Developing a Community Strategic Plan Steps 1-3: Organizing Leadership

It is important from the outset to build and broad base of supporters and actors in the development of a community strategic plan.  These key leaders and stakeholders have valuable experience and opinions to share, and a collaborative approach should be taken in the organization of this group. These three steps will help guide the first phase of development.

1.       Gain Commitment from Key Leaders

Community Plans can be initiated by the Mayor or County Executive, Continuum of Care Leadership, or other public or private sector leadership. Ideally, there is commitment from all three of these sectors of community leadership on developing a community strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.

2.       Identify Stakeholders

Along with key leaders committed to the Plan, the development process must include a variety of stakeholders in the community. This ensures that the Plan meets the needs and addresses the concerns of many different viewpoints. Some key stakeholders to include are

• Mayor/County Executive
• Continuum of Care leadership (CoC)
• Business and civic leaders
• Federal agencies
• State agencies
• Healthcare Providers
• Homeless consumers
• Faith communities
• United Ways/Chamber of Commerce
• Housing developers
• Veterans organizations
• Corrections/Law Enforcement
• Education sector officials
• Civic associations
• Service providers

3.       Organize and Convene Stakeholders

A pivotal part of the process is designating a Leadership Council that coordinates the planning process. This Council includes leadership representation from some of the different stakeholder groups mentioned above. While there are several models to organize the development of the community plan, some of the common elements to include in the process are:

  • Chair and Co-Chair of the Leadership Council should report directly and regularly to the Mayor/County Executive/Community Leadership 
  • Working Groups/forums convened by the Leadership Council to facilitate broader community input and participation throughout the creation of the plan.
  • Individuals chosen for the Working Groups should be committed to the planning process and well respected by both stakeholders and the larger community

Go to Steps 4-7: Creating the Plan