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Mayor Strickland and Executive McCarthy Kick Off Leadership Program to End Family Homelessness

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy joins Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as Executive Sponsors of the Pierce County Leadership in Action Program (LAP), which launches today, Sept. 8. The Leadership in Action Program, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), and implemented in 15 communities across the country, brings together a diverse group of cross-sector leaders to collaboratively accelerate measureable improvements in the well-being of families, children and communities.

In Pierce County, leaders from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors will come together to build relationships, create strategies and take action together toward the goal of accelerating measureable improvements in meeting the housing needs of homeless families in Pierce County.

Along the way, they’ll build on four competencies: Results Accountability; Race, Class, Culture Dialogue; Leading from the Middle; and Collaborative Leadership.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress but we can deliver better outcomes and resources for our families in need.” said Strickland. “Using the collective impact model and breaking down silos will allow us to be more strategic and innovative. This is another way of sustaining and building on the good work that has been done.”

Since 2009, Pierce County has been part of a comprehensive effort to reduce the number of homeless families by rapidly connecting them with housing and programs that meet their needs for services such as employment training, education, legal aide, health care and counseling.

“I’m proud that Pierce County was selected to participate in this program,” said McCarthy. “Through LAP, exceptional leaders in our community will immediately start making the necessary commitments and taking the necessary actions to ensure that all families in Pierce County have their housing needs met.”

McCarthy and Strickland will kick off the program with a call to action on behalf of the county, the community leaders and partners that LAP leaders contribute to a measurable improvement in all families having housing that meets their needs by December 2015, as measured by number of homeless families, number of days in homeless system, number of returns to homelessness.

In addition to the 38 participants, who come from organizations ranging from government, housing authorities, health care, education, cities, providers, corporate entities and community organizations, five Pierce County entities will serve as Accountability Partners:

  • Helen Howell, Director, Pierce County Community Connections
  • Michael Mirra, Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority
  • Diane Powers, Human Services Division Manager, City of Tacoma
  • Dona Ponepinto, CEO United Way of Pierce County
  • Alice Shobe, Executive Director, Building Changes

“I’ve seen LAP working in other parts of the country,” says Building Changes Executive Director Alice Shobe. “This is the first time it is being offered in Washington State, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it transforms our community’s efforts in ending family homelessness.”

The Pierce County LAP is funded by the AECF, Pierce County, Building Changes and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Jolie Bain Pillsbury – a key facilitator and the architect of the program and its “Theory of Aligned Contribution” – and co-facilitator Beroz Ferrell will guide LAP participants between September 2014 and June 2015 using a core set of leadership competencies to help them bring about measureable results.

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