**First 100 Day Priority
Now is the time to re-engage in true partnerships, not just transactional relationships, with the federal government. Philanthropy should not be expected to fill the funding gap that is created by lacking or inadequate government action. As federal positions are being filled, private philanthropy should reach out to agencies to offer thought-partnership and education on what we have learned about homelessness and housing best practices and evidence-based solutions that prioritize Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Funders should harness their convening power and expertise by offering access to evidence-based practices and research funders have supported; trust and relationships with local communities; and connections to those with lived expertise to inform programs and policies. This could be done through the exploration of on-going learning sessions led by grantee partners, specifically organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color leaders.
Philanthropy can act as a broker of relationships between local communities and the federal administration. To ensure engagement happens before implementation, hold recurring listening sessions that feature community members such as grantees, stakeholders, and people with lived expertise and connect them to agency and department staff working to create and implement policies. This is most effectively done through an advisory role, which may require establishing a Federal Advisory Committee. Foundation staff can also be lifted up as repositories of information who can compile, analyze, and communicate guidance around what works best within local communities to prevent and end homelessness and also connection to experts on the ground for local context.
For true partnerships to form, accountability must be in place. Through these partnerships, set the expectation of accountability mechanisms determined by communities to allow for candid evaluation about what is working and what is not. Talk with grantees and other stakeholders about what the accountability mechanism design should be, then facilitate the dialogue and implementation of that with government entities.