H4WRD’s First Advocacy Platform: Five Initial Policies to Strengthen The Organization

H4WRD’s First Advocacy Platform: Five Initial Policies to Strengthen The Organization

H4WRD Blog

Hollywood 4WRD’s Advocacy Efforts: Crafting an Initial Policy Platform

Following its founding in 2008, Hollywood 4WRD spent the formative years of its organizational life:

  1. Establishing an expansive coalition of community members dedicated to ending homelessness in Hollywood;
  2. Strengthening the connective tissue that binds together each of our community stakeholders – from local residents, business owners and folks with lived experience, to service providers, County officials and Faith-based organizations.

The last year has seen two more developments that have further strengthened the organization’s position as the go-to resource for anyone and everyone interested in addressing homelessness in Hollywood:

  1. Incorporating as an independent non-profit 501c3 organization
  2. Adopting its first Policy Platform

According to H4WRD’s Executive Director, Brittney Weissman, the development of an initial Policy Platform was a critical move towards independence and more effective advocacy.

“After years of coalition building and ensuring all stakeholders’ perspectives were heard,” Brittney explains. “It was time for Hollywood 4WRD to bring a stronger perspective of our own to the table.”

The journey towards crafting the new policies began with extensive conversations between Brittney and H4WRD’s Board of Directors around the needs of all sectors in Hollywood to improve homelessness for the benefit of everyone, including our unhoused friends on the street. The rigorous process continued on a number of fronts:

  • Drafting 30+ advocacy positions based on a deep dive into H4WRD's history, founding principles, mission/values, etc.
  • Ongoing iterative conversation with H4WRD Board partners
  • Conducting informational interviews with leadership consultants for best practices in organization policy setting
  • Establishing guidelines to help steer the process moving forward, such as:
  1. Consider organizational bandwidth
  2. Maintain mission-centric stances
  3. Focus on system change/transformation

Sharing Policies with the Community

In the end, the process led to the formation of H4WRD's five initial policy positions, each reflecting one of the lessons learned since its founding in 2008:

  1. Homelessness is our collective problem and requires our collective response.
  2. Ending homelessness and economic expansion are not mutually exclusive.
  3. We must accommodate any and all solutions for addressing homelessness TODAY.
  4. Those working in the service provision field must be compensated fairly.
  5. Everyone benefits when the community takes better care of its most vulnerable.

Brittney hopes that community members will download H4WRD’s Advocacy Platform graphic and share it widely with anyone who wants to know more about Hollywood 4WRD.

“These policies represent who we are as an organization,” Brittney shares. “AND who we aspire to be.”

Why the New Platform Strengthens Hollywood 4WRD

Hollywood 4WRD is excited about these policy positions because they reinforce each of their pillars – innovation, service coordination, education, and especially advocacy – and will allow them to: 

  • Advocate more strongly for the issues that matter most to the community;
  • Promote systems change more effectively;
  • Bring a louder voice and a clearer perspective to the table on policy making at the local and state levels.

H4WRD is proud to share their first official Advocacy Platform -- and as a result, looks forward to better serving the community in the years to come.