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

2022 Funders Institute


Funders Together to End Homelessness was excited to host our 202
2 Funders Institute from July 25-27 in conjunction
with the2022 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. Attendees joined us in person in Washington, DC for a program designed to create space for deep peer-to-peer and peer-to-expert connections.  

Read our blog post recapping the event and what participants learned and gleaned from the 2022 Funders Institute. 

See a list of our speakers and their bios

Monday, July 25

9:30 – 10:20 ET

Housing Justice is the Solution to Ending Homelessness 

Day 1 kicked off with remarks by Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness, who talked about Funders Together’s new strategic direction and the connection between homelessness and housing justice. Participants grappled with how to push for real transformation so that preventing and ending homelessness means that everyone is connected to the resources that will allow them to thrive.  

Ann Oliva, the new CEO of National Alliance to End Homelessness, offered remarks about her vision for the Alliance’s work moving forward. 

Speakers:

  • Amanda Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness
  • Ann Oliva, CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness

Recording:

10:20 – 12:00 ET
Deep Dives on Bringing Narrative Change Research, Advocacy, and Philanthropy Together   

Narrative change has been a frequent conversation: what it is (and is not), what research is telling us, and how narrative change and policy change are linked. Funders Togetherbrought together experts and philanthropy for deeper conversations about how philanthropy can invest their dollars, voice, and time in supporting this work. During these roundtable conversations, funders had an opportunity to sit down with narrative change experts and brainstorm together how philanthropy should invest in narrative change work that builds knowledge and power among messengers and policymakers so that we can see real transformation.    

Speakers: 

  • Marisol Bello, Director, Housing Narrative Lab 
  • Jennifer Cossyleon, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager, Community Change
  • Mike Dickerson, Researcher, Invisible People and Ktown for All 
  • Mark Horvath, Founder, Invisible People 
  • Lindsay Knotts, Managing Director, Impact Strategies, TheCaseMade
  • Barb Poppe, Founder and Principal, Barbara Poppe and Associates 
  • Michelle Thurston, Housing Justice Narrative Fellow, Community Change

Resources:

1:00 – 1:45 ET
National Conference on Ending Homelessness Opening Plenary with Ann Oliva, CEO of National Alliance to End Homelessness

 

2:00 – 3:15 ET
Alternatives to Policing in our Vision for Housing Justice 

Housing justice necessitates that we dismantle carceral and punitive approaches both in strategies to resolve the crisis of homelessness and in any effort to prevent it in the first place. This includes an honest reflection of our perceptions of law enforcement and movements to defund – or even abolish – the prison-industrial complex. Despite the racial justice uprisings of 2020, police violence has scarcely reduced, and recent calls to increase police presence in schools threatens further regression. But even if we could assume all funders agree we should pursue a future without policing, the role of philanthropy in the decriminalization of homelessness is all but clear. This session dove into the complexity of criminalization and policing in the movement to end homelessness by exploring how funders have grappled with these issues and uplifting promising models.  

Speakers:

  • Roshan Bliss, Principal Consultant, Bliss Collaborations 
  • Katy Miller, Regional Coordinator, USICH

Recording:

Resources:

Crisis Assistance/Civilian Response Models

PIC Abolition, Incarceration Data

Criminalization of Homelessness


Tuesday, July 26

9:00 – 10:30 ET
Creating New Tables for Systems Transformation: Partnerships to Shift Power to People with Lived Experience 

The phrase “centering people with lived experience” is everywhere and is lifted up as the way to end homelessness and achieve housing justice. However, if we don’t intentionally and thoughtfully build partnerships, people are tokenized and retraumatized, and systems remain inequitable. So, what does it mean to build authentic partnerships with people with lived experience? How do we best co-create new tables for lived experience to carry equal weight and importance? And, how can philanthropy better support new ways of working? During this conversation, systems thinkers with lived experience shared the work they are doing to build community, transform systems, and advance housing and racial justice.   

Speakers: 

  • Donald Whitehead, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless 
  • LaMont D. Green, DSW. Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and WA State Lived Experience Coalition 
  • Phoebe VanCleefe, Senior Program Officer, True Colors United 
  • Moderator: Bianca Carter, Program Officer for Housing and Homelessness, Trinity Church Wall Street

Resources:

Funders Together organized a session during the National Conference on Ending Homelessness. We invited those who are registered for the NAEH conference to attend our conference session and to invite any systems leaders and policymakers from their communities to be a part of this conversation. 

1:30 - 2:45 ET
Philanthropic Partnerships and Strategies for Systems Transformation 

Implementing solutions to ending homelessness that are rooted in equity and justice requires true partnership and alignment of values. Though philanthropy’s roots come from racialized capitalism and the exploitation of labor and resources from Black and Indigenous peoples, philanthropy still has a role to play to change the systems and policies that result in the disproportionate number of people of color experiencing homelessness. This session, organized by Funders Together to End Homelessness, highlighted funders from across the country who are working to partner with systems leaders and policymakers to stand up public-private partnerships, advocate for policies rooted in equity, and fund systems change. This session was geared toward systems leaders and thinkers, advocates, policymakers, and funders who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and build new partnerships that are built on deep trust and relationships.  

Speakers: 

  • Susan Thomas, CEO, Melville Charitable Trust 
  • Lucky Michael, Program Officer, Arlene and Michael Rosen Foundation 
  • Jennifer Olney, Senior Program Officer, Partnership to End Homelessness, Greater Washington Community Foundation 
  • Moderator: Amanda Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness 


Wednesday, July 27

8:30 – 9:30 ET
Cross-Systems Policy Opportunities to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

On the final day, we held a conversation about policy opportunities to prevent and end youth homelessness and ways for philanthropy to work with national advocates and federal government partners. 

Speakers:

  • Marcella Middleton, Executive Director, A Way Home America
  • Kevin Solarte, Owner-Worker, Housing Justice Collective
  • Casey Trupin, Director of Youth Homelessness, Raikes Foundation
  • Kimberly Waller, Associate Commissioner for the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Recording:

Resources:

 


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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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