A Note from Our Intern Stephanie!

written by naehblog
August 25, 2010

Today’s blog post comes Stephanie Wege, a Capacity Building intern this summer at the Alliance, talking about her work in the Center for Capacity Building.

Interning at the Alliance this summer has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned about the Center for Capacity Building and the tools that it has to offer communities near and far. The Center for Capacity Building not only provides leadership in instruction, but also encourages and fosters collaboration nationwide. Working with them has enabled me to understand the complexity of homelessness.

This summer I have gained insight into the function of technical assistance and training projects. They provide a valuable link between legislation and the activities of homeless service providers. As I’ve learned from various survey assessments that I’ve conducted this summer, providers are often confused by the language of the legislation, inhibiting their ability to enact necessary changes. However, even if the language is clear in some instances, many homelessness assistance systems are not endowed with the staff and finances necessary to permit required changes. There is an overwhelming need, according to the HPRP Implementation Survey, for tools that will help communities to overcome these barriers.

In light of assessments like these, the Capacity Building team has put into action tools that will hasten the implementation of HPRP measures. I assisted the Center for Capacity Building in formulating anEnding Homelessness 101 Web-based training to outline essential steps to ending homelessness as a resource for communities.

The Capacity Building team is also launching a training series that will inform communities about HEARTH features and stimulate integration of HEARTH principles into system design and data management.

Another important element of the Center for Capacity Building’s work that I’ve been able to experience is education — namely peer-to-peer learning. Each homelessness assistance system is unique and has its own story. Communities across the nation can benefit from these shared stories and strategies. One example is the rural case study highlighting the experiences in West Virginia that I was able to help with this summer. Once in circulation, this presentation will enable other rural communities to find common ground and expertise needed to move forward.

As I mentioned above, the Center for Capacity Building provides online training resources on various topics related to ending homelessness with both audio and text components. Recently, the CAP team undertook a survey assessment to evaluate the viability of the online trainings. In an effort to improve the quality, content, and effectiveness of our online trainings, we have designed a survey to elicit feedback from users in regard to the trainings’ design, applicability, and future topics. If you have consulted our online training resources, we would appreciate your feedback via this survey and will use it to further improve our online training resources.

As my internship comes to a close, I am grateful to have been exposed to such a wealth of material and practices, and I know that as I continue forward I will be able to take my experiences here and apply them in future. Thank you again to everyone at the Alliance!