Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why T3? Why Now? by Jeff Olivet

Recently, the Center for Social Innovation partnered with the National Center on Family Homelessness to announce the launch of T3, an exciting new training institute dedicated to transforming the homeless services workforce. T3 stands for Think, Teach, Transform, and it is the most ambitious project of its kind.

T3 is more than a training institute. It is a center of connection for people to learn about best practices for ending homelessness in our nation. T3 allows people to connect with national experts, share what they are doing in their own communities, and learn from peers around the country doing the same work. We combine great content, adult learning theory, and beautiful design into packages of online and face-to-face learning that help homeless service providers enhance their knowledge and skills. Our hope is that they will become better equipped to sustain themselves in this very challenging and difficult work.

Why T3? Why now?

We know the homeless services workforce is spread thin. Workers are too often overworked, undertrained, and underpaid. They need and ask for training on how to do their jobs better.

Over our years of training service providers across the nation, we have learned that while many good training efforts exist, training is often haphazard or fragmented. Quality varies, and access to training is often limited by time constraints and travel budgets. To overcome these obstacles, we’ve created a flexible model that enables people to access a variety of learning opportunities on their own time, at their own pace, and in ways that are tailored to the needs of their workplace and community.

We offer training on basic knowledge about homelessness, subgroups within the homeless population, and evidence-based practices to address housing and service needs. We provide basic skills training to support all homeless service providers to better engage and connect with the people they serve. Then we go deeper with the advanced skills series that offer advanced training in areas such as Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Informed Care, Critical Time Intervention, and other practices that have been proven to work.

Throughout the learning process, we support individual providers and their agencies to think differently about the work they do, teach each other how they have overcome challenges, and transform their communities.

If you are interested in learning more, find us on YouTube at or go to

Jeff Olivet is the Executive Director of the Center for Social Innovation.