Being the “Backbone” Organization for Opening Doors Fairfield County (ODFC) is at the core of Supportive Housing Works. ODFC represents a structured collaboration of over 140 regional stakeholders working collectively to end homelessness.


Following the principles of a Collective Impact Model, SHW, in partnership with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), provides the essential activities that define a backbone organization. These activities include leadership, facilitation, technology and communication support to ensure ODFC is accomplishing its mission to end homelessness.


ODFC uses the goals and objectives set forth by the federal Opening Doors Strategic Plan as a common agenda that embodies five major themes:


• Increase leadership, collaboration, and civic engagement;
• Increase access to stable and affordable housing;
• Increase economic security;
• Improve health and housing stability; and
• Retool the homeless crisis response system.


Committees and Workgroups are structured under ODFC to address these major themes and are staffed by a representative of the backbone organization to keep the members on task and the committee’s workplan on schedule.


Shared metrics established by federal legislation are in place to measure ODFC success and includes the reduction in length and time people are homeless; rate at which people return to homelessness; reduction in first time homelessness; and overall reduction of people who are homeless. ODFC is structured by a governing body of experts and key cross-sector participants.