CSH Summit 2017: We Built A Bigger Movement

The Power of Partnerships Shines Through

If there were ever any doubts on how supportive housing's stakeholders, messaging and impact are expanding, they were put to rest at this year's national CSH Summit held last week in Denver.

The energy and enthusiasm were palpable as soon as the 800 participants of Summit 2017 gathered for the welcoming reception on Wednesday evening. The electricity in the room carried over to the second night's reception when we were welcomed to the Executive Mansion by a great partner and supportive housing pioneer in his state, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

From the moment Colorado Lt. Governor Donna Lynne officially opened the Summit until the last session, thriving and growing partnerships from every corner of the country were evident and very much on display.

In her remarks at our first breakfast plenary on Thursday, Lt. Governor Lynne crystalized the tangible results that occur when our coalition building casts the widest possible nets, and we reach out beyond our comfort zones to ensure struggling and vulnerable Americans have clear paths to better lives.

Then a panel discussion during our luncheon plenary underscored the benefits of collaborating and coming together with others outside our traditional affordable and supportive housing networks. And just how far we can go by attracting fields, professions and leaders that were not focused on homelessness, deinstitutionalization, healthcare or reentry just a few short years ago.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, another elected official seen as a role model for innovatively advancing supportive housing, delivered a rousing speech on Friday that highlighted how his community has benefitted from new collaboration around Pay for Success financing that is delivering better services and ending the revolving door for people once caught up in the cycle of jail to homelessness and then back to jail.

We were impressed with the policymakers, experts and advocates at our Summit who shared their knowledge and experiences with us, the tremendous commitment of Governor Hickenlooper, and the down-to-earth observations of Lt. Governor Lynne and the passion of Mayor Hancock.

Most encouraging to us: the positive feedback we received from our many partners and their determination to attract other stakeholders to the mission of taking supportive housing to scale.

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