Letter from Our CEO: Our Strategic Approach to Working Together for Justice | May 2019


Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, CEO of the National HCH Council

I hope that you are looking forward to our upcoming National Health Care for the Homeless Conference as much as I am. The event’s theme, “Working Together for Justice,” comes at an opportune time. More now than ever, we need to build united efforts to address the systemic inequities fueling the homeless epidemic—and causing our nation to fall far short of its stated ideals and its promise.

I am also pleased to present the results of our Strategic Planning process, which will help direct the Council’s efforts to effectively ensure quality services for people without homes while helping to end homelessness. Led by La Piana Consulting and powered by our stellar Strategic Planning Committee, our comprehensive Strategic Planning process received considerable input and feedback from our membership, Board, external stakeholders, consumers, committees, and networks.

We reaffirmed that we want to continue providing our core services: training, technical assistance, sharing of best practices, research, policy analysis, and advocacy. This does not mean we will necessarily provide these services in the same way; instead, whenever possible we will strive to improve and develop more effective ways to provide them.

Our Strategic Priorities contain an affirmation of our identity—who we are and who we aspire to be: Responsive, Representative, Relevant, and Revolutionary. It also states that we intend to apply an “upstream” lens to our work—that is, to look beyond providing an immediate response to meet an immediate need and to also focus on longer-term solutions to systemic causes of homelessness.

Finally, from all the many great areas in which the Council could invest its time and resources, what is most exciting to me is that the collective wisdom of our community has led us to identify three prime Strategic Priorities: 1) to expand our policy and advocacy work on systemic solutions to homelessness; 2) to work to expand Medical Respite; 3) and to build the capacity of members of our community to use their data more effectively.

Identifying our top Strategic Priorities does not mean that these are the only things we will do. What it does mean is that we will place a priority on achieving these priorities, by directing our greatest time, effort, and resources toward these goals before pursuing other potential new areas of work. Our community offered a tremendous amount of creative thinking during the process, including ideas for excellent tactics to advance these priorities and other work of the Council.

Now that we have discerned the Council’s Identity, Approach, and Strategic Priorities for the next few years, Council staff and leadership will determine the most effective ways and the resources needed to advance these priorities. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead.

Thank you for partnering with the Council as we Work Together for Justice.

In Solidarity,

Bobby Watts Signature

Bobby Watts

Chief Executive Officer
National Health Care for the Homeless Council