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.
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.