One Big Thing

Empathy is a difficult thing to practice. How do we honestly go about having a true identification with, or vicarious experience of the thoughts, feelings, or attitudes of another? If you have never been chronically homeless before, in which ways can you go about deepening your understanding of what it is like to move into housing and go through the radical and disruptive change that comes with doing so?

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Hope

Hope is the only currency we really deal in. Not false promises. Not dreams of a better day. Hope is a nuanced belief that life is worth living; that tomorrow can be better than today; that next week can be better than this week; that next month can be better than this month; that next year can be better than this year. Hope is about leaning into expectation, while concurrently creating the reality of that expectation. To have hope is to take meaningful action toward a desire future. As a belief, hope requires us to move from a crossing of the fingers and wishing upon a star to doing the work to create the desired future we want.

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The Three Metrics I Admire Most

When a community starts wondering what data to collect and look at when measuring progress to end homelessness, it is easy to generate a number of pieces of data that may be interesting to look at. Before you know it, there are over a hundred fields...the proverbial elephant being a horse drawn by committee. And what happens? The data does not get captured. Or it is inconsistently captured. Or there are time delays in data entry. Overall - a bunch of crap. 

So if you want to simplify this - the Brown M&Ms if you will - focus on measuring three things really well.

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10 Critical Questions for Every Shelter and Shelter System

At National Alliance to End Homelessness Conferences the past couple years, in our training and transforming of shelter providers and shelter systems, and one of the foci of our upcoming How to Be an Awesome Shelter Learning Clinic in Dallas, are these 10 critical questions that every shelter and shelter system should be asking themselves:

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Signs of a Bad Shelter Proposal

Recently I was asked to provide commentary on a new shelter being proposed in Florida. Shelters are an important asset in ending homelessness when they are focused on helping people get into housing as quickly as possible. Every community needs an adequate number of shelter spaces relatively to the demands in their specific community. And in this Florida community, they have woefully few shelter beds and definitely need more.

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Three Major Reactions to Change

There are a handful of communities where the three major reactions to change are front and center in my work these days, and probably a healthy reminder to us all of how normal these reactions are:

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Important & Ready

Whether you are trying to make change within yourself, your organization, or your community there are two critical success factors that must be addressed if you are going to achieve what you set out to achieve. The first is whether or not people feel the change is important. The second is whether or not people are ready for the change.

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2017 – What Will it Bring?

Welcome to the first blog of 2017. As I do every year, I want to kick off the first blog of the year with things that concern me and some hope for the year ahead.

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The Best of 2016

That time of the year to look back on the highlights from the year before. There are many for us at OrgCode. So, I am focusing on those 10 things where we felt we had the greatest impact or the community really look a leap forward in ending homelessness, or events I just can’t keep smiling about when thinking about it.

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Depression & The Holidays

Merry…uh…Happy….hmm…

If you live with depression there may be no anxiety inducing period like the holidays. In a nutshell, people want you to make the spirit bright and you may not feel like it, and then you feel even worse that you are letting other people down and destroying their holiday season. If you have a friend or loved one that lives with depression (like yours truly), some helpful tips:

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