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Covenant House 60×20 Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020)

December 16, 2015

Editorial comment

I worked for Covenant House in 1974 when I was a student at Bank Street college of Education. I was a peer counselor.  The work that Covenant House was doing was transforming even before studies of trauma and the impact of trauma on people’s lives had been developed. Listen to Dr. Nadine Jacqueline Burke Harris’ Ted Med Talk on Trauma in young children and why we have to address the underlying issues of trauma first.  Trauma is a national epidemic that Washington D.C.refuses to face.

The Covenant House 60×20 Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020)

Reaching More Than 60,000 Homeless & Trafficked Youth a Year by 2020

We are excited to introduce the Covenant House 5-year strategic plan, which provides a set of goals that match our values and mission, ensure efficient use of our internal capacities and which reflect changes in our operating environment.  After much work to stabilize after the recession in 2008, Covenant House focused on three core efforts – stabilizing revenues, strengthening supports to our sites and growing our commitment to collecting data that ensure our Houses are helping youth achieve real, meaningful results. 

Our new 60×20 plan allows us to build on the work of the past 5 years, and gives laser-like focus on expanding our reach to serve more than 60,000 youth each year by 2020.  Covenant House has matured into the largest movement for homeless and trafficked youth in North and Central America, and through the next five years, we are seeking to further expand our reach and deepen our practice of helping guide homeless and trafficking youth to hope.

Below is a summary of our six goals to guide our work over the next five years:

Our Strategic Plan Goals

1) Expand Our Reach To Homeless and Trafficked Youth

Over the next five years, we will open hundreds of new supported beds for homeless youth across Canada, Latin America, and the United States.  By the end of year five of this plan, we will reach an additional 10,000 youth annually through our residential and non-residential services, including health clinics, job training programs and schools.  

2) Become An Organization That Implements Rigorous Performance Measurement, Continuous Quality Improvement and Program Excellence

We will transform Covenant House into an international learning organization that uses our program data as a tool to help us achieve better results for our kids.  In this plan, we will unite all of our sites on a common digital platform, using a shared set of expected outputs and outcomes, and identify what services and programs work best for which kids, and why.

3) Improve Public Policies and Legislation, and Increase Government Funding to Support Trafficked and Homeless Youth

Our work on the front lines of homelessness has revealed a direct pipeline from homelessness to sexual and/or labor exploitation.  Half of our trafficking victims tell us they would not have become exploited if they had a safe place to stay.  Over the next five years, we will build safe houses for their healing in places like New York, Tegucigalpa and Toronto, and reveal to policy makers the prevalence of human trafficking among homeless youth.  

In addition, our plan calls us to increase our advocacy efforts by undertaking the largest-ever study of trafficking survivors among homeless youth across our sites and building a federal policy and advocacy agenda around these findings. 

4) Ensure Right Staffing Capacity, Expertise, and Human Resources Support To Keep Pace With Growth

This plan puts major emphasis on hiring and retaining a diverse leadership and staff who are mission-focused and of exceptional talent.  We are also called as a Covenant House community to promote the achievement of work-life harmony and wellness in our employment community, and to deliver Human Resources services, programs, and communications to staff that add value to overall operations, with focus on streamlining and promoting efficiencies.

5) Develop More Effective and Efficient Communication Between All Covenant House Programs

Covenant House cares for over 51,000 homeless youth in 27 cities across six countries.  This plan will incorporate ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of communication throughout the Covenant House family and to implement communication tools that will be developed to assist with information sharing between all sites.  Built into the strategic plan is a rigorous strategic plan implementation and management process.

6) Diversify and Grow Revenue Sources To Support Covenant House Programs and Youth

For decades, the life-changing work we’ve accomplished with homeless youth has been funded largely through the generosity of millions of supporters through our Direct Mail Program. Our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan stresses funding diversification, including emphasis on Peer-to-Peer and Corporations fundraising programs, and the continued growth of our highly successful Sleep Out Movement across the country.

For more information contact Kevin Ryan, President of Covenant House

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