The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), a coalition of members and communities throughout the state that creates change through leadership, advocacy, and building the capacity of members and the field to respond to environmental challenges, seeks nominations and applications for its next Executive Director.
Founded in 1982 as a membership organization by staff and volunteers of homeless shelters in response to increasing homelessness, CCEH has grown into a multi-pronged operation that represents the voice of the homeless assistance frontline; advocates for resources, policies, and public support to end homelessness; offers training and support to help providers implement best practices; and leads statewide data collection and analysis to enhance efforts to end homelessness. The overarching mission is to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. In executing this work, CCEH works closely with the Partnership for Strong Communities and other stakeholders engaged in Connecticut’s statewide coordinated campaign to end homelessness, Reaching Home.
This is an exciting opportunity to lead an organization now representing more than 75 members – emergency shelter providers, housing providers, community and business leaders, and strategic partners – who share the goal of ending homelessness.
Reporting to an 14-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead the organization in its mission to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. The Executive Director will set the strategic direction of the organization, in support of members and all frontline providers of homeless services in Connecticut, and to advance the continued evolution of the Connecticut homelessness response system.
The Executive Director will be an inclusive, adaptive leader with a breadth and depth of experience in human services and homelessness across a range of issues in the sector. The search committee is being assisted by Tamar Datan and Nureen Das of NPAG. Please see application instructions at the end of this document.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
As a membership organization founded by staff and volunteers of homeless shelters in response to increasing homelessness in Connecticut, CCEH is committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the state.
During the 1980’s, dramatic cuts to federal assistance programs combined with stagnant wages and rising housing costs sent many into homelessness. By this time, deinstitutionalization from mental health hospitals also led to an influx of individuals with special needs into homelessness, resulting in community supports that were insufficient for meeting demands.
Increasing homelessness drove shelter workers together to form CCEH to fight for services for those in need, and most importantly, to promote affordable housing. In 1983, this advocacy resulted in the first public funding for homeless shelters. The State of Connecticut continues to provide critically needed funding to help support emergency shelters across the state, and has recently achieved major milestones in the fight to end homelessness, including ending chronic homelessness, providing coordinated access, as well as rapid rehousing services.
Working in a shared effort with members, colleague advocacy organizations, philanthropy, as well as state and federal government partners, CCEH works to end homelessness. Activities have included:
Creating and managing the be homeful campaignto end family homelessness through its partnership with Paddington Bear.
Coordination and support of statewide advocacy efforts to secure the resources and policies needed to end homelessness.
Education of elected officials and members of the public on the problem of homelessness and approaches to solve it.
Co-design and support for the implementation of Coordinated Access Networks across the stateto homelessness resources in communities across the state.
Supporting shelters, housing and services programs via education, training, technical assistance and networking opportunities (including regular training programs utilizing national experts, and the organization of the Annual Training Institute, attended by more than 350 community leaders, providers and activists).
Providing support to communities through the CCEH Community Impact Team to enhance collaboration and improve local systems.
Leading efforts to expand resources and enhance statewide capacities for Shelter Diversion and Rapid Rehousing.
Leading and managing the federally-mandated statewide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS),and providing analysis of data to improve performance.
Leading the statewide Point-in-Time Count, a HUD-mandated annual census of homelessness.
PROGRAM INITIATIVES HIGHLIGHTS
CCEH works to prevent and end homelessness statewide through the following five main areas of work:
Research and Analysis
CCEH is Connecticut’s source for current, comprehensive research and analysis on homelessness, and manages the statewide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) which also includes shelter data management, research and analysis, and the development of dash boards that provide on-going real time data on multiple aspects of homelessness.
CCEH also leads the annual “Point-in-Time Count,” a statewide one-night snapshot of homelessness, and manages the volunteer training, mapping, data management and statewide report related to this initiative.
