As a social enterprise that claims to be innovative and looking for solutions to homelessness, the last few months have been exhausting.
We are that organisation and I aspire, at this time of all times, to be more so. In this sector nothing stands still for long. Needless rounds of short-term funding, short-term thinking, changing goalposts and a bombardment, thanks to being plugged into a world of opportunity online, of ways to be more effective, more digital and more connected, mean we never stand still for long. Should we?
Pre Covid19 the longest period of funding, and therefore financial security, was 18 months. Looking back on those heady days we had to move at pace, had huge funder pressures and all whilst planning for what would happen when the funding ended. Planning for a sustainable future is a project in itself and yet it’s often something that takes a back seat. Funders always ask for how the project is going to be sustainable when the funding ends. How you plan this when you’re just keeping your head above water, I don’t know.
As someone who loves new ideas, I’m prone to liking finding the new solutions. What we need however is security that allows us to test them to destruction against a backdrop that isn’t fraught with under-resource. We usually have to move on before we’ve built the evidence base we all need because the money moves on first.
A colleague reflected to me recently that we never stand still. Not good at pause, reflection or self-congratulation, I accept this challenge. Balancing it with the need for speed at a time when our sector is being decimated will be more of a challenge.