Government Participation

Government Participation

Government participation is particularly important when the aim is to foster increased integration across sectors. Centralizing or integrating a complex system will require government participation. Because homelessness is such a complex issue – involving multiple sectors (e.g. mental health, housing, criminal justice, education) – there tends to limited consensus about responsibility. Government can take a leadership role in this regard, pulling together the various sectors required to prevent and solve homelessness, and facilitating an integrated response. The idea is to provide structural supports for processes of integration (e.g. policy, shared definitions, pooled funding) without making the process unnecessarily cumbersome or bureaucratic for individual organizations. For example, in Alberta, the Ministry of Human Services is working with relevant Ministries (e.g. Education and Health) to develop and implement a provincial Information Sharing Strategy to improve communication across sectors.

Issues relating to governance and leadership are also relevant. Integrated models require a re-thinking of an organization-specific approach to leadership. Distributed or collaborative leadership models suggest possibilities for re-thinking the landscape of organizational leadership, relative to various models of systems integration.