Depression Sucks

It has been a few weeks since I have blogged. I have wanted to. I have not been able to. Not because I have been busy. Not because I did not have access to a computer. Not because I didn't have some ideas of what to blog about. I just couldn't. 

Depression sucks.

My schedule is booked out months in advance. Communities and organizations expect me on certain dates to deliver on certain things...training, meetings, motivation, shadowing, a speech, strategy, coaching, etc. What is not booked out in advance is when depression will rear itself at a level that I am not expecting or prepared to deal with appropriately. Recently I have gone through one of the worst spells in a long time. I am working my way out of it. And I promise you there will be more blogs on more important subjects in the not so distant future.

But in the meantime, know that I am concentrating on my wellness. I am trying to take care of myself so that I can be present for others and deliver in the ways that people expect at home and on the road.

I am acknowledging my irritability and fatigue.  I am acknowledging and working through my difficulties in concentrating and remembering smaller details. I am working through my feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. I am dealing with my anxiety and loneliness. I am working on taking care of my overwhelming feelings of being tired all the time. 

I know I owe many of you emails or data or phone calls. I know that these keep adding up. And I know that when I don't respond people think it is because I am aloof, or preoccupied, or busy, or forgetful. To the outsider, I can only imagine what depression looks like when you are counting on someone who lives with it, but you don't know they are going through a spell. I feel horrible that I fail at taking care of things like communication at times like this. I want to so bad be able to manage that while working through the depression. But I can't. 

As I said, I am on the upswing again. Over the coming weeks I will catch up. Promise.

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Insensitive & Desensitized

How do we get people to care about homelessness?

That question comes up a lot. Sometimes "people" means the general public. Other times it is elected officials. Sometimes it is the business community or the police. It also refers to homeless service providers in some instances.

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Hawaii Progress: Views From an Outsider

Recently, Hawaii released data in their progress towards ending homelessness. Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui and Kauai all posted decreases. Oahu more or less stayed the same, but perhaps because of improved counting methods in their Point in Time Count. As an outsider, I want to focus a bit on what they were able to achieve on the Big Island. Having visited Hilo and Kona several times over the past couple years, I want to share some observations of what I think the difference makers have been to see a greater than 30% reduction there. And if you are unfamiliar with the Hawaii landscape by way of geography and policies, this reduction is truly extraordinary.

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If You Were Your Successor

What if you were the person that replaced you in your current job? 

What would you do differently? Is there something that is occupying your time that you would eliminate from your day to day? Is there something that you should be making a priority that you are not making a priority? Is there a relationship you need to build or fix that you are not attending to - or other relationships that you need to let go of? Is there a new idea or project that you really want to get off the ground but have not been able to operationalize? Is there something that is definitely not working in what you are doing now but you have not been attending to?

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3 Main Approaches to Coordinated Entry

As communities work toward establishing a high functioning coordinated entry system for housing, there appears to be some confusion and lack of knowledge on effective models to achieve this aim. Here is a high level overview of the three main approaches.

 

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Ending Homelessness: Slogan or Policy Proposition with Action?

Ending homelessness. Sounds great. Really hard to do.

When you say it…when people you work with say it…when other organizations say it…when elected officials say it…do they mean it? Do they mean it the way you mean it?

Say it again: ending homelessness.

If I were to ask anyone, “Do you want to end homelessness or do you want to increase homelessness?” the answer is going to be, “End it.”

If I were to ask anyone, “Do you want to end homelessness or do you want to keep managing homelessness?” the answer is also likely to be, “End it.”

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5 Thoughts on Street Outreach to Housing

In a few weeks time we are delivering Street Outreach to Housing Training in Tennessee. Here are five thoughts that may encourage you to come and join us, or send others from your community:

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Making Authentic Leadership Work

In the Master Class on Leadership, I teach how to make authentic leadership work. I try to live my leadership from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. Here is how I work hard to try and make that happen.

There are four elements to being authentic in leadership.

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Marvin

I had long knew of Marvin. Cynthia of the National Alliance to End Homelessness put a name to him when we did a session together at the summer conference a while back. You know Marvin too.

Who is Marvin?

Marvin is the guy that pops up in your rules for your program. Maybe not by the name "Marvin". But you have served Marvin and created rules because of him. 

It goes like this...

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A Letter to Myself of 15 Years Ago

This week I am leading another Leadership Academy on Ending Homelessness. We sold out again. It is a great honour that so many people want to hone their leadership skills on this important social issue. As I was preparing and reflecting on the materials to be delivered this week, I wrote a letter to myself that I wish I had 15 years ago.

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