On October 21, nearly 100 people from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grantees, philanthropic and public sector partners, as well as other providers and stakeholders attended our 6th annual convening to reflect on the collective progress toward ending chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. The Hilton Foundation continues to be a proud partner as the unprecedented collaboration, momentum, and focus continues to grow.
The convening engaged attendees in a strengths-based exercise to examine all of our collaborative achievements to date and, upon reflection, what successful efforts, programs, systems, and partnerships exist that we can build upon on to continue to drive our work forward. The Foundation staff asked our partners to take a few moments to shake off instinctual approaches to systems improvement that only focus on identifying obstacles or examining the elements not working with a “how can we fix this?” slant. Instead, attendees were challenged to reflect back on what is working, what is efficient, what has built collaboration and brought us to this new benchmark, and then consider how we can use those lessons to inform how we tackle the opportunities and challenges ahead. For example, we often ask “Why does it take so long for an individual experiencing chronic homelessness to get from street to home?” In this process, we asked, “When have our homeless neighbors been most efficiently supported in the street to home process and what can we learn and apply from those moments of success?”
Hilton Foundation measurement, evaluation, and learning partners Abt Associates kicked off the exercise with a presentation highlighting findings from the Foundation’s recent report on Phase I of the Strategic Initiative. Their presentation helped set the stage on where the Foundation’s efforts fit into the progress made over the five-year period of the first phase.
The strengths based reflection was also fueled by three expert panels. The first panel included individuals with lived experience; the second included providers; and the third, systems change leaders from United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Home For Good Initiative, the City, and County of Los Angeles. Each of the panels provoked lively table discussions, which gave attendees an opportunity to share the achievements of our partnerships and explore the untapped potentials that exist within the collaboration.
As a culminating exercise, partners were asked to dream big and work at their tables to complete the statement “I will most be proud of LA County in the future when…” As each table shared their visions, the feeling in the room continued to lift as the group realized that while these dreams may not be achieved in a day, they are all in fact attainable.
If you would like to see more photos from this year’s convening, visit our Facebook page. Thank you to our panelists and moderators in helping to make this year’s convening successful:
- Phil Ansell, Director Homeless Initiative – County of Los Angeles
- Chris Callandrillo, Director of Programs – Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
- Dorothy Edwards, Advocate – CSH SpeakUp!
- Chris Hubbard, Program Officer – California Community Foundation
- Zondre Johnson, Advocate – CSH Speak Up!
- Veronica Lewis, Division Director – Special Services for Groups
- John Maceri, Executive Director – The People Concern
- Christine Margiotta, VP Community Impact – United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- Christina Miller, Director of CES – Los Angeles Family Housing
- Molly Rysman, Housing and Homelessness Deputy – LA County Supervisor Kuehl, District 3
- Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer – City of Los Angeles