The Community of Practice for Homelessness Initiative

Metro Areas Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH)
The Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless began in 1996 and is the only Collective Impact homeless services organization in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. They are dedicated to uniting efforts of shelter, housing, supportive services, and faith-based organizations to serve homeless individuals in Douglas, Pottawattamie, and Sarpy Counties. Since their inception they have procured nearly $45 million in HUD Continuum of Care funding on behalf of nearly 20 homeless assistance projects. It remains their mission to strengthen the collective impact to end homelessness in the community.

Homeless service providers better support the homeless community by developing a community of their own

Homelessness is a pervasive issue. In Omaha and Council Bluffs, we worked with a group of 20 homeless service providers who came together to address this issue. With our help and the help of our partners at EducationNorthwest, these service providers created a community of practice—a group that meets monthly to discuss how to improve what they do. Based on their needs and desires, we facilitated meetings to explore best practices, make collective decisions, and openly discuss challenges. In 2018, despite many of these organizations not having any relationship before, the community of practice developed their own collective guiding principles. These principles served as the basis for evaluating service delivery in 2019, when training in trauma-informed practice (their chosen best practice) began.
Change Making

A cohesive and holistic community story emerged

Along the way, a desire to tell a joint story about homelessness emerged from the community of practice. To make this a reality, we created an interactive map and dashboard that provided information about the issue, as well as the continuum of care of service providers and partners that work towards solving it.