King County’s All Home Plan has Plenty of Room for Improvement

King County has a growing homeless epidemic. In 2005 the Committee to End Homelessness was launched in King County with a grand goal of eradicating the county’s homeless problem in 10 years. The results? Today the homeless epidemic is even worse than when they started.

On any given day in 2015, nearly 10,000 people are homeless. King County’s per capita homelessness is one of the highest in the nation. With hundreds of organizations trying to solve different parts of the crisis, King County desperately needs a master plan.

Enter All Home – which is simply a rebranded Committee to End Homelessness. All Home just released a new strategic plan for tackling the homeless problem with a revised goal of making of “making homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County.”

While the goal is worthy, the lengthy document, with a lot of words and illustrations, has relatively little substance.

Even if the laundry list of strategies listed in the document were to be worked on, there is virtually no indication of how this coordinated work will be overseen, funded, and organized. How will collaboration be fostered between the many good-willed organizations that are trying to help?

The plan lacks transparency, accountability, and clear leadership. This is especially concerning when you consider that some communities have already made massive inroads to solving their homelessness issue. Utah, for example, has already effectively solved 95 percent of its homeless problem. It should surprise – and worry– anyone seriously interested in ending homelessness that All Home makes no mention of these proven success stories.

Take a look at the All Home strategic plan and consider these questions:

  • Is it transparent and honest? After 10 years of limited progress, isn’t a self-assessment in order? Where are the lessons learned about what went right and what went wrong?
  • Is the plan clear and succinct? The strategic plan is 33 pages long and laden with statistics, charts, graphs, and references to external studies. The proposed action doesn’t even start until page 16. The first 15 pages are background and plan overhead.
  • Does it cover basic planning elements and measurements?
  • Are the following questions addressed by the plan?
  • What does success look like?
  • What are multiple year milestones?
  • What are the key performance measures to track progress?
  • What is the cost of this plan and when is the money needed?
  • Where will the money come from?
  • What does the organization look like?
  • Who is accountable?

Are you confident this strategic plan will result in All Home achieving its goals? Would you donate money to their cause based upon reading this extremely long document? Would you feel confident about how your money would be spent and the impact it would make?

Altruist Partners calls on All Home to push past this initial roll-out of their strategic plan. It’s not enough to simply have a list of top line goals and a list of tactics. Eradicating homelessness in King County requires a full business plan that makes accountability clear, action clear, and especially, details how funding will occur.

Anything less will fail to generate the will and the vital resources to ensure the next ten years don’t look like the last ten years.

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