Field Notes: Introducing the System Design Clinic

written by Anna Blasco
August 7, 2014

We’ve heard from a number of Continuum of Care (CoC) leaders recently that they are feeling very overwhelmed. Clearly, the days when being a part of the CoC leadership simply meant filling out an annual application for funding from HUD are over. Today, CoC leaders are now taking on a number of huge tasks, including setting and monitoring performance targets, creating and operating a coordinated assessment, and establishing community-wide eligibility and prioritization standards.

The Alliance’s Center for Capacity Building created the System Design Clinic to help CoC leaders wrap their arms around some of these huge responsibilities. So far, we’ve conducted five System Design Clinics with 14 CoCs in Virginia, and we’ve learned quite a bit about what CoCs are challenged with and what they need to move forward.

The goal of the System Design Clinic is to help your community move from a collection of individual programs that address homelessness to a crisis response system that makes strategic, data driven decisions. During the clinic, communities develop action plans for becoming a high-functioning crisis response system. Attendees receive hands-on assistance analyzing and interpreting their data through the Homeless System Evaluator and the Qualitative Assessment Tools. Communities also receive three months of follow-up support to aid in implementing improvement plans. 

To learn more about Clinic, click here, or email us at