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01Build a Regional Kitchen Table

The regional kitchen table is the foundation for creating, holding the possibility of change, and implementing a regional vision to prevent and end homelessness rooted in racial equity and housing justice.
Listen to Vachel, a Regional Advisory Group member, describe the need to include people of lived in decision making.

Creating collaborative and strategic tables to advance efforts to address the crisis of homelessness is not a new concept to the Twin Cities Metro Region. However, a key finding from the deep level of community engagement done throughout this process is the absence of a decision-making table that owns a regional vision and goals on housing justice, is co-designed by a diverse group of stakeholders that are in deep relationship with each other, led by people with lived experiences, and possess the organizing power to shift policies, practices and investments to advance a more comprehensive housing justice agenda. The regional kitchen table described in the proposed action below can offer a path forward that takes the lesson learned from past collaboration efforts and combines it with a new way of organizing that can lead to more justice orientated results. 

Housing justice for us means guaranteeing opportunities for everyone in our country to have affordable, safe, accessible, stable housing through a racial justice approach.

Beginning to build the regional kitchen table through a lens of justice can offer ways to:

  • be in relationship with a more diverse set of stakeholders
  • grow the leadership of people with lived experiences
  • shift power dynamics in the way regional decisions are made on strategy and funding, 
  • center racial equity, 
  • stay accountable to those most affected by homelessness, and 
  • build the organizing efforts it will take to make structural changes at the city, county, and state levels that will be needed to end homelessness. 

This proposed action is at the foundation of building out the long-term housing justice agenda for the region; it offers guidance on building blocks to a regional kitchen table. Although the work of Proposed Action 1 is realistically a 3-5 year goal for the region, it will be critical for the community to take the first step in deciding to form the table by the end of 2021. This initial steps includes engaging critical stakeholders in the Fall of 2021 to better understand their interest, needs, and desires to create a different type of planning and decision-making table. This engagement should lead to a community decision on proceeding in 2022 to form the table and begin building out the strategies needed to address Proposed Actions 2 and 3.

The building blocks of a regional kitchen table outlined below are not meant to be sequential steps but a set of strategies that build off of each other and reinforce each other while creating the foundation needed to develop and implement a regional vision and goals.

Building Blocks
  1. Build the structure by using transformative organizing to bring together a diverse set of community stakeholders, help pivot decision-making and governance away from white dominant culture norms, and support the behavioral and structural changes needed to build regional kitchen table that can support the pursuit of Justice. 
  2. Staff the table to ensure the capacity to convene, hold the work, track the progress, and continually nurture the process.
  3. Develop shared values that ground the regional kitchen table in housing justice, starting with the 3 values developed through the Blueprint community engagement. 
  4. Set regional goals that address the prevention, crisis response, and affordable housing needs of the region through a race equity lens, while also addressing the quality of experience of people moving through the system.
  5. Implement accountability measures that not only track progress on goals but ensure that progress is being seen equitably across Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ communities.
  6. Grow the political will and strategy critical to making the structural changes to policies related to land use, zoning, crisis response, housing development, and other important policy areas effecting homelessness.

Race Equity is not just the absence of overt racial discrimination; it is also the presence of deliberate policies and practices that provide everyone with the support they need to improve the quality of their lives.

Using transformative organizing to build the structure will help to bring together a diverse set of community stakeholders, pivot decision-making and governance away from white dominant culture norms, and support the behavioral and structural changes needed to pursue housing justice.

A regional goal and vision rooted in justice demands a new table or structure that can support changes in individual, group, and system behaviors, the organizing of and engaging of a diverse set of stakeholders, and the power sharing and decision-making necessary to move forward housing justice in the region. Often when communities think about what it will take to make significant shifts across stakeholders toward a common goal, they will use the terms “building a table” or “setting a table” where people can come together and make decisions.

In many professionalized settings, or system-oriented settings, this table is imagined to be, and operationalized to be one that feels more like a table in a boardroom than one in a kitchen. A boardroom table is one where business is conducted; “professional” norms are adhered to, and boundaries are upheld between the personal and professional selves for attendees. Many of the current tables in the Twin Cities Metro Region, including the 3 Continuum of Care (CoC), the Regional Metro Council (RMC), and the Metro Area Housing Coordination Board are orientated in this way. A kitchen table offers something different; a place where whole people commune together, meet their basic needs and their social emotional ones, and sometimes make decisions together. Transformative organizing is more like the kitchen table. It is not only a way to bring one’s whole self into collaborative work, but it is a way to force that collaborative work into dismantling structural oppression. To move towards housing justice the Twin Cities Metro Region needs to establish a regional kitchen table

Creating this foundation will demand a new way of organizing and transformative organizing offers a framework for this new way forward. If the region moves forward with creating this new kitchen table it must remember that this type of organizing and foundation building is a long term goal. The goal of an initial launch by the start of 2022, if the community decides to proceed, should be seen as the preliminary table that can continue to grow in membership, decision-making, and activities over the course of the next 3-5 years. 

Because the region is made up of a variety of separate entities making decisions about both policies/rules and money the first step should be to conduct a series of one-on-one stakeholder meetings in the Fall of 2021, led by the Regional Advisory Group. The engagements can help in understanding the needs of the various stakeholder, their interest in creating a new table, and their willingness to shift power over time to a table led by people with lived experience. These one-on-one stakeholder meeting should include those in the stakeholder map, including the 3 CoCs, the seven county human services offices making up the RMC, lived experience groups including, the Regional Expert Network, Freedom from the Streets, Voices for Change, and SMAC Director’s Council, and the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness. After the Fall engagements, it will be critical for the community to make a decision by the end of the year to proceed in 2022 with a regional kitchen table in order to launch other major actions outlined in the Blueprint.

Transformative organizing is defined by its explicit intention to transform both those systems and the individuals engaged in those campaigns in an effort to win genuine liberation for all.

Steve Williams, Demanding Justice
Considerations on Behavior Changes and Structural Needs

Behavioral changes needed at the regional kitchen table

In order for Twin Cities Metro regionalization to be possible, the region will not only have to transform the kinds of people who are shoulder to shoulder planning, determining strategy, making decisions and implementing, but also the individuals in the region will have to transform themselves. So much so, that when the region thinks about who it is that will make justice a reality, it will have to understand that it is no longer someone else, but it is “us”. It is people experiencing housing instability and homelessness, it is people whose labor upholds the systems exacting harm. And as the region transforms the work together, the “us” are also transformed. See the resource section below for more information on what it means to transform the “us” around the kitchen table.

Transformative organizing offers not only a different way of doing things, but a different way of being while doing them. It means shifting away from the norms of white dominant culture, like power hoarding and comfort with predominantly white leadership, into authentic shared power and leadership of people who have experienced housing instability. In order for the Twin Cities Metro Region to achieve different results than prior efforts, the most recent example being the regional work on unsheltered homelessness, there has to be a shift in power. Power shifts in transformative organizing are rooted in democracy, meaning expertise comes from the power of people with different life experiences, skills and training, and decision-making processes have to accommodate the variance in the expertise. See the resource section below for more information on what it means to shift power and decision-making at a regional kitchen table through transformative organizing.

Structural needs of the regional kitchen table  

At the same time that the regional kitchen table is working to change who they are in movement together, they have to focus on key stakeholder participation and make decisions about whose buy-in is essential for moving forward. Decisions about housing and homelessness are currently occurring at many different levels and across a variety of stakeholders. One-on-one engagements led by the Regional Advisory Group, with stakeholders in Fall 2021 could help to address the below considerations in the short-term, while longer term membership and governance is addressed in 2022 if the community decides to proceed with the Regional Kitchen Table.

Stakeholder Considerations
More immediate decisions will need to be made on which key governmental and community stakeholders to consider including in the launch of the regional kitchen table and which can be brought in over the course of the next year as the kitchen table is built out.

More immediate stakeholders to consider include:

  • leadership members of the three CoC in the region, 
  • county human services officials, 
  • city human services officials that have direct allocation of city, state, or federal funds for homelessness and housing,  
  • prevention fund administrators, 
  • affordable and public housing developers and administrators, 
  • state office representatives like Department of Human Services (DHS) and Minnesota Housing, 
  • key lived experience groups, including the Regional Advisory Group for the Blueprint, the Regional Experts Network (REN), those with lived experience connected to the CoCs, and 
  • grassroots organizations, such as The Alliance, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) and Housing Justice Center.

Stakeholders that should be considered over the course of the next year include:

  • land use and zoning board representatives, 
  • elected officials (city and county), and 
  • organizing/advocacy groups, such as the City of Lakes and Rondo Community Land Trusts and INQUILINXS UNIDXS POR JUSTICIA

The regional kitchen table must have clear connections to existing stakeholder tables including the RMC and Metro Area Housing Coordination Board, the 3 CoC governing boards, the Met Council, and the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness (MICH). See the resource section below for more information on stakeholder considerations for the kitchen table.

Decision-making Considerations 

In order for actions to move forward across the region there needs to be a transparent and reliable decision-making process that includes people across the stakeholder groups outlined, as well as people with lived expertise of housing instability and homelessness. The process should formalize responsibilities, roles, structure/organizing, communication, accountability, and the types of decisions that are included and excluded from the process. The decision-making process should also be clear about the integrity and accountability to the values and relational needs of the collective, as discussed above and decided upon.

Staffing the table effectively will help to ensure the table’s capacity to convene, hold the complex work, track the progress in an way that is accountable to the community, and continually nurture the process.

The level of transformative planning and decision-making being proposed for the regional kitchen table will require an investment in the staffing structure of the table. A common pitfall in many communities is underinvesting in system planning and the staffing and support it takes to move to community-based strategy creation and implementation. Through the interviews and workshops in the region, it was clearly articulated that the various existing tables, including the RMC and Housing Coordination Board, are in need of staffing capacity to do deeper strategic planning, to truly collaborate with people with lived experiences, and to look beyond the current crisis. The success of the regional kitchen table will be deeply connected the ability to support a comprehensive staffing structure. This structure should include:

  • an investment in a transformative organizer
  • compensated positions for people with lived experiences
  • staffing capacity for key stakeholders
  • experts from outside the regional kitchen table, when needed
Staffing Considerations

Invest in a transformative organizer

A table that is structured differently will also need an organizer that is trained to facilitate and partner differently. The region should consider looking to community organizers working within and outside of the homelessness field, one that can offer support in reorienting the key stockholders to a new way of showing up to the table and an new way of acting while around the table. The organizer should have lived experience of homelessness.

Center people with lived experience is the staffing structure

The staffing structure should center people with lived experience, both in the choosing of the organizer and in the broader staffing structure to ensure it is truly led by people with lived experience. This should include budgeting for people with lived experiences to be on workgroup and leadership bodies and for people with lived experiences to take leadership roles that will require more hours beyond participating in meetings. There are several established group of experts with lived experience in the region, including the Regional Advisory Group, the Regional Expert Network, and SMAC’s Director’s Council, that should help to develop these positions and potentially fill the positions.

Offer staff capacity to key stakeholders to engage in the table

Partnering stakeholders such as county and city human service offices, state agencies, providers, and community-based organizations often have little to no budget to support their staff in participating in system planning. Public and private funders in the region will need to develop strategies to support the capacity to participate which may include, operations budget support or embedding staff positions across key stakeholder.

Utilize experts when needed

It will be critical for the regional kitchen table to be organized and led by local leaders and experts. Those leaders and experts should have a clear process for identifying when expert support is needed from outside of the stakeholder participating a the table and local funders should have a clear process for supporting experts to come in for defined sets of work outlined by the regional kitchen table. This process should be led by the leadership of the table and not any single funder to ensure that experts being brought in are being done so under the decision-making structure of the table.

Developing a set of shared values will ground the regional kitchen table in housing justice, starting with the 3 values developed through the Blueprint community engagement.

Any structure or “table” that moves the region toward justice must be rooted in a set of shared values. In order to meaningfully establish shared values across the regional kitchen table, a process must be facilitated in which all values are respected and meaningfully assessed, and integrated into the regionalization process. Ongoing assessment of the regionalization process should not only measure success by quantitative goal setting, but also by evaluating performance against the established values of the decision-making at the kitchen table. While the established values need to be looked at as a meaningful metric of the project’s success, they should also be able to be reassessed and revised on a continuous basis. These shared values can be used to develop a regional vision. Through the Blueprint community engagement process, a set of shared values were established by over 150 workshop participants. These values could be further explored in the one-on-one engagements with stockholders in the fall of 2021 launch until longer-term membership and governance is established over the course of the 2022, whereupon more comprehensive values can be adopted and a vision statement drafted. These values can also be integrated into the way the initial membership of the regional kitchen table performs the system modeling and investment planning in proposed action 2. See the resource section for examples of regional efforts around the country and their values and vision statements.

Shared Values from Community Workshops

Center BIPOC, LGBTQ, and people experiencing homelessness in the regional vision and decision-making

Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) communities most affected by homelessness and housing insecurity must be at the center of the regional kitchen table’s decision-making. This means creating an environment in which members of these communities are comfortable and empowered enough to meaningfully collaborate, starting with open, honest conversation about needs and interests. If and when values are shared that differ from those shared by groups who have existing decision-making power, thoughts offered up by members of these communities need to be held in equal or greater regard. The entire regionalization process must be able to be meaningfully led by the contributions of these groups.

Moving away from scarcity and crisis decision-making to abundance and housing justice

As a part of the value-setting process, the regional kitchen table must establish a holistic approach to building housing justice, recognizing that it must encompass consideration of not only crisis response, but thorough plans for prevention and affordable housing throughout the region. Robust political will must be fostered to not only respond to the unsheltered crisis, but to the factors that prevent it and those that can sustain an end to it. As more resources are coming available from federal stimulus bills, state budgets, and private investments, it is critical to begin shifting away from making decisions on funding and priorities based on an extreme scarcity of resources and start looking at the new and existing resources more collectively to make more strategic decisions from a mindset of abundance.

Starting to dismantle the structural racism rooted in the creation and access of housing and services that leads to an urban/suburban divide

A system-wide familiarity with the history of racist housing practices locally and nationally, such as redlining, restrictive covenants, and segregation, must be established in order to meaningfully begin to dismantle and reverse its decades-long effects. Even now, a form of modern-day redlining contributes to Black and Indigenous people being essentially locked out of certain areas of the region due to the disproportionate amount of Black and Indigenous people experiencing homelessness and attempting to navigate services. As outlined in the system audit, Black and Indigenous people make up less than 15% of the Twin Cities’ population but account for 65% of all people experiencing homelessness – that inequality is the direct product of policies designed to produce such outcomes. Measurable and sustainable commitments must be made to dismantle the urban and suburban divide in how resources are accessed, starting by centering the input of those affected by these practices.

Setting regional goals will help address the prevention, crisis response, and affordable housing needs of the region through a race equity lens, while also addressing the quality of experience of people moving through the system.

The regional kitchen table must also be organized around a set of clearly defined regional goals. Ones that encompass all aspects of housing justice – prevention, crisis response, affordable housing, and that are connected to the set of shared values discussed above. These goals need to be broad reaching, long-term goals that can be broken into immediate and medium term goals/benchmarks as the region moves towards housing justice.

Strategies contained in Proposed Action 2 and 3 are examples of how to establish some of those immediate and medium term goals that can help move towards the larger goals that must be set, implemented, and held accountable by the table being formed. For example, regional system modeling outlined in Proposed Action 2 will help to establish more immediate goals on the types and amounts of housing needed in the region and can help to build towards the longer term regional goals on housing. The regional kitchen table can begin working on the more immediate goal setting in the regional system model at the start of 2022 while working through the building blocks outlined in this section that can lead to the establishment of more comprehensive, longer-term goals on housing justice in the first year of the Regional Kitchen Table.

Considerations for Setting Regional Goals

Set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based

The regional kitchen table will need to establish goals as specific as possible to ensure both effective planning and effective measurement. The table will need to ensure these goals are reasonably accomplished within a given timeframe, though hold the plan with enough flexibility to allow for the complications that can come with huge system changes. A concerted and cooperative effort to ensure that regional goals being set are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based will be foundational to the table’s success.

Create a timeline

The regional kitchen table will need to set a timeline that is both reasonable and ambitious, tracking progress against the collectively agreed upon timeline. A process must also be in place to meaningfully prioritize tasks and establish timelines for each component of the plan. Ownership of each task must be established and continuously assessed, and members of the regional table must hold each other and the community accountable to the established timelines. 

Measure and track progress against established values

Accountability mechanisms must be in place not only to track progress against measurable, time-based goals, but against the values established by the regional kitchen table. An assessment by the regional kitchen table on whether or not progress is embodying the set values will have to be thorough, intentional, and ongoing.

Implementing transparent accountability measures will help track progress on goals and ensure that progress is being seen equitably across Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ communities.

Instituting a robust accountability system within the regional kitchen table will be essential to building a comprehensive regional vision and goals. After measurable goals are created, a system must be in place to track those goals. Progress must be continuously assessed by everyone at the table, starting with measuring achievement of goals against the initial values set by BIPOC and LGBTQ communities most affected by homelessness. This assessment must happen with input from the entire leadership team, and progress must be shared openly. The first attempt at accountability can be connected to the system modeling and investment planning strategy for the region that will be outlined in Proposed Action 2; helping to ensure that the recommendations of the modeling group are implemented. Longer term accountability measures can be developed over the coming year with the formation of the regional kitchen table.

Considerations for Moving to Transparent Accountability

Consider and pivot away from white dominate norms

In order to authentically track progress, an accountability process must be built that is inclusive of consideration of white dominant culture norms. Racial equity trainers define white dominant culture norms as “the explicit to subtle ways that the norms, preferences and fears of white European descended people overwhelmingly shape how we organize our work and institutions,  see ourselves and others, interact with one another and with time, and make decisions.” Attention to countering these norms is particularly essential in an accountability process, where people’s visions for a transformed future are on the table, and the internal functioning of that decision-making table can heavily influence the project as a whole.

Some relevant norms to track might include:

  • Power hoarding to power sharing
  • Either/or thinking to systems and complexity thinking
  • Fear of open conflict to direct and constructive feedback
  • Progress is bigger, more to progress is sustainability and quality
  • Rushed priorities and timelines to priorities and timelines set for sustainability and equity

Build out specific accountability mechanisms for individuals, the regional kitchen table, and for those with the power to implement the goals, including elected officials and government offices

Specific accountability mechanisms must be in place for each holder of a given goal – meaning that an open line of communication must be held at the CoC, county government, state office, and local organizing levels to track follow through on recommendations. Living into the values and practices needed to advance regionalization will require an approach to accountability that addresses and transforms individual, interpersonal and institutional bias. It is important to note here that taking action on addressing racist structures, policies and behaviors cannot wait for (predominantly white) individuals to do their individual work to understand internalized privilege and bias. Accountability on both the individual and institutional levels will be foundational to establishing an equitable, meaningful planning process.

An example of building these accountability measures for the system modeling and investment planning in Proposed Action 2 may include:

  • Creating a leadership team and decision-making process for the modeling and investment planning that centers people with lived experience, with feedback loops to ensure true decision-making power
  • Creating a clear process for review of recommendations by the 3 CoCs and the city, county, and state administrators of CoC, Emergency Solutions Grants, HOME, and state funds in the region to report back on the adoption or rejection of investment recommendations by those with the authority over the funding sources

Growing the political will and strategy on housing justice is critical to making the structural changes to policies related to land use, zoning, crisis response, housing development, and other critical areas.

The regional kitchen table will need to play a key role in building the political will and strategy to move the regional vision and should consider the following steps in buffing the political will and strategy. The first and most important step to address the structural barriers to address housing justice is to be clear about what the structural barriers are. Once the barriers are clear, the next step is to make the connections to the people and processes that govern and enforce those barriers. The third step is to develop the strategy and tactics needed to move people, policies and practice.

Way to take Action on the 3 Steps

Identify structural barriers to housing justice

It is helpful to think about what the categories of barriers are that keep the current structures in place. The categories elevated here are policies, practices, political/electoral drivers, and behavioral norms. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but a way to start thinking through each of the elements that present barriers. Examples of policy barriers include zoning and land use restrictions, targeted funding streams that limit use, and eroded tenancy rights. Examples of political and electoral barriers include timing of decisions needing to be made competing with an election cycle, regular turnover of political leadership. Examples of behavioral norms include meeting culture; underdeveloped capacity to be in conflict about ideas, particularly for white people in ideas/conversations pertaining to race; and discomfort with varied types of expertise (e.g. lived expertise versus scholarship versus job-developed expertise).

Conduct a political power mapping exercise to understand who (people) and how (processes) decisions are made regarding the barriers

There are many tools available to conduct a power analysis that maps key people and processes, and their relationships to influence and their proximity to support for housing justice, and your vision, values, and goals. See the resources section below for examples.

Develop the strategy and tactics needed to move people, policies and practice

In order to make progress against the barriers outlined, the region needs to develop both strategy and tactics that will begin shifts toward housing justice. These strategies and corresponding tactics will have to take into account the political realities of the region and have a plan of action to shift elected officials where it is not possible to move. Strategy and tactics will likely need to include: 

  • Considering different audiences and partners and how they need particular tactics (i.e. general public vs. knowledgeable stakeholders.)
  • Considering your communications content (message) and the process needed to reinforce the narrative you are trying to shift
  • Creating a targeted strategy that is political/electoral in nature, or determining alliances with similar strategies that may already exist.  Based on power mapping, determine which current elected officials are onboard, which are movable and which are not, and respond accordingly. Do this in regular cycles to catch political shifts in the short term; and work to move the voter base in the long term

Strategy 1: Use transformative organizing to build the structure
More information on what it means to transform the “us” around the kitchen table

As the region moves toward creating a kitchen table, the values of the collective, centered on BIPOC and LGBTQ thriving lives, must tangibly be the organizing foundation for every conversation; they must become a collective part of the air that the people sitting around the table breathe. To do so means valuing humanity of one another, quite literally in the ways you create and share physical space with one another (especially in a post-COVID-19 environment) but also in a virtual gathering environment, where agreements and intentions are a foundational part of collective work. It means, consistently and actively working to set an environment where each of“us” can be in right relationship with one another. It means, actions that build trust are essential. When system actors join people with lived experience (“members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation”) the danger is the recreation of the cycle of oppression, unless there is active work to transform selves in a way that also builds trust. 

They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust

Paulo Freire- Pedagogy of the Oppressed
More information on what it means to shift power and decision-making at regional kitchen table through transformative organizing

Shifting power and decision-making also means that those around the table can’t cling to the way they think something ought to be. Participatory decision-making and true shared power means being willing to move as ideas and new information moves, so long as it’s consistent with the values the table has set together.  It also means seeking a shift in the way the table thinks about who is a part of “the work” from you/them to us/we. Not waiting for someone else (or expecting some other group) to come up with the ideas and push the change; it is seeing “myself” as an activator of the change.

Systems have a tendency to protect what is already there, the work done to date, the structures that already exist, or settling for what is practical versus what is just. Sometimes it is that people working within the systems have malicious intent, but not always.  The systems are doing what they are designed to do.

Perhaps the greatest danger to the transformative organization attempting to find the revolutionary edge of reform fights is dressing a reformist fight in revolutionary rhetoric

Steve Williams
More information on stakeholder considerations for the kitchen table

Stakeholder roles at the kitchen table 

It is important to consider who key people (personalities) are, but also what key roles are, and the identities that the people in the roles hold, particularly leadership roles. There should be a preference for participation from BIPOC people and people with lived experiences. And the structure must hold room for current participation with active dissonance toward the goals while moving a process along that can shift into new representation aligned with the behavioral considerations in the Blueprint.  

Stakeholders with lived experiences at the kitchen table

In addition, the current group of people who have been advisors to the development of this Blueprint should shift into a more formal role as decision-makers on the actions outlined within the blueprint. This will mean ensuring that the advisory body is adequately paid for their work and supported in their preparation and involvement in decision making. As their formalization continues, this may require a process in which they make decisions on their own governance, decision-making, leadership, and role in the regionalization process. It may also mean tracking that the group is representative of the other lived experience groups and community organizers discussed in the Blueprint.

Kitchen Table’s connection to existing stakeholder tables

There should be clear delineation of responsibilities, power, and authority among the tables to ensure that they are supportive of each other’s work, building off of each other’s work, and all aligned toward Housing Justice. There will naturally be overlap in membership and representation, but there should be consistent efforts to make sure membership overlap continues with key stakeholder tables, building continued pathways and feedback loops.

Strategy 3: Develop Shared Values

More information on regional efforts around the county that created mission/vision statements based off shared values

Seattle/King County RHA
Our mission is to significantly decrease the incidence of homelessness throughout King County, using equity and social justice principles.

Our theory of change: If we create a homelessness response system that centers customer voice (the voices of those who have lived experience of homelessness), then we will be able to focus on responding to needs and eliminating inequities, in order to end homelessness for all.

Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)

Mission Statement
The Atlanta Regional Commission advances the national and international standing of the region by leveraging the uniqueness of its evolving communities, anticipating and responding to current realities and driving a data-driven planning process that provides a high quality of life, balancing social, economic and environmental needs of all our communities.

Vision Statement
The Atlanta Regional Commission employs shared foresight, expert staff, the ability to convene diverse communities and its reputation as a regional and national leader in order to support local governments. This, in turn, enhances the lives of all our citizens by providing world-class infrastructure, builds a competitive economy and shapes a regional ecosystem of healthy and livable communities.

Value Statement

  • Regional Leadership: We build and foster regional leadership to address and act on critical challenges and opportunities.
  • Creative Solutions: We anticipate challenges and develop creative, holistic solutions based on professional knowledge and shared foresight, community engagement and collaboration with our partners.
  • Public Service: We are accountable to our stakeholders, try to exceed their expectations and exhibit the highest standard of ethical conduct.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

Core Values

    • We are passionate about serving the people of metropolitan Chicago. We build public trust by being good stewards of public resources and proactively sharing information.
    • We are guided by the principle that everyone has a right to opportunity and a high quality of life. We work to realize equity for all.
    • We believe inclusion and collaboration strengthens our work. We seek out the voices of those who often go unheard or face barriers to public participation.
    • We lead on issues that advance the region. We believe in the power of data and the story it tells. We identify and share solutions and inspire others to adapt them for their communities.
    • We are driven by the desire to find more efficient methods to achieve the most impact. We do this by seeking new solutions to old problems, taking calculated risks, and daring to try them.