Letter from Our CEO: The Power of Bearing Two Faces | January 2018

Bobby Watts


Bobby Watts, CEO of the National HCH Council

Dear Friends,

It is commonly said that January is named after the Roman god Janus, who has two faces—one facing forward, and one backwards—and is associated with transitions such as beginnings and endings. As we move into 2018, many of us have engaged in the familiar and important exercise of looking back at the previous year, taking stock of what went well, what didn’t, and applying that information in a forward-facing manner in order to do better in the coming year. The lessons learned from the past can often provide a powerful springboard into a new future.

What a year 2017 was! The changes resulting from a new presidential administration far surpassed the usual transitions, affecting all of us. There were also several natural disasters including hurricanes, floods, and wild fires that affected several regions of the country, and especially people experiencing homelessness.

With 2017 as a backdrop, the staff at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council are actively planning for 2018. With input from many of you on our various committees, we are revising our work plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018. Much of our attention is on developing Training and Technical Assistance, including our unparalleled annual National Health Care for the Homeless Conference, which will be held this year from May 15-18, 2018, in Minneapolis. Look for more information in this month’s Council News and register now. Also, please stay tuned for more information about our upcoming Spring Virtual Training from February 28 to March 8 which will focus on responding to crises. Additionally, we are looking at how we can best respond to changes in the political and regulatory environment in the coming year.

Perhaps most significantly, we have begun our Strategic Planning process, which will help us plan for far beyond 2018. The Strategic Planning process will take about a year, and it will need to balance lessons learned from the past with creative thinking about new problems and strategies to which old lessons no longer apply. We will need your input and feedback at various points to help ensure we are able to meet the new (some as-yet-unknown) threats and opportunities to come in the most effective way possible.

I look back with gratitude for your partnership with the National HCH Council during my first year as CEO, and I look ahead with anticipation of new ways we can work together to eliminate homelessness in our country.

In Solidarity,

Bobby Watts Signature
Bobby Watts

Chief Executive Officer
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
(615) 226-2292
bwatts@nhchc.org