Homeward serves as the regional voice on homelessness and related housing and human services for the Richmond region. As the regional planning and coordinating agency for homeless services, Homeward's mission is to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness by facilitating creative solutions through the collaboration, coordination, and cooperation of regional resources and services.
In 2006, Homeward was tasked by the Richmond region to develop a unified vision to prevent and end homelessness in our region and, in this process, to restore hope and dignity to our region’s most vulnerable residents. Through this deliberative planning process with representatives from over 35 non-profit homelessness and housing providers and four local governments, our community launched the Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region in January 2008. Implementation of the Ten Year Plan is transforming our community’s homeless services system to focus on housing stability for families and individuals experiencing homelessness and other community residents earning between 0 and 30% AMI who are at risk of homelessness.
Project Homeless Connect 2010 from GYLo on Vimeo.
Goal 3: Prevent individuals and families from falling into homelessness. Achievement: 151 single adults and 100 families received homelessness prevention assistance to maintain their housing or access affordable housing.
Goal 4: Educate and advocate for change. Achievements:1) A coordinated system of care allows us to leverage more than $6 million in federal and state funding for our region. 2) 687 individuals were connected to over 40 service providers at Project Homeless Connect. 500 community volunteers worked with the clients to prioritize and navigate the services available. 3) More than 200 public and private sector homeless services staff attended the Regional Best Practices Conference to learn the most effective ways to prevent and end homelessness.
Goal 5: Provide regional data and research on homelessness. Achievements: 1)Conducted a study with the Richmond City Jail which showed that one-third of adults served by regional homeless shelters were also incarcerated at the Jail within the same twelve-month period. 2) Co-authored a study on the connection of homelessness and foreclosures with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Connections with affordable housing and employment opportunities necessary for individuals and families to maintain stable housing.
Project Homeless Connect: $25,000 for event materials to connect over 500 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to over 40 service providers with the help of 600 volunteers.
People: 1) We recruit up to 600 community volunteers for Project Homeless Connect. This year’s event will be held on November 17,2) We need around 65 volunteers for our January and July Point-in-Time counts, 3) Board members with an interest in system-level community change and a passion for community transformation.
That’s just what our founders intended in 1998 when local community leaders formed a Task Force on Homelessness with business leaders, government agencies, The United Way and other local non-profits. Together they engaged the community, assessed the extent of homelessness, and analyzed the mix of services. One of their primary recommendations was the formation of a new agency and Homeward was born with the mission “To prevent, reduce and end homelessness by facilitating creative solutions through collaboration, coordination and cooperation of regional resources and services.”
From that day forward, we have been THE catalyst for change in the greater Richmond area. One of the first things we did was qualify our region for HUD Continuum of Care funds, thus increasing the resources available to our communities. But that‘s just the beginning of the services Homeward delivers. We continuously search the country for the most successful programs and bring best practices back to the Richmond region. We look for innovative ways to plug service gaps and eliminate duplicated efforts. We compile statistics, conduct primary research, analyze data comprehensively, disseminate that information, and assist with planning strategies and tactics. In other words, Homeward facilitates an informed, unified, community-wide response to homelessness by involving all interested partners in data-driven decision-making that targets our best opportunities to really help our neighbors in crisis.
The work that Homeward does directly or indirectly affects every citizen of central Virginia and is essential to the people in the midst of a housing crisis and all those who care for them. Specifically, Homeward’s activities ensure that:
· People get the help they need – Since the causes of homelessness are so varied and complex, the solutions must be equally varied and coordinated. By facilitating the development of targeted new services, delivered through a case management system that fully integrates care, we can achieve better outcomes for more people in less time.
· All our children will have stable homes – Children affected by homelessness face greater obstacles to success every step of the way for the rest of their lives. By helping provide the stability children need to thrive, we protect them in the present and optimize their opportunities for the future.
· Our non-profit partners will be more successful – With common services and coordinated efforts, each of our non-profit partners is free to do what they do best: help people. By working as a unified community, each agency functions more effectively and our combined network achieves more synergy.
· The quality of services continuously improves – Homeward not only challenges our partners to pursue ever more effective practices, we give them the tools to do so. By investigating and adapting successful models from other communities and continuously sharing information and training opportunities, our partner agencies both follow and set best practices.
· More funds flow to the great Richmond area – Homeward enables compliance measures which would be cost prohibitive to many non-profits. By making sure all of those experiencing homelessness are counted, we also ensure that central Virginia receives our full share of funding from state and federal governments.
· Every dollar is invested wisely – Our collaborative model eliminates duplication of effort, freeing resources that can be concentrated elsewhere and making sure we maximize the results from every investment.
· The region will save money in the long term – Every person or family we keep in permanent housing saves tens of thousands of dollars for a wide variety of government agencies. Likewise, the shorter we make each homeless event, the less the overall cost to the community. By eliminating homelessness altogether, we free both financial and human resources to focus on other pressing issues.
· Everyone will have better, more diverse housing choices – By working to develop affordable housing supplies throughout the region, we ensure all families and citizens have access to affordable housing options. Moreover, when we de-concentrate poverty, we give more families better opportunities to escape it.
