September 30, 2022

September 2022 HSA Summary

September 2022 Meeting Summary and Network Next Steps

The Housing Stability Alliance (HSA) gathered virtually on September 9, 2022. Goals for the 74 members and guests in attendance were 1) to gain clarity on the goals and direction of the Alliance, 2) to see how they can begin or continue to make meaningful contributions, and 3) to sign up for an action team. Housing Kent facilitated the meeting as the backbone organization for the collective impact work.

President Eureka People opened the meeting with a review of our shared vision – that every person in Kent County should be stably housed or better. In order to ensure that, the HSA will focus on increasing affordable housing, dissolving homelessness, and eliminating the extreme racial disparities in the housing system. Eureka also identified some specific and measurable goals tied to those objectives and described the Path to Housing Stability, with its distinct stages across the housing continuum from no housing to housed by choice.

The floor was then turned over to Courtney Myers-Keaton, with Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness (CoC), and Ryan Kilpatrick, with Housing Next and the DeVos Family Foundation. Courtney and Ryan explained the current state, went over agreed-on Success Measures, and described the new structure of the HSA which includes a Leadership Council, those with lived experience, systems conveners, and action teams. They emphasized the commitment to at least 40% people of color and people with lived experience in decision-making capacities on the Leadership Council. The membership of the HSA was asked to sign up for an Align & Design Action Team or for a Task Force. These teams will be small communities of practice and will recommend strategies and solutions for the HSA’s consideration. This section closed with a Timeline, showing Planning and Design finishing by the end of 2022 and Implementation taking us through 2023.

Align and Design Teams
• Data
• Community Engagement
• Policy & Advocacy
• Communications

Task Forces
• Project Planning & Prioritization
•  Eviction Prevention

Neil Carlson, PhD, of DataWise Consulting, then shared a jarring set of data showing the inequity in homeownership, in which Kent County ranks very near the bottom in the United States. The group discussed the reasons for and meaning of the data and asked lots of questions. The impact on our black and brown citizens is apparent and disheartening but the group remains committed to addressing it.

Small Group Sessions

In small group sessions, discussions were held on where the energy is, from among the themes of Advocacy & Policy, Investment & Sustainability, Collaborative Action, Evidence-Based Decision-Making, and Program Development. They were also asked how they would prioritize these areas.

A second small-group session then focused on what they felt sounded promising and where they still needed clarification or saw potential problems.

Next steps

At the conclusion of the presentation, members were asked to sign up for one of the Align and Design Teams or for a Task Force (listed above). We recommend members review the Common Agenda and Roadmap to refresh readiness and motivation. And please invite others – the network works for all of Kent County and we need to represent it fully.

Meanwhile, Housing Kent will coordinate and facilitate teams, will monitor and document solutions, and keep listening to your input and ideas.

Housing our community is the responsibility of all of us. It will take all of us working together to improve the housing system in Kent County. Please consider joining us to help build this coalition to make Kent County a model for a fair and stably housed community. We’re glad you’re with us. Thank you!