Don’t Blame the Person Needing Service

On any given day, lots of things can irk me in the pursuit of ending homelessness. But I can say with absolute certainty that nothing bothered me more than the attempt from the USICH to define an end to veterans homelessness which essentially included a provision that if housing was offered and the person said no, that was good enough so long as the organization checked in to make sure nothing had changed.

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2016: Will We Make it Awesome?

Every year I write out my desires for the coming year. And here are the 11 things I want in 2016:

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Crazy Sh*t Volume 4: The Last of 2015

As the first blog of 2016, I offer you the final instalment of all of the crazy shit I have heard people say, had emailed to me, or witnessed in my travels in the last quarter of 2015.

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Deliberate Act of Kindness

Merry Christmas – and if that isn’t your thing, Happy Holidays. And if that isn’t your thing, here’s to a couple days off to think, relax and enjoy life.

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Great Ideas Do Not Know Boundaries of Political Stripe, Personality Type or Religion

I was recently speaking with a friend from Utah who is a practicing member of the Mormon faith. She had been asked by people close to her how her values align to the things I speak about. We both share a passion for ending homelessness. We both believe that we should be driven by data. We both see merits in following practices that are proven to work rather than hunches or anecdotes.

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Disruption

All disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors. The disruption comes when an innovative idea, product or way of performing an action completely changes how an industry works. Think of how your phone now is also your camera, flashlight, calendar, game console, medium for watching movies and more. That disrupted – changed – everything, especially if you were in the camera or flashlight or other affected businesses/industries.

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Shut Up and Say Something

At 4:06 am on Thursday October 29, 2015 I awoke panicked. It was 4 hours and 24 minutes before I was set to give the keynote at the Florida Supportive Housing conference. I had a presentation locked and loaded. There were some of the greatest hits from previous conferences contained therein. But I was unsettled.

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Gobble, Gobble: Charity Instead of Action is for Turkeys

Over the next month – in the form of others giving thanks through charitable giving – non-profits in the homelessness and housing industry will take in a very large portion of their annual donations. Maybe it is informed gifting. But I bet a lot of it is guilt money, and the feeling that a person or organization cannot really have a great holiday season unless they make a contribution to a non-profit. Giving Tuesday seems designed (contrived?) in part to serve as a catalyst for this purpose. No matter what the reason, I am thankful that non-profits get the opportunity to fundraise, though I appreciate that movements towards ad-blocking online may make a huge chunk of this work more difficult in coming years.

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Your Professional Development Plan

This week I invite you to undertake some self-reflection and think about your professional development plan. What do you need to do in order to become the best you in your job? Find some quiet time and think on the following questions:

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Get Your BS Meter and Megaphone Ready

We are just days away from Veterans Day. Get your BS meter and megaphone ready. You are about to hear many communities declare “functional zero” in ending homelessness for veterans in their community. I call BS loud. I hope and trust you have the strength and courage to do so as well.

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