Advocacy and Strategic Communications
CCEH provides a voice for homeless service providers in Hartford, across Connecticut and in Washington, working to educate the public and policy makers on the problem, the solutions, and the resources needed to end homelessness.
CCEH provides grassroots organizing and technical assistance for Community Plans to End Homelessness. It helps providers and community stakeholders work together – more effectively and efficiently – to end homelessness through embracing best practices and working as a team.
Training, Technical Assistance, and Leadership Development
CCEH supports service providers with education, training, and networking opportunities. It provides best-practices guidance, and helps providers implement the most effective approaches to use scarce resources to end homelessness.
CCEH acts as an administrator for emergency funds for situations such as the Puerto Rican Hurricane disaster, providing funding for short term housing to prevent homelessness among those who fled the island. CCEH also provides diversion funding for the newly awarded HUD Youth Demonstration Project.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CCEH works closely with other statewide advocacy organizations focused on housing and homelessness through the Connecticut Reaching Home Campaign (including but not limited to the Partnership for Strong Communities, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Connecticut Housing Coalition, and others), with state and federal government agencies involved in the effort to end homelessness, and with providers of homeless services and the community teams (Coordinated Access Networks) through which they work. Central goals are to facilitate the optimization of available resources while seeking to secure the new resources needed to: prevent homelessness when possible; ensure safe and appropriate shelter is available for those who need it; and expedite exits from homelessness to housing – making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.
The Executive Director is accountable for the overall leadership, direction and management of CCEH’s staff and resources to accomplish the goals and mission of the organization. The Executive Director should have experience in financial management, community relations, program delivery, organizational development, strategic planning, advocacy, fundraising, and experience using data to strengthen both practice and systems. The Executive Director must have empowering leadership skills to work with staff, Coalition members and partners, Board of Directors, funders, and community stakeholders. The Executive Director exemplifies CCEH’s commitment to ending homelessness, and nurtures its organizational culture by supporting a learning culture, and engaging staff, Board members, membership, constituents with lived experience, government, and funders.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Vision and Leadership
Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will set a vision for organizational development and oversee systems, structures, and internal policies to support the highest level of quality and effectiveness. The Executive Director will develop collaborative relationships with the Board of Directors, provide proactive communications and support Board committees. S/he will work with the Board President and Executive Committee to staff committees as needed, and to assure proper fiscal and program oversight. In addition to this s/he will monitor the external environment for significant changes that will impact the Coalition and its work, and will inform the President and the Board of the current condition of the Coalition, alerting them to opportunities, challenges, or problems.
Finance and Administration
The Executive Director will: oversee a budget of approximately $3.3M; work with the Finance Director to establish and maintain sound financial and organizational management policies; and oversee the financial health of the organization. S/he will review financial reports prepared by the Finance Director and meet regularly with the Finance Committee to discuss reports and other matters related to the financial status and prospects of the organization. The Executive Director will work with the Finance Director in preparing for, reviewing and presenting to the Board the annual audit and 990.
CCEH provides a significant service to the State of Connecticut by administering the comprehensive HMIS database, a vital service to all the agencies that provide homelessness services. The Executive Director will provide guidance and direction to ensure the continued integrity and value of this vital system; involve and engage stakeholders in the development and enhancement of the system; work to ensure a well-functioning system that provides data that is timely, relevant, and trustworthy; and focus on additional, outward facing data dashboards to empower communities by giving them easily digestible, real time access to their data.
Resource Development and Fundraising
The Executive Director will effectively represent CCEH’s mission and will be expected to develop, nurture and expand mutually beneficial relationships across a variety of constituencies that provide long-term benefits for the organization. S/he will work with the Development Director to manage the resource development plan and fundraising efforts, and will lead initiatives to build enhanced corporate and individual donor giving. In addition to this, the Executive Director will support the Development Director in identifying and expanding new grant and foundation opportunities.
