Building Momentum for Action
Sonoma County pledged to end homelessness by adopting Building Homes: A Policy Maker’s Toolbox for Ending Homelessness. The Toolbox outlines a 10-year plan with suggested short-, medium- and long-term strategies for creating homeless-dedicated housing units to end homelessness.
Using the Toolbox effectively required a countywide collaborative engagement strategy to bring people, organizations and their networks together, to build momentum and take action. Key to that, we led a Homes for All Summit, hosted by the Community Development Commission and many community partners.
Over 400 people attended, representing dozens of organizations working on issues of affordable housing and homelessness services. They learned about housing needs, current initiatives to create affordable housing and prevent homelessness, and possible strategies to support efforts countywide. It was a participant-driven agenda, designed to focus discussion on developing specific actions. Summit Working Groups transitioned into ongoing Implementation Groups, taking the action ideas generated at the Summit toward implementation. The Summit also included a Resource Fair, inspiring speakers and a MIG-designed electronic voting exercise involving the entire audience.