A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Calls and Convenings

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To access the notes and materials from our calls and convenings, please click on the event you want. We'll provide brief synopses of each event to help you find the materials you are looking for. If you can't find them, please feel free to reach out to Stephanie.

February 2020 | Emergent Fund & Meyer Foundation

On Valentine's Day, we showed up for each other on our monthly call. We learned from alicia sanchez gill from the Emergent Fund about how they are supporting communities to respond to rapidly changing conditions and that engage multiple identities and multi-racial alliance building as core to theory of change. We will also hear from Jane Ward and Karen Fitzgerald from the Meyer Foundation in DC about how they have revamped their grants process to be more inclusive and equitable. 

January 2020 | Fund for an Inclusive California

In January, we kicked off the first of a 3-part learning series to look at different funders across the country who are embedding racial equity into their grantmaking. On January 31, we heard from Jazmin Segura, who manages the Fund for an Inclusive California. We learned about how she is embedding racial equity into her grantmaking to advance housing and racial justice in California, and how she is working at local, regional, and state levels to do so. We recalled some of the key learning topics FRE raised during our in-person convenings in 2019 and spent a few minutes reflecting on what we learned from Jazmin that could be helpful in sharing with other funders working to advance racial equity in housing and homelessness. 

December 2019 | Reflections and Policy Updates

During our call on December 16, we shared what we made progress on in 2019 and what we want to bring greater intention to in 2020. We also spent time hearing some updates about homelessness policy and what to be on the lookout for from Funders Together. 

November 2019 | Debriefing Chicago and Continuing Conversations

During our November call, we debriefed our convening in Chicago, with a focus on the workshop we had on white dominant culture. We learned about work that is starting in Los Angeles to examine the coordinated entry system and continued a conversation we had started in September around how funders can help ensure that racial equity homelessness work doesn't stay siloed in communities across the country. 

October 2019 | Convening in Chicago

We will reconvene in Chicago over two and a half days, spending time looking at operationalizing racial equity in all parts of our work, examining whiteness in our foundations and the homelessness system, and setting goals for ourselves for the remainder of Foundations for Racial Equity. Part of our time will be spent jointly with another community of practice, Foundations for Employment and Housing. 

September 2019 | Racial Equity and Coordinated Entry in King County

We heard from Joanna Bomba Grebb and Alex Ebrahimi from the King County Department of Community and Human Services Coordinated Entry for All about the work they're leading in King County to transform the coordinated entry assessment system and make it more equitable. We had an opportunity to ask questions and reflect with each other what implications there are for the work happening in our own communities. 

August 2019 | Operationalizing Racial Equity

In August, we checked in briefly about our upcoming convening in October and previewed what we'll talk about in September. We'll reflected on what we heard during the 2019 Funders Institute around operationalizing racial equity and advancing racial equity from the ground up and dream up ways for us to bring back tools from the field to our own work and to the housing and homelessness field. We ended the call by sharing new reading materials for us to continue our own learning around racial equity. 

July 2019 | Talking to Grantees about Racial Equity

During our July call, we got a sense of what other FRE members are doing when it comes ot asking grantees about racial equity. We talked about why funders should (or should not) be asking grantees about racial equity, as well as what is working in getting honest, specific answers and information. We named some recommendations for other funders working in housing and homelessness before we heard updates from Funders Together about how they're continuing to embed and operationalize racial equity in their work. 

June 2019 | Racial Equity Work at HUD and USICH

During our June call, we heard from Lisa Coffman at HUD and Joe Savage at USICH about the racial equity work their agencies are undertaking. Lisa shared some information about the upcoming NOFA and her thoughts on how funders can be good partners in this work. Joe shared a bit about USICH's upcoming racial equity guide and what kind of support he thinks CoCs can use related to addressing racial disparities in the homelessness system. 

May 2019 | Centering Customer Voice in Systems Change

Continuing the conversation from our April call, in May we dove deeper about what it means to center customer voice in systems change work. We were joined by Marc Dones, Azia Ruff, Mary Flower, and Danielle Winslow to learn about how people experiencing homelessness, especially from overrepresented populations, provided feedback for this work; how we can support systems change to be more equitable; and what we need to do to make sure that we are truly centering people experiencing homelessness in a new, more equitable system. 

April 2019 | Centering People with Lived Experience

At the March convening in Portland, participants named centering people with lived experience as a critical first step to advancing racial equity. During our April call, we talked about ways funders can support the centering of people with lived experience. 

March 2019 | Building our Learning Community

During our first in-person convening, we gathered to build relationships and deepen trust, share resources and learn from each other, and identify ways to collaborate. We learned from other foundation leaders and case studies about operationalizing racial equity and shared experiences through a organizational self-assessment. Through case consultations, we supported our peers who brought challenges to the table for peer support and input. As a group, we brought forth our most pressing questions and valuable resources and talked about the work for this community of practice as a whole. And, of course, we found moments of joy and appreciation for each other. 

February 2019 | Update on SPARC Work & Foundational Knowledge

During this call, we heard an update from Jeff Olivet and Regina Cannon about SPARC's current and upcoming work. Participants asked questions about centering the voices of people with lived experience, the role of CEOs, and engaging cross-system partners. Kelly, from Cisco in Santa Clara, shared a bit about the SPARC work that just launched the week before. Stephanie then shared some themes from her intake calls with participants before transitioning into talking about the foundational knowledge participants should have before the March convening. Participants heard from Tina Gridiron, who introduced The Giving Practice and shared information about the March convening. 

January 2019 | Kicking Off Foundations for Racial Equity

During this call, we kicked off our cohort program with quick introductions and a review of the goals for this group. Stephanie provided some brief updates about what other partners are up to, including the National Working Group on Racial Equity that met January 22-23 in DC, and previewed what the March convening might look like. Participants on the call provided input about what they wanted to discuss and learn together.

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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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