Building Standard Operating Procedures for a Homeless Shelter

Jess Orr, an experienced process improvement facilitator at Envision Solutions was asked to assist with a local nonprofit that worked to provide food and shelter to the homeless population. She met with the executive director and shelter operations manager, and determined that there was a critical need to standardize and document the daily homeless shelter operations process.

They invited representatives from every functional role in the shelter operations. After communicating the intent and scope, a 2-day workshop with the team was scheduled to build the standard operating procedure.

During the event, they mapped the process for shelter operations, including special situations, including the variation on the ‘best way’ to perform tasks. By the end of the two-day workshop, about 75% of the documentation was complete, and the remaining actions were added to the follow-up plan.

One month after the event, the team completed the first draft of the shelter operating procedure and were very excited about the results. They knew it would help train new employees and volunteers.

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