· The quality of life for the whole community will improve – A region filled with engaged, stable citizens attracts business and tourism, both of which strengthen the tax base. More importantly, the people who live here have greater opportunities, feel safer, and have a higher level of satisfaction with their communities.
All these benefits are already becoming reality, thanks to the cooperation of all interested parties. Our partners testify to the advantages of Homeward’s leadership, and our measurements prove our successes.
Summary A dynamic leader with extensive experience in visioning, strategic thinking, and implementation of multifaceted projects including stakeholders from the public and private sectors. A consensus-builder with a systems-perspective and a proven record of leveraging scarce resources to accomplish shared goals. An exceptional communicator with special emphasis on board and staff development and management consulting in the housing and homelessness field in sixteen countries.
Homeward, May 2003 - present Richmond, VA
Executive Director, March 2007 - present
Acting Executive Director, July 2006 – March 2007
Lead the regional coordinating agency for homeless services, including the development and implementation of a regional strategic plan, board relationships, development, organizational management, and research and analysis.
· Led the development of a regional strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness and outlined an implementation plan, working with over forty community volunteers from a diverse range of stakeholders including four local governments, the local housing authority, and clients of homeless services.
· Strengthened the organization’s business practices to increase the transparency and cost effectiveness of its programming and to enhance its impact on the regional public and private services system.
· Defined need for senior leadership for the Homeward Community Information System, recruited current director, and started system-wide assessment.
· Initiated program of technical assistance on latest trends and national best practices in homelessness for over thirty agencies.
· Engaged representatives from four political jurisdictions in the annual census of persons experiencing homelessness for the first time.
Program and Development Director, November 2005 – March 2007
· Defined programmatic initiatives for development campaign, raising over $1.2 million in multi-year pledges.
· Modified programming to focus on affordable housing and the prevention of homelessness.
United Way Services, May 2003 - November 2005 Richmond, VA
Manager of Community Initiatives for Homelessness
Habitat for Humanity International, Europe and Central Asia, 1998 - 2003
Program Development Manager, April 2000 – February 2003
Area Training Coordinator, July 1998 – March 2001
Master of Arts in Religious Studies, Western Religious Studies, May 1993, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, Emphasis on Cross-Cultural Ethics
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Western Intellectual Tradition, Magna Cum Laude, June 1991, The American University, Washington, D.C., Individually Designed Major
In 2006, Homeward led the development of a unified vision to prevent and end homelessness and to restore hope and dignity to our community’s most vulnerable residents. Through this planning process with representatives from over 35 non-profits and four local governments, our community launched the Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the Richmond Region in January 2008. The Ten Year Plan guides the transformation of our community’s homeless services system to focus on housing stability for people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. The goals of the Plan include: a) Focusing on reducing the length of homelessness experienced in the region; b) Prioritizing affordable housing as a solution for homelessness; c) Increasing the pool of prevention resources, such as rent, utilities, job training and healthcare; d) Educating policy-makers about homelessness; and, e) Developing our regional research as a tool for community analysis and decision-making.
- 741 clients served
- 721 community volunteers participated in the event
- 25 credit reports provided
- 52 clients received financial counseling
- 102 referrals to emergency or transitional shelter
- 34 clients received foreclosure counseling
- 403 employment counseling services provided
- 687 medical or dental services provided
- 124 substance/ mental health services provided
- 153 inquiries about benefits assistance
The overall goal of Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is to connect single adults experiencing homelessness or at great risk of homelessness to services which will lead to increased stability (through housing, employment, or connection to other services). PHC not only addresses the need for services and barriers to those services faced by the target population, but also brings together service providers to address the needs of this population, and engages community volunteers to change stereotypes of homelessness and to mobilize political will to solve homelessness.
There are three primary components of PHC: 1) co-located services in order to reduce transportation and other barriers to receiving services, 2) services provided on site that can address immediate barriers to stability , and 3) community volunteers working one-on-one with people seeking services to prioritize and access services, to make a personal connection, and to understand that change is possible.
Homeward's Community Information System (HCIS) is the regional implementation of the system required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HCIS is a web-based database tool used in Greater Richmond and other communities around Virginia to link clients to resources, to better understand client demographics, service needs, service usage, and trends, and to facilitate community planning. HCIS enables homeless service providers to manage real-time client and resource information and data. It provides client and referral monitoring, case management, and reporting through a web interface. This "real-time" information allows individuals and families to get immediate assistance in any location where they have come to seek help. HCIS provides the longitudinal data which allows Homeward and other organizations to monitor trends in the community. Use of HCIS allows the Richmond region to access over $4 million in federal and state funding for homeless services.
The Homeward Community Information System benefits people in crisis by increasing the coordination of service providers. Additionally, HCIS provides online real-time information about needs and available services for people experiencing homelessness; tracks client outcomes and provides a client history; assures confidentiality by providing information in a secured system; facilitates the coordination of services internally and externally with other agencies and programs; and provides access to a region-wide database of service providers and allows agency staff to easily select a referral agency.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The region’s resources are sustainable and its residents are economically stable and secure
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