Strategic Planning Update

Editor’s Note: The following update on Solid Ground’s ongoing Strategic Planning Process is from Solid Ground’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Real Time Strategic Planning, used with permission of La Piana Consulting

Dear Solid Ground Community,

We want to provide an update on our Strategic Planning process and why this work is critical to the agency and our community! The Strategic Planning Committee is made up of representatives from each department within Solid Ground, as well as members of our Board and Advisory Council. This Committee intentionally brings together multiple stakeholders at all levels to create a strong plan for this organization, one that balances our aspirations but also deals with our current realities in understanding how we can actualize those dreams. Modeled in alignment to our Anti-Racism Initiative Action Teams, we meet on a monthly basis to work towards developing shared priorities for Solid Ground and strategies to meet those priorities. We operate on a decision-making model (Fist of Five) which allows for critical dialogue to assist us in working towards collective goals.

We acknowledge the challenges facing our agency today that dramatically affect consumers of our services at every level. We also face the internal struggles we all know so well. But as Ron Chisom and Dr. Kimberly Richards of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond reminded us recently, it’s times like these when we can bring hope into changing this organization for the better!

One of our first actions in the Committee was to bring Staff, Board and Advisory Council members together at an All Staff community event on May 23. We generated ideas on what the new mission, vision and values should be for Solid Ground and then gathered feedback on the drafted mission, vision and values. We tried our best to incorporate the hundreds of voices we heard from throughout the five-month process. You can find our new mission, vision and values here.

In the past three months, the Committee also gathered information directly from constituents and key stakeholders around Washington State through listening sessions, focus groups and interviews. This, along with data collected from our staff, funders and partner organizations, will be put into a final report to help guide the Strategic Planning Committee through our October retreat. At this retreat we will develop several tools based on the La Piana Real-Time Strategic Planning model to clarify our future business model and create a Strategy Screen for decision-making in the organization. We will also develop a Big Question that Solid Ground faces right now. This Big Question will be used by the Committee to create targeted strategies and a plan to address this question organizationally and programmatically in the coming year.

At this turning point in the life of Solid Ground, the Strategic Planning Committee has extended our timeline by one month. We hope to use this time to tap into the best of all of us to figure out how we can serve our community needs with respect and human dignity at our core. We need your input, engagement and questions. We believe it is a critical piece in living up to our new mission, vision and values.

The Strategic Planning Committee’s retreat will be held Monday October 24. If you have feedback or questions, feel free to contact Ariana Cantu at or 206.694.6860.

Our Mission, Vision & Values

An organization’s Mission, Vision and Values statements are its heart and soul.

Ideally, they define what we do, how we do it, and why.

And they are our DNA, the imprint that we pass on to all staff, volunteers and program participants. Want to know what makes Solid Ground unique? How are we distinguished from partner agencies? Look at our Mission, Vision and Values.

As part of an ongoing new strategic planning process, Solid Ground has just revised these statements. They move beyond addressing poverty to calling out racism and other oppressions that are fundamental contributors to poverty, homelessness and hunger.

“Our previous Mission, Vision and Values statements were written over 10 years ago and as such, did not reflect the major shifts in direction which have taken place,” says Solid Ground Board Chair, Lauren McGowan.

“The new statements speak to our strong commitment to working collaboratively in the communities we serve and to ending racism and other oppressions that keep people poor. They are a direct result of the work we have been doing at Solid Ground to undo institutional racism in our organization and in the community.”

The changes were developed through an extensive process that involved staff  at all levels of the agency, Board members and program participants.

“These new statements are the building blocks for the Strategic Plan we will complete in December,” says McGowan. “They represent both a track record of providing innovative and effective services to people in need and our aspirations for the future. As our community continues to struggle though this challenging economic climate, Solid Ground is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to food, housing, transportation and justice.”


Solid Ground works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.

Solid Ground believes our community can move beyond poverty and oppression to a place where all people have access to quality housing, nutritious food, equal justice and opportunities to thrive.

Solid Ground is committed to working with compassion, integrity, accountability, creativity and an anti-oppression approach to end homelessness, hunger, inequality and other barriers to social justice. We value collaboration and leadership from the communities we serve.

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