Position Overview:

The Director of Policy and Advocacy is a new position at Community Solutions, created to accelerate an end to homelessness in US communities.

Community Solutions supports the Built for Zero movement of more than 90 cities, counties and regions that applies a data-driven approach to ending homelessness at the population level. The success of Built for Zero has revealed the need for new data and technology standards governing homelessness and for critical adjustments in federal and local policies to enable collaboration and local and federal accountability for results.

We seek a senior leader with a proven track record of public policy wins and in making positive change happen.

The position will be a member of Community Solutions’ executive team and will oversee a small and growing team of talented professionals.

About Community Solutions:

Community Solutions (www.community.solutions) is a team of social problem solvers working toward a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. We work at the intersection of housing and public health and have demonstrated that a public health approach – data driven, collaborative, prevention oriented – is effective in reducing and ending homelessness. By 2026, we aim to reach a tipping point where homelessness is understood as an urgent and solvable public health priority; the barriers to its elimination in any community have been removed, and mayors and county executives are held accountable for maintaining a state of “functional zero” where homelessness is rare and quickly resolved should it occur.

Through Built for Zero we engage, train and coach local teams in creating a results-based housing system across their community. We provide additional support in closing housing supply gaps through our social impact real estate team. 14 Built for Zero communities have now ended chronic or veteran homelessness, and many more are within sight of that goal.

In spring 2021, Community Solutions received the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change award (more information here) to support our plan and accelerate an end to homelessness in 75 US communities and to clear the path of critical policy barriers to advance the elimination of homelessness in all communities.

Defining Success for this Position:

We are seeking a proven leader who can shape and guide a policy and implementation strategy to establish the data and technology standards and other key reforms required to align federal and local resources to achieve population-level reductions in homelessness.

The Director will lead a team that takes learnings from Built for Zero communities and translates the success and challenges of these partner communities into policy initiatives to accelerate the spread of successful practices leading to “functional zero” homelessness. At “functional zero” communities have the systems in place to prevent most homelessness; rapidly identify new incidents of housing crises, and quickly resolve them with a return to stable housing.

The Director will manage and mentor a team of professionals who lead advocacy and outreach initiatives; policy research and development; and communications and public affairs initiatives.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated an ability to achieve results. Experience with government systems and implementation challenges is essential. Experience in housing, homelessness and/or public health policy is a plus. This role requires a mission-focused alignment with Community Solutions’ values and culture, strong, clear communications and relationship management skills.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Reporting to the President, shape and coordinate all policy activities of the organization to advance our organizational mission and strategy
  • In conjunction with the executive team, inform, develop, and execute a policy strategy to achieve our short and long-term policy goals
  • Manage, mentor, and grow a team of high-performing advocacy and policy professionals
  • Work seamlessly with our Built for Zero, real estate and communications teams to leverage our staff expertise and coordinate messaging
  • Lead policy research, regulatory comments, development of support materials, preparation of spokespersons and testimony, and other activities as needed to advance our policy priorities
  • Help identify coalition-building opportunities and other partnerships that advance our advocacy issues
  • Provide strategic direction on engagement strategies, such as grassroots and key contact advocacy, including recruitment, retention, and mobilization efforts
  • Collaborate with communications staff and consultants on the development and timing of media advocacy efforts
  • Oversee preparation and filing of any required reporting information including local, state and/or federal lobbying reports, and maintaining of required records
  • Attend and participate in meetings throughout the year, including national and regional meetings, retreats, and conferences (note: Community Solutions will remain a virtual workplace through the end of 2021)
  • Build and maintain relationships with key policymakers and staff including executive branch, Members of Congress, and select state and local offices

Professional Experience and Qualifications:

  • Has successfully created change in policy, operations, technology and/or culture in service of measurable outcomes
  • Graduate degree or equivalent work experience required
  • At least 5 years in a management role, hiring and leading a high-performing team, and working with lobbyists and consultants
  • Deep understanding of the government data and technology environment, and experience making positive changes in federal data and technology standards and platforms
  • Knowledge of homelessness response systems, state and federal housing and homelessness policy, and/or relevant public health issues desirable
  • Strong research, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to analyze proposed legislation and to persuasively communicate its impact to a variety of audiences through writing and speaking
  • Experience drafting supportive materials, such as talking points, fact sheets, and other resources
  • Understanding of laws governing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) permissible lobbying and electioneering activity
  • Non-traditional candidates are welcome. Community Solutions strives for representation and authentic inclusion of applicants and employees who have direct, first-hand experience with poverty, homelessness, and their root causes

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Supervises a team of 3-5 professionals and external consultants

Location and Travel Requirements:

The Director, Policy and Advocacy can be based anywhere, with a slight preference for the DC area. Up to 25% travel is required to attend essential policy meetings, semi-annual internal team planning meetings, media events, and other on-site trainings or convenings (note: Community Solutions will remain a virtual workplace through 2021).

Salary Range:

CS offers competitive salaries and benefits packages for every position. The salary range for this position is $111,200-$144,500 and will be based upon experience.

Diversity and Inclusion:

We strive for inclusivity and diversity by attracting extraordinary people from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. We seek to employ an all-star team of people who vary by their race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, age, culture, religion, veteran status, physical and mental abilities. We promote equal opportunity in the recruitment, selection, training, compensation, promotion, and benefits of all employees.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate:

COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all Community Solutions staff—full-time, part-time, and contracted. Vaccination documentation must be provided to Community Solutions. Vaccination information is completely confidential between the staff member and HR.