A community of impact (CoI) is a group of people who work towards a shared passion or cause, and learn how to do the work better through interacting and sharing knowledge. IGH aims to create an online CoI for professionals working with people experiencing homelessness.
The IGH CoI connects members to a collaborative and dynamic global network of knowledge of what works in ending homelessness. Our webinar series provides CoI members with a unique learning opportunity to engage with homeless experts on a curated list of topics.
Resources and videos from the CoI series can be accessed below.
Latest Community of Impact Webinar: Partnering with People of Lived Experience
This webinar discussed the importance of partnering and centering people of lived experience in the work to end homelessness. In the webinar, we heard from experts by experience and other leaders in the sector about the impact of involving people with first-hand experiences of homelessness in designing and implementing homelessness services. The webinar discussed ways to partner with people of lived experience, develop more inclusive policies, and how ultimately it leads to more successful programs and better long-term outcomes.
Rob Robinson is a formerly homeless community organizer and activist based in New York City. His work focuses on changing people’s fundamental relationship to land and housing. He works with social movements around the world including the Movement of People Affected by Dams in Brazil (MAB), the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil (MST), Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa (the Shackdwellers movement) and the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages in Spain (the PAH). Rob is the USA-Canada Coordinator of International Alliance of Inhabitants, an alliance of 12,000 members worldwide which supports a Zero Evictions Platform. As a longtime member of the US Human Rights Network, his work is framed in international human rights law. In the US he works with communities on several social issues including, poverty and debt, police violence against the poor, gentrification and access to broadband. He is a regular guest lecturer at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He has lectured at several US law school human rights institutes, including university of Miami, Northeastern University Massachusetts, University of California at Berkeley and Harvard. Rob is currently an adjunct professor of Urbanism in the Design and Urban Ecology program at Parsons New School University.
Alicia Vázquez Silvera is a member of Colectivo Ni todo esta perdido (NITEP) in Montevideo, Uruguay. A group of houseless people in addition to students, teachers, and community member working to advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness across Uruguay.
Big Al Connolly is a community entrepreneur at heart and now a Speaker, Mentor and Learning Leader in Entrepreneurship working in Perth, Australia. He is the Founder/Managing Director of Kommuniti HQ – A profit for purpose social business, building community wealth in Australia.
James Koshiba. In 2015, frustrated by the explosion of homelessness in Hawaii and dwindling compassion for those on the street, James pitched a tent in a large urban encampment and forged personal connections with people experiencing homelessness. Through these friends, he was introduced to Puuhonua O Waianae, a self-organized village of more than 250 people living unhoused at the Waianae Boat Harbor. These relationships helped him understand homelessness as a problem of severed connections with place and community. He co-founded Hui Aloha, to demonstrate how building community with those who are marginalized is key to solving some of our most persistent social problems, including homelessness. Today, Hui Aloha partners with people on the street to launch service projects in their communities, reconnecting them with housed neighbors, and helping both housed and unhoused people find healing and purpose together. HA is now working to build affordable homes for those who cannot afford housing in Hawaii, which has the largest gap between housing costs and wages of any state in the nation.
Lindsay Pacheco is a founder of Ka Po`e O Kaka`ako (KPOK), a group of houseless people who self-organized in 2019 and began conducting weekly cleanups and other service projects in the Kaka`ako neighborhood. KPOK leaders are now spearheading an effort to find land for a kauhale (affordable, village style housing) to serve as a permanent home for those who remain houseless in urban Honolulu. As of May 2020, Pacheco has been housed, re-enrolled into college, pursuing a degree in social work, and continuing to provide outreach services to those who remain houseless as a member of both KPOK and Hui Aloha.
Recordings and Resources from Previous Community of Impact Webinars
- Partnering with People of Lived Experience Webinar Links
- Resources on Partnering with People of Lived Experience
- Launch of the International Journal on Homelessness Webinar Links
- Housing First in International Contexts Webinar Links
- Resources on Housing First
- Homeless Prevention Strategies Webinar Links
- Resources on Homeless Prevention Strategies
- Data and Collective Impact During COVID-19 Webinar Links
- Resources on Data and Collective Impact
Our most recent event for the IGH Community of Impact Webinar Series highlighted the importance of partnering with people of lived experience. We were honored to have such impactful and powerful speakers and moderators for the webinar.
Moderator: Rob Robinson, Partners in Dignity and Rights
— Alicia Vázquez Silvera, Colectivo Ni Todo Esta Perdido
— Big Al Connolly, Kommuniti
— James Koshiba, Hui Aloha
— Lindsay Pacheco, Ka Po`e O Kaka`ako
Partnering with people with lived experience of homelessness is critical to having a comprehensive homelessness response and leads to more inclusive programs and better outcomes for all clients. Therefore, centering the voices of experts by experience is important at every level of homeless programs: in leadership roles, hiring, advisory, and research. People with lived experience are uniquely positioned to provide important insights on homelessness interventions including identifying shortcomings in programs, improving homelessness systems, and developing more equitable and effective programs. Additionally, these individuals can provide invaluable assistance in peer support roles and help similarly situated individuals overcome homelessness in various ways.
