Why is it important for Service Coordinators to advocate internally for the ROSS program?
ROSS Service Coordinators able to effectively communicate the value of the ROSS program and their work to property staff and PHA leadership will likely benefit from increased organizational support. This in turn can lead to additional connections with in-house partners, community partners and funders. Increased organizational support can also result in the allocation of discretionary resources to support ROSS program activities. This section provides strategies for educating PHA leadership and working with other PHA staff.
What role do Service Coordinators play in educating PHA leadership?
Senior officials at the PHA can be valuable champions for the ROSS program. PHA executive directors, members of the Board of Commissioners, and other members of the leadership team play pivotal roles in shaping PHA policy and they make decisions that can impact the ROSS program itself. PHA leadership can also build support for the program among colleagues and partners.
For PHA leadership to advocate effectively, they must understand:
- The purpose of the ROSS program;
- The program’s impact;
- Program goals and supports needed to realize those goals; and
- Any implementation challenges or barriers.
Service Coordinators can proactively meet with leadership to educate them on how the ROSS program can help meet agency goals. At these meetings, Service Coordinators can also learn leadership’s hopes for the ROSS program.
ROSS Service Coordinators should share with PHA leadership key accomplishments of the ROSS program. These include how the program:
- Benefits individual residents;
- Advances the PHA’s goals—for example, by increasing participating families’ earnings and thereby rent contributions; and
- Benefits the broader community—for example, by increasing the ability of elderly residents and persons with disabilities to live independently and avoid moving to assisted living, nursing homes, or other high-cost facilities.
Senior management buy-in can help:
- Raise the visibility of the program;
- Increase the availability of discretionary resources to support program operations; and
- Resolve bureaucratic obstacles that emerge in the implementation of the ROSS program.
Suggested outreach to PHA leadership
ROSS service coordinators can pursue several channels to ensure PHA leadership is familiar with the program.
- Briefings. ROSS service coordinators can request one-on-one meetings to provide briefings on the program and answer any questions. These briefings should be tailored to the level of familiarity PHA leadership has with the program. Briefing information will differ for PHA leadership who may be new to the program. In this case, a more detailed introduction may be necessary. Similarly, those familiar with the ROSS program may be more interested in outcomes and how the program is impacting properties where it is being implemented. As testimonials from program participants can be effective in conveying messages, Service Coordinators should consider including program participants in leadership briefings to showcase ROSS achievements.
- Invitations to events. Leadership should be invited to attend events organized by the Service Coordinator, including community events such as job and health fairs. These will enable leadership to see the reach of ROSS-coordinated services. Leadership should also be invited to events that celebrate the achievements of program participants. The presence of senior officials can demonstrate key support for participants and allows officials to see the impact of the program firsthand.
- Written materials. PHA leadership should receive any newsletters or other written materials that showcase program statistics and success stories. ROSS service coordinators may also prepare special reports for PHA leadership highlighting key data points.
- Social media. PHAs often maintain Facebook pages, websites, Twitter feeds, and other social media channels. Service Coordinators should use these tools to share information about their program. This outreach effectively advertises the availability and successes of the program.