The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Management and Leadership Cohort Grant

Grant Information
Categories Education , Community
Location United States
Cycle Year 2019
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Committee On The Shelterless (COTS)
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Kiera Stewart
Phone 707-765-6530 x105
PO Box 2744
Additional Information
Used for This grant will be used to fund a collaborative capacity-building pilot program: an innovative Management and Leadership Cohort program, custom-designed to improve agency effectiveness and cross-agency collaboration in resolving homelessness in Sonoma County. This endeavor was spearheaded by COTS and Catholic Charities Santa Rosa (CCSR), with the longer-term objective of future engagement from all homeless services agencies in the county. Richard C. Soublet, Organizational Effectiveness Consultant (biography attached), will assist with curriculum development and program delivery through a series of workshops in fiscal year 2019/20.
Benefits Sonoma County citizens experiencing homelessness will benefit by a highly cohesive and responsive homeless services system that enables them to more quickly and effectively transition into permanent housing and access the support services they need to remain stably housed. As housing outcomes improve across the county, so will health outcomes for those experiencing homelessness, and for the community at large, as our healthcare system will be less burdened by repeat utilizers of emergency services. As the model is refined and then shared across counties and communities, these benefits will be realized on a wide scale.
Proposal Description In 2017, Sonoma County adopted the Housing First model to address the homeless crisis – a relatively new approach for homeless service providers and for social policy. Rather than moving homeless individuals through different levels of housing readiness, Housing First prioritizes moving individuals into housing and then provides services to help them stabilize and be successful. Driving this change in approach was a large body of evidence-based research showing that quickly moving people into housing (without first requiring sobriety, counseling, income improvement, etc.) and providing supports and access to resources once housed, resulted in longer, more successful housing stability. HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) now prioritizes grant funding on programs that follow the Housing First model.

Adopting and integrating Housing First has been challenging for COTS and for homeless service organizations across the county, as it has required transformational changes in organizational culture, core beliefs, strategy, systems, communication, messaging, and staffing. As we have learned over the past couple of years, maximizing housing outcomes over the long-term will also require greater, more effective collaborative relationships among agencies and stronger leadership capacity.

Therefore, the goals of this Management and Leadership Cohort program are to provide a common, long-term management and leadership education process that will help drive organizational results; create high performing cultures; drive consistency and understanding with leadership concepts and practices; provide a framework and tools for managers to build their homeless programs and teams; increase our understanding of how to lead ourselves, others, and our community; and create a sense of belonging where experiences and best practices are shared among agencies, resulting in cooperation and unity rather than competition and working in silos.

The cohort participants for the first group of sessions (pilot program) will consist of twenty management employees from COTS and five from CCSR. Richard Soublet will deliver the pilot program through six 8-hour workshops. Workshop session topics and objectives can be found on the attached Cohort Program Roadmap. A second session of the pilot program will focus on relevant leadership skills. After a successful full year, the larger objective will be to include more homeless service providers in the county to expand and improve on the collaboration.

In this endeavor, COTS and CCSR are guided by the following five principles:
1. Respect – Recognize our value and the value of others.
2. Act – with integrity, accountability, and humility.
3. Advocate – Seek Justice for the homeless.
4. Innovate – Strive for excellence and inventiveness.
5. Love – Provide service with gentleness, compassion, and kindness.

The pilot program budget is $16,855 (attached), and includes costs for consulting services, textbooks, and workshop supplies. CCSR has committed $5,000 toward the project. The workshop space is being donated by Petaluma Health Care District.