The systems spectrum ranges from fragmentation – a network of loosely affiliated individuals or organizations that agree to communicate with one another – through to integration within and outside the homelessness sector including a fully integrated system with standardized assessment, referral and monitoring procedures. Systems planning moves from an organization-by-organization approach to service delivery to one that provides services in a deliberate and strategic approach.
In most communities, homelessness services operate in the middle of the spectrum: cooperation, collaboration or coordination. Often, there is a great deal of systems work happening within the sector, but less cooperation, collaboration or coordination outside of the sector (i.e. with the education, corrections or health sectors).