Sporadic reflections from the front lines serving single adults experiencing homelessness, COVID-endemic mode, wondering about Monkeypox, Phoenix Monsoon Summer, disrupting systems and living up to the legacy of a champion. It's been 22 days since my last post and 37 weeks since losing my sense of smell. More phantom smells pop up, like something is burning; and I'm pretty sure the scent of dog feces was real... so yes, nothing super pleasant is returning to my olfactory system.

In the last week of July, I was privileged to attend the National Alliance to End Homelessness conference in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of others from around the country. A group of 20+ people from Arizona attended. The return to an in-person conference was re-energizing. Key take aways, centering the voice of lived experience is critical and more than trendy, it's necessary. And it takes a twist of skill for leaders and managers. Listening, really listening without judgment or continual questioning can be challenging. And listen we must. Then we must turn what we hear into application of our service delivery systems and design of shelter and housing. We have to put trust into those who have so much to teach us. We also must center race equity in all of our conversations, planning, design, service delivery, and advocacy. There is no ignoring that people of color are over-represented in the population of people who experience homelessness. And, as someone who has attended this conference many, many times, I am now one of the older attendees, and it was uplifting to see the new faces, the younger faces, to listen to their questions and comments. I'm not ready to be replaced, and I see a future of leaders and changemakers, disrupters, and systems builders that are ready to put an end to homelessness. [Read More...]