Partnering with people of lived experience goes beyond merely paternalistic or tokenistic measures that only superficially take them into account. Rather, this approach requires substantive involvement and providing individuals with lived experience with opportunities for participation as equals in the process of solving the problems that affect them. Read more in the latest blog from the Community of Impact.
“Changing narratives and creating solutions to homelessness requires people with lived experience to be at the CENTER of the conversation, leading — not just at the table.”
— James Koshiba, Hui Aloha
Webinar YouTube Link
Resources on Partnering with People of Lived Experience
The most recent installment of the IGH Community of Impact Webinar Series celebrated the launch of the International Journal of Homelessness (IJOH), the first issue of which was published earlier this month. The IJOH aims to facilitate academic discourse on the phenomenon of global homelessness from a variety of international perspectives. The webinar featured presentations by several contributors to the first issue of the IJOH who discussed their research and participated in a Q&A session. The webinar presentations featured a variety of content, addressing topics such as prevention, lived experience, housing issues, and more. Read the full blog on the launch event here. Speakers included:
- Abe Oudshoorn, Western University, Managing Editor of the IJOH
- Sarah Canham, The University of Utah
- Jill Veenendaal, Western University
- Thomas Evans, Ministerio de Desarrollo Social, Universidad de la República
- Peter Mackie, Cardiff University, IJOH Editor-in-Chief, Europe
- Nick Kerman, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
As the evidence base for Housing First’s effectiveness has grown, the model has proliferated throughout the world. With its expansion, Housing First has been adapted to suit diverse socioeconomic and cultural contexts. This IGH Community of Impact webinar brought together Housing First experts to discuss the successes, prospects, and challenges related to Housing First’s development in an international context. Webinar speakers included:
- Sam Tsemberis – Founder of Pathways Housing First
- Karinna Soto – Jefa Oficina Nacional de Calle, Ministerio de Desarrollo Social y Familia, Gobierno de Chile
- Susan McGee – CEO of Homeward Trust Edmonton (Canada)
- Margaret Ann Brünjes – Chief Executive of Homelessness Network Scotland
Read the full blog about the Community of Impact Webinar here.
IGH Community of Impact: Housing First in International Contexts
International Housing First Research and Programs:
How do communities work upstream to prevent homelessness? How does data and evidence inform targeted prevention strategies?
In our recent Community of Impact Webinar, we sought to investigate these questions by featuring homeless prevention experts and strategies from around the globe. Homelessness prevention works to address the causes of homelessness before it occurs. Traditionally, homeless services and systems focus on serving people after they become homeless. Growing evidence indicates that prevention strategies help communities reduce the number of people entering the homeless system. People who experience homelessness are not homeless due to some innate characteristic that they possess; homelessness results after a failure of multiple systems. It is important to understand the gaps that exist in systems in order to disrupt the inflow of people becoming homeless and drive change.
A comprehensive approach to homelessness prevention operates at different levels, addressing both direct causes of homelessness and working further ‘upstream’ to address issues contributing to the loss of housing. Certain prevention strategies involve targeting resources toward those who are at imminent risk of homelessness by providing services such as rental assistance or landlord-tenant mediation to those at risk of eviction. Other preventative approaches seek to identify risk factors – such as school absenteeism or contact with social services – well in advance and intervene prior to a point of crisis. Communities may also seek to address underlying structural issues such as housing stability, for example, by prioritizing affordable housing development or access to housing subsidies to combat homelessness.
This IGH Community of Impact Webinar featured four experts on homelessness prevention, each bringing their own unique perspectives to the topic.
- Abe Oudshoorn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Western University in London, Ontario and the Managing Editor of the International Journal on Homelessness.
- Lynette Barnes, Manager of All Chicago’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program
- Katie Shomacker and Melissa Matthews, Team Leaders for the Geelong Project
Read the full blog about the Community of Impact Webinar here.
IGH Community of Impact: Homeless Prevention Strategies
Resources from Speakers:
Research and Programs That Were Featured in the Webinar:
Prevention Literature Reviews and Typologies:
International Prevention Research and Programs:
IGH launched our Community of Impact (CoI) to connect leaders and practitioners to a collaborative and dynamic global network of knowledge of what works in ending homelessness. COVID-19 has represented an enormous challenge as the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations especially people experiencing homelessness.
In our first Community of Impact Webinar, we were honored to have three speakers who discussed how data and coordinated responses allowed their communities to adopt quickly and effectively to COVID-19 in order to protect and house people experiencing homelessness. The three speakers were:
- Jeremy Swain, UK Advisor for the United Kingdom Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
- Dr. Surashree Shome, Senior Manager at Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives
- Molly Seeley, Special Projects Manager for the Institute of Global Homelessness
The video of the webinar can be found here. From Great Britain to Bengaluru, India, the speakers’ presentations had common themes in their presentations:
- Strong leadership with multi-sector coordination including the formation of taskforces resulted in improved communication, collaborative action, and led to better outcomes, and
- disaggregated data allowed leaders to better understand the scope of the impact and design new initiatives that are more inclusive and better targeted to specific populations.
Read the complete blog post here.
IGH Community of Impact Webinar Series
Resources from Speakers:
Resources on Collective Impact:
Resources on Data: