After spending the last 2 weeks at conferences, my head is just spinning with so much information. I wanted to write a few articles about all I had learned and didn’t know where to start. Then my boss asked 1 simple question, “What was your biggest takeaway?” Simple question, but it helped me boil it down. The biggest takeaway was that there needs to be a coordinated system in place. The cool thing is in our area, we get to work on the big picture systems.
What was an even bigger takeaway at that moment was how fortunate I am to be able to work on this in the Central Florida community with my colleagues and with so many top leaders and others. We can end homelessness (make it rare, brief, and one time) but it will take the proverbial village.
Change is hard and the methodology used nationally to reduce homelessness is foreign to us in CFL, but we have many of the key components in place. I am excited for the future.
So as I think of all the takeaways, I know I will be putting my thoughts down and the thoughts and best practices of others in order to share what I have learned so we can continue building the systems.
So much for resolutions.
I realize I have not written in awhile. New job, new commitments, new excuses.
Forming new habits is easier said than done. It requires a certain amount of discipline, but it also needs to be a priority. For me writing is a release of information from my brain, but it is not always a priority. I am actually ok with that. I don’t have a need to write daily, just to write when I have something to say.
This year has been a year of change for me. Having a new job means learning new things. In some ways it means changing my thought processes and even what I thought was the right way to do something. For some of my writing I need to change my simple style of writing the way I speak and think, to elaborating and adding details for others to see the big picture. I even have to change the way I look at things to see more from other’s point of view.
The cool thing about expanding the way I think and see the world is that the world is becoming more colorful and a bigger place. It is easy to become cynical when not everyone agrees with you, or you can step up to the challenge of changing their minds or changing yours.
Right now I am coming off of an exhilarating day of listening to experts from all over the country speak about domestic violence and homelessness solutions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As they concluded a 5 year investment into some of their local programs, I was able to hear the stories of how communities changed the way they were doing business and saw amazing results for survivors of domestic violence.
In just over a month, I have changed the way I think about homeless solutions, collaboration, and even community. The cool thing is after seeing what I have seen in Washington (the State), I know that change is possible in my community too.
This is a year of change. I am looking forward to seeing lives changed because of the good work of the organization I work for and others in the community as we work on ending homelessness.
Opening our minds to change can be good.
It has been for me.