Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Building Changes

Seattle, WA   |  www.buildingchanges.org

Mission

OUR VISION: Everyone has a home and the opportunity for a healthy, fulfilling life.

OUR MISSION: Building Changes believes everyone in Washington can be stably housed. We strengthen the leaders, organizations and systems that make it possible.

OUR VALUES: Integrity, Equity, Collaboration, Results

Ruling year info

1993

Executive Director

D'Artagnan Caliman

Main address

1200 12th Avenue South Suite 1200

Seattle, WA 98144 USA

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Formerly known as

AIDS Housing of Washington

EIN

91-1410450

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Family and youth homelessness is a growing crisis in Washington, with more than 43,000 students experiencing homelessness during the 2017-18 school year, according to OSPI. The trauma they experience will harm their opportunities in every aspect of their lives. Many entities have a role to play in finding and scaling solutions to family and youth homelessness, including nonprofits, government and philanthropy. To truly impact homelessness, they must collaborate to: • Use limited resources more efficiently • Learn from community data and best practices from around the country • Find new ways to deliver services that lead to better outcomes • Collaborate with local partners and mainstream systems to break down the silos that confound people experiencing homelessness when they attempt to access help Building Changes strengthens the response to homelessness, driving systemic change in our city, region, and state by advancing new practices that better serve those who experience homelessness.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Building Changes' Programs

Building Changes believes everyone in Washington can be stably housed. We strengthen the leaders, organizations and systems that make it possible. Building Changes works on family and youth homelessness in Washington, playing a unique and needed role as an “incubator” for our field. We work with nonprofit and government partners to test innovative new ideas, contribute to the evidence base for emerging strategies, and then maximize our impact by supporting communities in their efforts to make structural changes that help families and young people leave homelessness behind for good. • We IDENTIFY structural problems in homelessness response and prevention—striving to understand what those experiencing homelessness need and what our system currently does to meet those needs. • We TEST new ideas to address identified gaps by developing promising new practices and supporting implementation of pilot projects through grant-making, technical assistance, training and data coaching. • We LEARN what works by evaluating these pilots, developing proof points, sharing results and insight with our partners, and contributing to the field’s evidence base. • We ADVOCATE for systemic changes in policy, practice, and funding that will help more families and young people escape and avoid homelessness. Our projects include: Schoolhouse Washington: Building Changes leads this project that seeks to improve housing stability and advance educational success for Washington’s more than 43,000 students who experience homelessness. Through this partnership, we help local communities better serve students experiencing homelessness by fostering collaboration between schools, housing nonprofits and other community organizations working to combat homelessness. We develop and advocate for effective practices and policies statewide. https://schoolhousewa.org Family Homelessness Initiative: Building Changes leads the Family Homelessness Initiative in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The 2009-2020 Initiative is strengthening the ability of local government and nonprofits to deliver a high-performing, data-driven homeless response system that will help families find housing more quickly. Washington Youth & Families Fund (WYFF): Created by the Washington State Legislature in 2004, this public-private partnership comprises state public dollars, which Building Changes leverages with matching private dollars. WYFF funds services for homeless youth and families statewide, such as case management, housing-related expenses and transportation assistance. Building Changes provides grantees with technical assistance and evaluation to improve the effectiveness of those services.

Population(s) Served
Families
K-12 (5-19 years)

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Building Changes works to prevent youth and family homelessness; help youth and families experiencing homelessness to quickly obtain and maintain stable housing; and reduce racial disparities within the homeless crisis response system.<br/><br/>Our vision is a Washington where everyone has a home and the opportunity for a healthy, fulfilling life .

Building Changes advances strategies to help families and youth move out of homelessness and into stable housing.<br/><br/>There is no single reason people become homeless. Likewise, there is no single solution. Strategies we support include: Diversion, Employment, Rapid Re-Housing, Coordinated Entry and Supportive Housing. We also lead a Data-Driven Culture initiative on family homelessness. <br/><br/>• Diversion resolves a family's homeless crisis quickly, simply and safely.<br/>• Employment emphasizes earned income as crucial to achieving stable housing.<br/>• Data-Driven Culture makes data the basis for all decisions related to homelessness.<br/>• Rapid Re-Housing shortens the amount of time that anyone spends homeless.<br/>• Coordinated Entry simplifies the process for accessing homeless services.<br/>• Supportive Housing helps families emerge out of chronic homelessness.<br/><br/>Building Changes emphasizes racial disparities and disproportionality in all aspects of our work in order to build a fair and equitable homeless response system.

