Purpose of this Position: This position was created to establish a Built for Zero staff person accountable for three strategic aims in Community Solutions’ Strategic Plan:

  1. Replicable models that have aligned funding incentives, governance & implementation structures toward the goal of ending homelessness at the population level in a diverse set of at least 5 BfZ communities
  2. Replicable model(s) that have driven inflow reductions in a diverse set of at least 5 BfZ communities
  3. Replicable model(s) for partnership between public health, healthcare and homeless response systems that have driven reductions in homelessness in a diverse set of at least 5 BfZ communities

The Portfolio Lead, Catalytic Projects, is responsible for leading the overall strategic direction for this portfolio of work, and oversees the ideation, design, implementation and evaluation of these projects. The Portfolio Lead is also charged with disseminating innovations across the broader Built for Zero team to influence how we work with our network of communities. The Portfolio Lead, Catalytic Projects also manages a team of people to support all the work contained in this portfolio.

About Community Solutions:

Community Solutions is a non-profit organization that works to achieve a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. We envision a more equitable future where homelessness is never inevitable or a way of life, for anyone. Since 2015, we have led Built for Zero, a movement of more than 70 cities and counties using data to radically change how they work and the impact they can achieve — and proving that it is possible to make homelessness rare and brief. Nearly half of those communities have reduced homelessness, and 14 have ended veteran or chronic homelessness. In order to help communities equitably and sustainably end homelessness, we are also working to identify solutions that can address gaps in housing, disrupt inflow into homelessness, and produce more racially equitable systems.

Community Solutions seeks leaders at every level: extraordinary, mission-oriented people not satisfied with the status quo. We are a team of values-driven innovators motivated by results. We eagerly seek and support diverse applicants. We provide generous benefits and opportunities for inspiring and transformational professional growth. We pride ourselves in developing an inclusive workplace culture that encourages staff to bring their whole selves to work every day.

About the Role:

We seek an experienced, self-starting and curious individual to lead our Catalytic Projects portfolio, the Research and Design branch of the Built for Zero movement, and ensure the work is impeccably designed and expertly managed. This position reports to a Principal/Team Director and is responsible for supervision of both people and work. This position is also responsible for overseeing the ongoing professional development for up to three staff members.

The Catalytic Projects portfolio is unique and exciting in the breadth and depth of the projects it contains and in the pace at which those projects may evolve. In many ways, the projects within this portfolio often appear at the leading edge of our work. Most often, these projects will represent the first time Community Solutions is engaging a specific skill, problem or aim. The Portfolio Lead should therefore feel very comfortable learning new skills and subject areas quickly and bridging disciplines and sectors in the pursuit of new strategies and solutions.

You should come to work everyday with a desire to lead your team and clear the path for them to do their work excellently. This means looking out for your people and for the work and creating space for innovation, testing, reflecting and iterating. You should also look to enable collaboration across other Built for Zero portfolios to advance the work of Catalytic Projects and the Built for Zero team as a whole. You should see your job as enabling results, not just hitting deadlines or budgetary targets. We have clear strategic plan aims, and project completion does not necessarily equal success if a project does not advance these aims.

A successful Portfolio Lead for this portfolio will:

  • Manage the portfolio of Catalytic Projects with the aim of clearing the path on targeted obstacles in communities around inflow, governance and collaboration between healthcare, public health and homelessness response systems to achieve Strategic Plan outcomes
  • Provide strategic, tone-setting leadership for the whole initiative, in accordance with our values, as a member of the Built for Zero Portfolio (leadership) Team
  • Maintain and evolve the culture of the Catalytic Projects team to create an environment that inspires people to come to work, care about what they do and care about their teammates
  • Identify optimal ways in which Catalytic Projects offer opportunities to make other portfolios successful and help to bridge the knowledge gap with those portfolios as appropriate

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Owning accountability for portfolio-level aims and outcomes
  • Supervising and providing professional development to Strategy Leads within portfolio
  • Providing guidance and support of staff on Catalytic Projects’ team through team and organization wide change
  • Executing on direct project work as necessary
  • With input from team, designing/facilitating strategy sessions and supporting execution of work
  • Oversee process for undertaking new projects, in conjunction with Team Directors/Principals
  • With input from team, identify and evaluate the risks associated with program activities and take appropriate action to control those risks
  • Planning for and manage budget for portfolio related expenses
  • Managing limited, project-specific contracts, budgets and key administrative duties, in coordination with Team Excellence and Team Directors/Principals
  • Ongoing evaluation/rationalization of portfolio against strategic plan aims, in coordination with Team Directors/Principals
  • Ongoing and regular coordination across team, in conjunction with Team Directors/Principals, Project Manager, other Portfolio/Backbone Leads and Managers
  • Developing relationships with external partners and consultants and coordinating with these partners/consultants for contracting and/or execution of project level work
  • Building internal will across Built for Zero team for path clearing work in Catalytic Projects

Qualities and prerequisites:

  • Strong strategic thinking, problem solving and project management skills
  • High learning agility and highly effective at leading through ambiguity while moving projects forward in a shifting, often uncertain environment
  • Five to seven years previous work experience in a professional or equivalent environment
  • Experience and strong demonstrated skills in managing people and facilitating groups towards success, with at least one year of experience directly supervising dedicated staff
  • Experience and strong demonstrated skills in creating and managing projects and budgets from concept through implementation, including organizational skills and problem solving to manage multiple competing priorities
  • Experience/commitment to advancing racial equity, working in diverse environments, and with people who have been historically marginalized, including individuals and families who have faced housing instability, homelessness and poverty
  • Comfort/familiarity with Built for Zero’s methodology, including data quality, coaching, human centered design, facilitation, and Quality Improvement (QI) framework
  • Strong data analytics skills, both for qualitative and quantitative data, and the ability to interpret analysis and apply learnings to the Catalytic Projects strategy at the portfolio level
  • Clear and direct communicator with excellent verbal and written communication skills and effective leadership on teams with colleagues with strong opinions
  • Ability to learn and adopt new technology as necessary
  • Curiosity around improvement and experience with systems improvement and understanding and using data

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This role may supervise up to three people directly.

Software/Apps Used:

Microsoft Office

Google Business Apps





Social media software and applications

Salary Range:

The salary range for this positions is $95,500-$124,100

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.