Our Mission: Partnering for Change collaborates with researchers and policy makers, organizations and communities, to develop and test innovative approaches to improve the social and economic well-being of vulnerable families, and helps take evidence-based program models to scale through education, training, advocacy and consulting to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and grant makers.
Partnering for Change is an evolution of Beyond Shelter’s Institute for Research, Training & Technical Assistance, which for over twenty years has led the development and promotion of new strategies to end and prevent family homelessness on a national scale. In 1988, Beyond Shelter introduced a dramatic innovation in the field at the time, Housing First (also known as rapid re-housing), which built upon existing systems and resources but re-visioned them in new ways. Based firmly within a human rights context, and particularly the human right to adequate housing, the Housing First approach promotes the movement of homeless families back into permanent housing as quickly as possible, rather than enduring lengthy stays in the homeless services system. Once in permanent housing, families are provided case management support to help them stabilize and connect to community-based resources and services responsive to their needs.
The testing and refinement of this approach in Los Angeles over the years, and the subsequent dissemination of the model through methodology manuals, educational and capacity building trainings, and direct consulting to nonprofit and government agencies helped to promote the development of Housing First initiatives across the country. The collective success of these initiatives, coupled with concerted advocacy efforts led by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, contributed to policy and practice change nationwide, culminating most recently in the codification by the Federal Government of rapid re-housing as a principal strategy to end and prevent homelessness (HEARTH Act).
Partnering for Change is an intentional “scaling up” of this early model of idea generation, program experimentation, and knowledge dissemination for systems transformation. The organization intends to build the knowledge and capacity of organizations and communities to affect large-scale change, through the provision of education, training and consulting services on specific issues affecting homeless and low-income families with children.
Recognizing that complex, intersecting problems like family homelessness and poverty are best addressed by aligning and integrating existing resources and systems in new ways, Partnering for Change will work together with strategic partners to promote proven and/or promising program models and systems change approaches and develop, implement and evaluate new models and approaches, with a focus on initiatives that accomplish the following:
(1) rapidly integrate homeless families into neighborhoods and communities,
(2) serve homeless, formerly homeless and low-income, housed families and their children through integrated systems, rather than siloed ones,
(3) provide integrated community “safety nets” for at risk families and families in crisis,
(4) promote increased economic security and/or improved employment opportunities,
(5) bring proven housing and anti-poverty strategies to scale, and
(6) advance, and are grounded in, basic human rights, including adequate housing, income, food, education, healthcare, and necessary social services.
The organization will help to facilitate cross-sector dialogue and communication among non-profit service providers, foundations, and government agencies involved in health, mental health, child development, housing, child welfare, education, workforce development, and community development. Additionally, we will periodically convene cross-sector “think tank” working groups around vital issues impacting chronic poverty and homelessness among families with children in the United States today.