Integration is the key to a systems approach to homelessness. The trouble is, integration means different things to different people and in different settings. For our purposes, the term “integration” refers to a range of strategies and frameworks for improving collaboration and coordination between people, organizations and sectors.
From the point of view of different stakeholders, the term also means different things. People who use homelessness sector services may be most interested in quick access to the things they want and need. People who provide services might want to improve communication or streamline referral processes. Managers and other organizational leaders might desire shared terms of reference and organizational targets/performance standards, while policy makers and funders may be interested in creating systems-level efficiencies. An effective systems-oriented solution to homelessness will need to reflect these different viewpoints.