Systems Transformation Advisor, Detroit

Job Overview:

Community Solutions is seeking an experienced, self-motivated and organized individual to join the Built for Zero Team in Detroit. The successful applicant will work as a member of the Built for Zero team, assisting Detroit leaders to reduce and end veteran homelessness. This position will be responsible for leveraging the full capacity of the Community Solutions and Built for Zero teams to support this outcome, including our real estate, data, partnerships and improvement coaching staff.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Job duties and responsibilities include the following, as aligned with the current Detroit drivers for success:
  1. Building and managing local leadership capacity (approximately 20% FTE): Responsible for engaging local leaders to assure the appropriate structures are in place, driving toward a shared aim and timeline to reduce and end veteran homelessness in Detroit. This may include completing a thorough scan of the local environment, quickly understanding, supporting and working to strengthen existing leadership structures, and working to engage local elected officials and other corporate champions. This position will work collaboratively with local actors to strengthen and operationalize two teams to drive progress:
    • On-the-ground Leadership Team: designs and implements iterative tests of change to improve existing homelessness response system (process improvements)
    • High-level Leadership Team: manages the large scale and long-term transformational change projects necessary for ending veteran homelessness (may include real estate and public systems realignment)
  2. Managing and measuring process improvements: (approximately 20% FTE): Responsible for running Quality Improvement projects with local<> team to identify opportunities to accelerate outflow and reduce inflow into homelessness as part of the broader Coordinated Entry System being used to end veteran homelessness.
  3. Project managing transformational change projects: (approximately 60% FTE): Responsible for operationalizing transformational change actions to result in breakthrough reductions in veteran homelessness. There are currently two leading transformational change ideas to manage effectively and move toward operationalizing: 
  • Engaging the program leaders currently operating Veterans Administration (VA) Transitional Housing programs in Detroit in a shared vision for ending homelessness. This work must take into consideration the internal analysis completed to date specific to the inventory of VA transitional housing in Detroit, the local programmatic and leadership structures, the opportunities/ challenges specific to these programs, and the national programmatic restrictions we know currently exist. This project will likely include working with our corporate partners to innovate new and alternative financial models, assuring the strength and financial well-being of provider organizations as they contribute to better housing placement outcomes for veterans and community-wide acceleration toward functional zero. 
  • Identifying and assisting with innovative opportunities for the Community Solutions Real Estate Team to augment unit capacity in line with the Coordinated Entry System.  This may include replication of the internal Abrigo Apartments model (Denver) to increase VASH housing placements or to assure VASH housing stability.

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 problem-solving tools, like design thinking and quality improvement, to improve the design, coordination and delivery of lasting, root cause solutions.
Since 2011, we’ve helped US communities find homes for more than 175,000 homeless Americans at a taxpayer savings of more than $1.4b. Ten of those communities have ended either chronic or veteran homelessness outright. We are led by Macarthur Fellow and internationally recognized innovator Rosanne Haggerty. Our work has been featured on 60 Minutes 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. 

Defining Success for this Position:

Success for this position will be measured by Detroit reducing homelessness for veterans by 50% by 2020 and having a clear path forward for reaching functional zero with an agreed upon timeline.


Candidates should have at least 5 years of experience working in the housing, homelessness or human services sectors. They should also be based in Detroit and have strong knowledge of local politics and systems.
The Built for Zero team draws on a set of core competencies to support communities in their journey towards ending homelessness. The ideal candidate will be very comfortable with two of these competencies in particular: 
  • Facilitation of teams toward shared decision-making and measurable goals 
  • Quality Improvement (QI) as a problem-solving and measurement methodology.
Special consideration will be given to candidates that have taught the principles of QI and facilitated teams through improvement projects. 
Candidates should also possess the following:
  • Strong project management skills, as evidenced by leading projects to successful and measurable completion
  • Strong oral and written communication skills 
  • Extraordinary political and relationship management skills
  • Comfort and facility using data for problem-solving and decision-making
  • Excellent and collaborative ability to manage without authority through soft power
  • Strong content knowledge of Detroit’s political and governmental systems as they relate to housing and homelessness
  • Strong content knowledge of local Continuum of Care governance and programs
  • Strong content knowledge of local Veterans Affairs homeless programs
  • A strong desire to see homelessness ended measurably and accountably in Detroit

Software/Apps Used:

Microsoft Office
Google Business Apps
Social media software and applications

Travel Requirements:

Around 5 to 7 days of travel will be required every 3 months to attend semi-annual team retreats, community site visits, and other on-site trainings or convenings. Most travel is to major cities around the US, including current Built for Zero communities.

Work Environment:

The person filling this position will be located in Detroit and will be required to work remotely without the standard support available at an office 

To Apply:

Submit resume and cover letter here.