10 episodes

A podcast that features sector leaders on breakthrough innovations in health care, community development, and philanthropy.

In The Solution Kuliva Wilburn

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A podcast that features sector leaders on breakthrough innovations in health care, community development, and philanthropy.

    09 | Philanthropic Collective Action to Address Homelessness

    09 | Philanthropic Collective Action to Address Homelessness

     
     

    BACKGROUND: 

    According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2020, there were over half a million people experiencing homelessness on our streets and in shelters in America.  Seventy percent were individuals, and the remaining 30 percent were families with children.  They lived in every state and territory, and they include people from every gender, racial and ethnic group. 

    However, some groups are far more likely than others to become homeless.  In the same year, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress revealed that African Americans are overrepresented in the population of people experiencing homelessness compared to their share of the overall US population. 

    A recent report by the Chicago Coalition for the homeless found at least 65,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Chicago in 2020, including those who temporarily stayed with others in addition to people living in shelters and on the street. Additionally, similar to national data, although African American Chicagoans make up roughly 30 percent of the city's population, they represent 70 percent of the City’s homeless.  For housing advocates and activists, ending homelessness is connected to the moral imperative to end racial inequities within our society’s systems, policies, and social practices. 

     

    INTRODUCTION: 

    Today, we’ll be talking with Emily Krisciunas (Chris-shoe-nas), Director of Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness.  Incubated at Michael Reese (a public foundation) since 2020, CFTEH seeks to foster a person-centered, ecosystem approach to ending homelessness that reaches across systems and sectors. 

    CFTEH is one of several local networks of Funders Together to End Homelessness - a national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness.  CFTEH has more than 30 members and is comprised of a shared table of family foundations, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, and the local United Way. The collaborative is guided by a steering committee of four funders and two full-time staff. Collectively, CFTEH members have directed more than $50 million over the last two years towards efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Chicago, supporting more than 200 organizations across the region since 2020. In 2022, CFTEH launched its first pooled fund effort—the Housing Justice Fund—which makes grants to support advocacy, community organizing, and narrative change efforts. 

    In our conversation, we’ll learn about how the local philanthropic sector came together to co-create a strategy to end homelessness in Chicago with providers, advocates, government, community partners, and residents with lived experience. 

    Welcome Emily! 

     

    QUESTIONS: 

     

     I’d like to start by having you share with us the origin story of CFTEH.   

     

    Thanks for having me.  Nice to be with you.  I think that CFTEH began as a more informal network of, maybe, 10 or 12 local foundations.  So much of this groundwork was laid long before I came onboard in 2020. And I think that this group grew out of this observation that philanthropy has a ton of resources, and a ton of power to help end homelessness, but that those resources aren’t always well coordinated or optimized.  Both within philanthropy and with partners in the public sector. 

    And around the same time, we had colleagues who were connected to the organization that you mentioned in the introduction, Funders Together to End Homelessness at the national level, and were starting to see these local collaboratives pop up in other communities.  There was one really notable one in Los Angeles called Home for Good that I think was particularly influential.  And so this group of funders started to be interested in replicating that collaborative model here in Chicago.  And in order to do

    • 26 min
    08 | Flexible Housing Pool: Rapid Expansion to Address Regional Homelessness

    08 | Flexible Housing Pool: Rapid Expansion to Address Regional Homelessness

     
    According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2020, there were over half a million people experiencing homelessness on our streets and in shelters in America.  Seventy percent were individuals, and the remaining 30 percent were families with children.  They lived in every state and territory, and they include people from every gender, racial and ethnic group.   

    However, some groups are far more likely than others to become homeless.  In the same year, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress revealed that African Americans are overrepresented in the population of people experiencing homelessness compared to their share of the overall US population. 

    A recent report by the Chicago Coalition for the homeless found at least 65,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Chicago in 2020, including those who temporarily stayed with others in addition to people living in shelters and on the street.  Additionally, similar to national data, although African American Chicagoans make up roughly 30 percent of the city's population, they represent 70 percent of the City’s homeless.  For housing advocates and activists, ending homelessness is connected to the moral imperative to end racial inequities within our society’s systems, policies, and social practices. 

     

    INTRODUCTION 

    The Center for Housing and Health’s unique program, the Flexible Housing Pool, works to address the region’s homelessness through system coordination. Through the Flexible Housing Pool (or FHP), Cook County is able to rapidly house and provide supportive services to some of the region’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals experiencing homelessness who cycle through the criminal justice system and utilize hospital emergency rooms for care. 