In everything we do, we focus on measurable results and practical solutions: • Our Research & Evaluation team conducts data analyses, studies, research, and program evaluations that guide our work at every stage in our process—meaning we strive to be as rigorous in assessing our own efficacy and solutions as we are in understanding the problem of homelessness itself. • We are constantly engaged in building the skills of nonprofits and local communities—through joint planning and program model development, technical assistance, data coaching, and training, we expand our partners' capacity and equip them to create meaningful, immediate improvements in their systems and services for those in need. Through this process, we make fundamental changes at the systems level to the way services are funded, delivered, and governed in a community. In particular, we strive to: • Increase Cross-Sector Collaboration: Building Changes has cultivated deep experience building and supporting effective collaborations between the employment, education, housing, and health systems that people experiencing homelessness too often struggle to navigate. This results in services that are more coherent, helpful, and efficient for the families and young people who rely upon them. • Reduce Racial Disparities and Disproportionality: Families and youth of color disproportionately struggle with poverty and homelessness in Washington State. We are testing strategies that directly target families and youth of color to close the gaps in access and outcomes they experience in comparison to their peers.

Building Changes strives to develop and spread new approaches to serve families and young people more effectively. A strong focus on research and evaluation lies at the heart of this approach. Our MLE team conducts data analyses, studies, research and program evaluations so that we can strengthen our own work, and to contribute knowledge within the homelessness field. We believe robust data gives us a better understanding of the various strategies we are employing to combat homelessness—and their impacts. Data also helps clarify the needs of families and youth experiencing homelessness—allowing us to advocate more effectively on their behalf. We focus on three specific measures to help us understand family- and youth-level outcomes. RARE: fewer parents, children or young adults ever become homeless. BRIEF: the number of days that anyone is homeless decreases. NON-RECURRING: Those who were once homeless never become homeless again. We use additional data sources—such as student data or maternal child health outcomes data—to see how housing interventions or homelessness impact outcomes such as educational achievement and healthy births. We've also diversified our data collection approaches to include focus groups, listening sessions, advisory groups and surveys to develop a more nuanced understanding of population needs, strengths and outcomes. Whenever possible, we disaggregate data by race and ethnicity to understand the possibly differential impacts on specific racial groups.

Through our Schoolhouse Washington project, Building Changes is improving housing stability and advancing educational success for the more than 40,000 students experiencing homelessness in our state. We have communicated the urgency of student homelessness to policymakers and practitioners by publishing two in-depth analyses of statewide student homelessness data (https://schoolhousewa.org/data/analysis), as well as a set of dashboards that provide current student homelessness data broken down by school district, legislative district, and county (https://schoolhousewa.org/data/dashboards/local-data-and-outcomes). Moving forward with Schoolhouse Washington, we are developing innovative practices for catalyzing solutions to student homelessness. We predict that these practices will drive school districts and their communities to implement practices and policies that, evidence shows, can lead to better academic and housing outcomes for students experiencing homelessness. Since 2014, Building Changes has tested Diversion as an approach for helping families that already are homeless. Results from our two biggest Diversion pilots show about half of the 1,898 families that pursued Diversion found safe housing quickly, within a median of 37 days, averting the need for costlier interventions. Among the families successfully housed through Diversion, 76% ended up in their own rental without a housing subsidy, and 83% did not return to homelessness within a year. Diversion is a process, not a program. It differs from homeless interventions that require intensive case management and sizable system resources. As a result, Diversion costs less to get families successfully housed—an average of $1,668 per family. Diversion helps families quickly identify their own realistic options for stable housing and develop a plan for securing it. Diversion offers one-time financial assistance and other short-term services, such as mediation with a landlord or relative, to help families make a smooth and safe transition out of homelessness. We are pleased our county partners are now expanding their use of Diversion. Pierce County policymakers were so encouraged by the results of the pilot, they funded the use of Diversion across the entire homeless response system. Now, all populations experiencing homelessness—families and individuals—can pursue Diversion to resolve their housing crisis. We continue to implement Diversion around the state, including in Adams, Chelan, Clark, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, Spokane, and Whatcom Counties. We have also trained other sectors in the skills of Diversion, and testing whether Diversion can prevent precariously-housed families from falling into homelessness in the first place.

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Building Changes

Board of directors
as of 3/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rogers Weed

CleanTech

Michael Brown

The Seattle Foundation

Lori Kaiser

Wells Fargo Bank (retired)

Bob Davis

Housing Authority of Snohomish County (retired)

Saaru Romu

Selkea

Chad Swaney

Zillow

Dilip Wagle

McKinsey & Company

Rogers Weed

CleanTech

Tracy Hilliard

ORS Impact

Travis Walter

Microsoft

David Wertheimer

Seattle University

Keywords

Homelessness, Systems Change, Policy, Capacity Building, Grantmaking