughout the year. And that’s done through ongoing strategic planning, data-informed system design, and allocation of resources to the most effective interventions.
The SYSTEM (Strengthening Your System to Energize Momentum) Series is a new Alliance program is designed to help communities:
- identify the areas where they can make the most meaningful improvements to their systems,
- continuously execute on those improvements for the greatest impact, and
- leverage those improvements to improve your NOFA application.
Over the next several months, the Alliance will produce and share Webinars, blogs, tools, and other resources to help guide you through this process.
It’s important to remember that the SYSTEM Series isn’t a magic bullet. There’s no one tool or resource that will get your system to the next level. Instead, we intend to deliver a broad array of content that will help share your understanding of where changes can make the biggest difference, and encourage you to address areas that you may not have focused on to date.
We look forward to introducing this important new effort, and welcome your feedback as we roll it out!