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

May 2019

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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. 


Continue the Conversation 

  • Several participant members continued the conversation started during this call in a Slack channel (#mardonespresentation). Please join the Slack channel to see the work your peers are doing and questions people are working through.
  • Our speakers all gave permission for me to share their contact information so that you can follow up with any questions directly. Here is their contact information: 

* Please note, Azia gave permission for folks to reach out, but also shared the following message: “I am on a hiatus from my work around the King County homelessness response system (YHDP, Youth Action Board, Lived Experience Coalition) until late June and am happy to speak about that work from a retrospective lens rather than someone who is currently in the middle of the work. For those who are looking to speak to someone with a current and inside perspective I encourage people to reach out to LaMont Green, a founding co-chair of the Lived Experience Coalition and Youth Homelessness Manager at All Home. He can be reached at lgreen@kingcounty.gov.” 

Meeting Materials & Resources

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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