FUSE Project Director Position
Housing First / FUSE Project Director
Background: In 2016, stakeholders from the City of Bend and Deschutes County, along with key healthcare providers and social service organizations, began meeting to address the growing concern for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Bend and Central Oregon. The Development of a “Housing First” project – an internationally recognized best practice that highlights the importance of literally putting housing first and reducing many of the barriers associated with other affordable housing programs – became the focus. The group ultimately decided to adopt the “FUSE” (Frequent Users System Engagement) model, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to target “frequent users” of both the health care and law enforcement systems.
The new “Housing First” effort has a long-term goal to support an estimated 200+ frequent users of health care and law enforcement resources across the region. The project will start in Bend with an initial focus on a cohort of roughly 20-25 people. To date, a lot of good work has been done. Key stakeholders are meeting on a regular basis (FUSE Workgroup), a preliminary data-matching effort is complete, potential land for a facility has been identified, and conversations about the housing type and service model are well underway. At this stage, what the project needs is a clear leader – the FUSE Project Director – to develop a comprehensive strategy to implement the model and to generate awareness and resources for a sustainable effort as we expand it in Bend and take it to other parts of the region.
Position Description: The FUSE Project Director will coordinate all aspects of planning and implementing a Housing First / FUSE Project for people who are experiencing homelessness and are very high utilizers of healthcare and law enforcement systems in Central Oregon. This includes 1) organizing partners; 2) obtaining firm commitments of land, development services, and health services; 3) moving the process forward through construction, housing and supportive services; and 4) planning for the future.
The position is categorized as an independent contractor who works for the Central Oregon Health Council and reports to the Co-Chairs of the FUSE Workgroup (Bruce Abernethy and Monica Desmond). There is flexibility as to the length and intensity of contract engagement but we anticipate the following work can be completed in an 18-24 month period.
Duties: The FUSE Project Director works closely with the strategic partners of the FUSE Workgroup, as well as leading experts and consultants, to:
- Develop an implementation plan for Phase 1 of the Project (house 20-25 members of the target population) that adopts the Housing First approach and is feasible to implement
- Determine the appropriate housing and service delivery partners, and facilitate contract agreements to ensure long-term success of the project
- Identify and select the focus population using local data and partner resources, as well as best-practices in data-matching
- Plan and deliver trainings for stakeholders/partners, particularly housing provider (developer and manager), and all service delivery partners
- Participate in state and national trainings/conferences, and leverage expertise from other communities on best practices for this type of Permanent Supportive Housing / FUSE model
- Work with partners on a multi-year funding structure and strategy, apply for grants, explore the “Pay for Success” model and determine feasibility of creating a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
- Work with partners on a public outreach and communications campaign to effectively communicate about the project to various audiences
- Engage researchers and initiate Phase 1 evaluation plans to rigorously evaluate the process and outcomes and provide regular reports to funders and stakeholders (proposed outcome indicators will include placement of target population, housing retention rates, services provided and reductions in cost to heath care and law enforcement systems)
- Education level – MA, MBA, MPH, MPA or CPMP preferred
- Experience – at least 5 years experience in project development, coalition management and/or nonprofit systems development preferred; actual experience with affordable housing and housing first model preferred, but not required
- Must be an independent self-starter who brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the position
- Must have a reliable vehicle or transportation
- Must be well organized and able to handle many tasks at the same time
- Must be good with people (both one-on-one and in groups)
- Must be able to write and speak clearly and persuasively
- Experience with grant writing or fundraising a plus
Consultant Compensation: To date, $90,000 in grant funds has been secured for this position – $30,000 from the Central Oregon Health Council and $60,000 from Meyer Memorial Trust – and we are actively seeking additional resources. Because the position is grant funded – and it is a new position without a track record – there is some flexibility in how it is structured (i.e. we anticipate this is roughly an 18-24 contract period and we are willing to consider different weekly schedules depending upon the work being done at the time). This position has the potential to be extended beyond the contract period based upon the success of securing additional resources.
For more information about the FUSE model, please go to www.csh.org/fuse
Applications are due March 9 and should be mailed to:
Central Oregon Health Council
PO Box # 6689
Bend, OR 97708
An application consists of a 1) Cover letter with background and description of pertinent experience, 2) Resume and 3) Project Outline and Timeline with associated costs (i.e. describe your proposed workflow over the 18-24 months to accomplish the tasks above).