Beginning in October 2018, the Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs will convene three thematic working groups designed to provide faith-based practitioners space to develop the collective capacity to problem-solve around how to more effectively address homelessness and related social problems.
The working groups of up to eight practitioners will meet for two hours once a month for eight months between October 2018 and June 2019. With Center support, the working groups will engage and reflect upon the pressing questions or “puzzles” that each participant organization brings as they seek to operationalize their mission and goals. They will compare good practices, develop interventions and strategies for their organizations and contribute to a knowledge base to be developed for the wider community.
The working groups will be organized around responses to homelessness and the housing crisis where faith-based organizations (FBOs) have played a particularly important role: namely, encampments, tiny houses, and emergency shelter and permanent housing. As they organize around these themes and the puzzles each participant brings, groups will also engage important questions that impact subject areas beyond homelessness and housing. These include questions like: What are the unique contributions FBOs make to civil society and community development? How do FBOs balance providing for immediate needs and addressing the root causes of social problems? How do FBOs ensure that the work they do and the services they provide do not undermine the agency of their clients and congregants? How can FBOs more effectively collaborate with other stakeholders, such as City Hall and the private sector?
Practitioners who are interested in joining a working group are invited to apply by telling us about your organization and the puzzle or issue you would like to bring to this working group process.