Personnel and Operations Management
The Executive Director will exemplify and nurture a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture that first and foremost values and supports the programs in ensuring excellence to meet the goals of CCEH. S/he will be a natural mentor and coach, building a culture in which team members feel valued, recognize pathways for growth, and are rewarded, retained, and developed as individual contributors. The Executive Director will determine staffing requirements and will oversee hiring, supervision, evaluation, termination, and setting of compensation and benefits, in addition to enabling staff to develop managerial skills for their areas of responsibility while promoting a culture of innovation and collaboration. S/he will demonstrate a commitment to diversity, and will recognize the value of hiring people reflective of the population served. The Executive Director will also promote clear and transparent personnel practices and will identify training and development opportunities for self and staff.
Community Collaboration and Movement Building
The Executive Director will effectively represent CCEH’s mission and advocacy goals at the state and federal level, articulating key messaging, building bridges to diverse constituencies, and reflecting the shared goals of its members. S/he will work to drive a meaningful advocacy agenda that reflects a keen ability to keep abreast of emerging issues that have significant impact for the sector, both regionally and nationally. S/he will work closely with Coalition members, key statewide advocacy partners, homeless and formerly homeless constituents, government officials and agencies, the media, and elected and community leaders.
The Executive Director will ensure that CCEH consistently promotes and advances its mission and will build relationships with new partners and forge innovative strategic collaborations.
Strategic Communications and Public Relations
As chief spokesperson, the Executive Director will navigate, negotiate and maintain meaningful relationships with a diverse network of stakeholders, and will represent the Coalition before the media, government, and others. S/he will ensure a strong presence for CCEH in state, local and national politics, and provide direction for the advocacy efforts of Coalition members, in tandem with Reaching Home partners. The Executive Director will oversee CCEH communications with members and others who provide services to people experiencing homelessness.
QUALIFICATIONS AND ATTRIBUTES OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The successful candidate will be an innovative, seasoned, and agile leader who possesses both the vision to inspire and the skills to lead an organization lead into the future. With a demonstrated commitment to CCEH’s mission to end homelessness, the new Executive Director will be a confident, transparent, collaborative and accessible leader. Moreover, the Executive Director will demonstrate the ability to protect, secure and expand funding, while operating with integrity and sound judgment.
While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
Ten years’ experience in social services, or related field, preferred;
Experience in social and human services or relevant non-profit management experience highly desired, including supervising, evaluating and inspiring staff, with a demonstrated commitment to economic and social justice;
Demonstrated leadership in a complex, dynamic organization including fiscal oversight and budget development experience, revenue development, and fundraising experience; the ability to lead complex organizations through periods of growth and change, requiring creative and innovative solutions to complex challenges;
Demonstrated success in convening and engaging a diverse group of stakeholders, furthering efforts to build inclusive dialogue that advances equity and honors a range of perspectives and viewpoints within the sector.
Proven track record in executing a strategic plan and moving it from concept to implementation.
An illustrated understanding of sound board governance, gained from direct experience working with professional boards or through active board involvement.
Maturity and wisdom to engage and leverage a board’s diverse knowledge and expertise to hone the organization’s strategic direction.
Capacity to manage data systems.
Exceptional written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills with a high emotional IQ; Ability to understand, translate and adapt content for a variety of audiences.
A management style that embodies respect, transparency, teamwork and accountability.
Flexibility, humility and a sense of humor with the ability to share credit and spotlight others’
Exceptional personal initiative and follow-through required to meet aggressive goals, including supporting and motivating staff and volunteers in attaining those goals.
A commitment to the professional development of staff at every level within the organization.
Unquestionable ethics, honesty and integrity in professional, business and personal dealings with a positive “can do”
Ability to provide calm, approachable leadership and direction under all circumstances.
An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, patience, and perseverance necessary to advance efforts to ensure underserved populations have greater access to services.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format) and where you learned of the position should be submitted to: CCEH-CEO@nonprofitprofessionals.com
CCEH is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to diversity in its workforce.
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