As September winds down, we’re wrapping up our quarterly blog series on Human Services here at Corona Insights. When we got together to plot out this series we had a lot of discussion around themes and patterns that we’ve seen in our work with human services organizations as we’re providing evaluation, research, and strategic consulting. The three themes that felt the most compelling and drove our writing for this quarter were these:
- Human services organizations are getting creative (or collaborative). We’re seeing a lot of organizations expanding their roles in order to meet the needs of their clients (for example, libraries providing health services, etc.) We showcased a local example of this in our blog about Metro Caring.
- Housing is the keystone of an effective human services system. Again and again, the importance of housing came up as we talked about clients working to fight poverty, or address the cycle of mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness. In recent years we’ve seen the conversation about affordable housing shift toward solutions that focus on the housing supply, such as encouraging development, changing zoning laws, and advocating for yimbyism. We added to the conversation with our blogs about Colorado housing affordability challenges and solutions and also tiny home villages.
- Hearing from hard-to-reach people is key to prioritizing human services. Different groups face different challenges and have different needs. Effectively meeting needs for diverse groups of people depends on getting input from the full range of people in the community. In our planning session, we talked about developments in local resources, such as Be Heard Mile High. Early in the quarter, we tackled the definitions of vulnerable and at-risk populations, and the importance of taking a disparities approach to investigating needs and outcomes. We also showcased some of our work from a recent presentation in Wyoming looking at segments within the young adult population and the older adult population.
We’ve really enjoyed taking a step back to think about common themes among all our human service projects. We hope you have too.
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Be sure to stay tuned to the Radiance Blog next quarter for our next blog series topic!