About Community Solutions:

Community Solutions is a hardworking team of social problem solvers working to end homelessness and the conditions that create it. We see these challenges as systems design problems, not just resource issues. Our team helps communities use the best problem solving tools from multiple sectors to improve the design, coordination and delivery of lasting, root cause solutions. We are led by Macarthur Fellow and internationally recognized innovator Rosanne Haggerty. Our work has been featured on 60 Minutes and the New York Times and recognized by the White House, the United Nations and the Smithsonian.

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.

Your Challenge:

Community Solutions has already helped drive meaningful reductions in homelessness in nearly 50 communities, including 11 instances where a community has ended either chronic or veteran homelessness outright. Our strategy will deliver a total of 40 such proof points by the end of 2019.

We need your help to leverage this expanding pool of proof points to create a national tipping point, driven by a new national expectation that solving homelessness is possible.

In the same way that large public opinion shifts around smoking and drunk driving facilitated reductions in those behaviors that were bigger than those shaped by any single actor, we believe that creating a new national expectation that homelessness be solved is essential to our ability to drive the key behavior changes necessary among a variety of actors to solve the problem for good.

What success looks like:

  • By end of 2019:
    • Key large-scale influencer targets mapped and targeted strategies operational for each one
    • Expanded network of actors influenced by Community Solutions and its work
    • Clear, effective framing of Community Solutions and its point of view, including the key behavior shifts target actors must adopt for success
    • Expanding public awareness of and urgency around homelessness
  • By 2022:
    • Strongly increased national belief that homelessness is solvable, and corresponding expectation/demand that it be solved
    • Key behavior shifts among large-scale actors, including institutional funders, government leaders, and media influencers. (Those with influence are talking about and approaching the problem differently)

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

In coordination with other members of the Executive Team and Board, you will plan, develop and implement a communications strategy designed to shift perceptions of homelessness and cement a new belief that the problem can be solved. You will also be responsible for driving key belief and behavior shifts among targeted groups of large-scale system actors, including funders, government leaders and media.

Community Solutions intends to reach a critical mass of local officials, non-profits, government agencies and the general public, changing minds so that these constituencies no longer perceive homelessness as an intractable problem, but argue that it is solvable, and work to modify their behavior in order to help drive reductions in homelessness over time. This result must transcend Community Solutions or the work of any single actor.

Day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Assess the state of the public debate today on homelessness in order to identify the most effective paths to shifting the conversation;
  • Develop the brand positioning, narrative, language and messages about Community Solutions: the type of organization we are, and our role in relation to communities
  • Work with other members of out team to identify influencers, opportunities and platforms to help advance the argument about homelessness and engage, develop and implement strategy for achieving widespread adoption of new ideas and messages;
  • Develop clear, simple language to convey complex and counterintuitive arguments about homelessness and new related frames for considering the issue
  • Guide, persuade and support partners in adopting this new language, including providing training in messaging to partners and community teams
  • Strategically leverage a limited budget and the assistance of outside firms to inject homelessness into the national media conversation and clarify solutions for the public and key stakeholders
  • Develop and drive a clear online strategy, using digital assets and especially social media to shift the national conversation
  • Guide development of collateral materials and partner and endorser relationships, in conjunction with the Principal for Strategic Partnerships
  • Set and manage to short and long-term goals for achieving communications milestones, tied to the overall mission of Community Solutions and its partners
  • Identify external support needed for execution; recommend advisors, develop budget, assist with securing resources needed
  • Build on and oversee a small current team to create a unified communications team of staff and outside consultants on a limited budget
  • Manage the complex relationship between needing a clear and compelling organizational "brand" while promoting the movement and the work of the communities and local teams;
  • Participate in organizational leadership and strategy as part of Executive Team, and work to ensure communications strategy is aligned with parallel strategies among our Real Estate, Built for Zero and Strategic Partnerships teams.

The Principal will also be responsible for the consistency of communications, along with ongoing measurement and improvement of the communication program.

Professional Experience and Qualifications:

Community Solutions is seeking an accomplished leader with at least 8 years of experience in strategic, movement or issue communications, in a role including “in-house” leadership within a complex (in number and variety of constituents) nonprofit or government entity, or strategic responsibility within a campaign or at a nimble firm. Previous roles working on homelessness policy is a positive, but not essential. The successful candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated results working to advance public issues or public policy using marketing / communications action plans;
  • An ability to articulate a vision and a mission for an organization, to delineate a brand positioning, and to execute against it;
  • An understanding of how marketing and communications can be used to develop a brand and build reputation;
  • A track record of working effectively with colleagues both inside and outside their organization, with a reputation for building strong professional networks and the flexibility and finesse to "manage by influence”
  • Achieved results as a problem-solver and in bringing about positive change
  • Strategic thinking and decision-making skills, strong analytical capabilities, and a stakeholder-oriented mindset.
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership skills with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Demonstrated an ability to track progress against targets

A bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in a related field is preferred.

Software/Apps Used:

  • Google drive and business applications
  • Microsoft Office, in particular Microsoft Excel
  • Asana
  • Zoom Video Conferencing
  • Salesforce or other CRM software

Travel Requirements:

Up to 5 days of travel to a major U.S. city every 3 months may be required in order to attend organizational meetings and events.

Work Environment:

This position is based in New York City. The Principal can work from the CS offices in Manhattan or Brownsville and/or work remotely, commuting into the city as needed for meetings.