    In this episode, I’m talking with Pete Toepfer, Executive Director of the Center for Housing and Health. The Center’s mission is to honor every person’s right to a home and health care by bridging the housing and health care systems to improve the lives of Chicagoans experiencing homelessness.  We’ll hear more from Pete about how FHP has expanded in the past three years to meet the growing demand for permanent supportive housing and how the organization is centering racial equity in its strategic priorities. 

     

    Welcome Pete! 

      

    QUESTIONS 

     

    Just last week, the Flexible Housing Pool, or FHP, housed its 1,000th resident. Congratulations on this milestone! Can you share more about its significance in the context of serving people in the Chicago region experiencing homelessness? 

     

    Kuliva.  Thanks so much.  As you pointed out, an awful lot has changed since 2019.  The least of which was the covid 19 pandemic.  For a little context, in the first year of the Flexible Housing Pool, like lots of projects that are starting up, it began fairly slowly.  In the first year we housed just under 60 people, and now we’re at 1,000.  So as you can tell, the growth has been very, very rapid, but very, very necessary when we’re talking about the tens of thousands of our neighbors who are homeless each year in Chicago.  So, for me, the biggest takeaway is that we have dramatically improved the lives of a thousand of our neighbors, and many of those are children.  About 350 of those thousand people are minors/children.  So those are children who will not have to experience the trauma of living in cars and bouncing between an aunt’s house or grandma’s house,  a shelter and that can focus on school, friends and playing.  Just like every child should do.   

     


    One of the stories that I feel is really fitting around the Flexible Housing Pool is one of the first residents who received housing as a result of the Flexible Housing Pool.  Her name is Kayla Wallace, and she was actually one of the residents who was at an early p

    • 18 min
    The New Season of In The Solution Podcast

    The New Season of In The Solution Podcast

    We return this spring with a podcast reboot and begin with our Healthcare Justice Series with episodes that:
     
    Focus on the social determinants of health  And highlight the needs of communities and populations experiencing barriers to health care   

    • 2 min
    07 | The Flexible Housing Pool: System Coordination to Address Chicago’s Homelessness

    07 | The Flexible Housing Pool: System Coordination to Address Chicago’s Homelessness

     In 1991 the United Nations declared housing to be a fundamental human right, and the United States has worked to reduce overall homelessness by over 20 percent between 2005 and 2013.  However, homelessness continues to persist across the country, with the highest concentration in mid-to-large metropolitan areas and disproportionately impacts those living in poverty, people of color and immigrants. 
    Those experiencing homelessness also have the highest rates of chronic mental, behavioral and physical disease have significant barriers to health care and affordable housing and a lower life expectancy.  Their use of emergency services for episodic care also leads to higher treatment costs.  

    • 21 min
    06 | The Flexible Housing Pool: Funding System Coordination in Housing and Health

    06 | The Flexible Housing Pool: Funding System Coordination in Housing and Health

    In this episode, I’m talking with Clarita Santos, Executive Director of Community Health Initiatives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. As Executive Director, Clarita advances Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ investment strategy in alignment with the Plan’s vision and enterprise imperatives to address critical community health issues, focusing on access to care, health equity and population health. We’ll be talking today about how the FHP brings value and impact to those served by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and the vision for the health plan on investing in housing to improve population health outcomes.

    • 15 min
    05 | Unintended Consequences: Hospital Consolidations and Women’s Health (Part 2 - The Provider Perspective)

    05 | Unintended Consequences: Hospital Consolidations and Women’s Health (Part 2 - The Provider Perspective)

    As hospitals across the state are consolidating through mergers and acquisitions to gain market share, many Catholic hospital systems have made strong gains based on their financial strength.  As a greater share of Illinois hospitals is operating under the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a recent University of Chicago report indicates there are unintended consequences for women’s health and a disproportionate number of low-income women. 
    In this episode, we talk with maternal child health researcher and public health lecturer, Janine Hill about the report and the implications for health equity. 
    Janine's expertise in public health policy, health systems and maternal and child health research brings a unique perspective to this new challenge in Illinois, as the health outcomes for women and their children is largely dependent on broad access to comprehensive reproductive health care services. 
     
    Soar Strategies is a consulting and coaching firm committed to helping leaders and groups in the social good and corporate sectors to share their strengths, create goals, and achieve their professional as well as personal goals through a collaborative process.

    • 17 min

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