Fish Fellowship in Civic Leadership


We are proud to announce the establishment of The Fish Fellowship in Civic Leadership, which will award one Teach For America alumnus annually the opportunity to explore civil service through a fully-funded fellowship in the government of the City and County of San Francisco. We believe in strengthening the movement of educational equity for kids in the Bay Area by mobilizing our alumni of nearly 3,000 strong.

The Fish Fellowship provides the unprecedented opportunity for an alumnus in the Bay to directly immerse themselves in civil service – this year, specifically through the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. The year-long fellowship will enable an aspiring civic leader to make high-impact change by addressing the challenge of homelessness in the San Francisco community.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) has the mission of making homelessness rare, brief, and onetime in San Francisco. Created in the summer of 2016, HSH brings the full spectrum of City services for individuals, veterans and families experiencing homelessness – from street outreach to shelter to permanent supportive housing- into a single, unified department. These services are primarily provided through the allocation of $180 million a year in contracts to non-profit direct service providers across the City.

HSH is tasked with creating a coordinated system of care so that every client is matched with the resources and interventions that best support them in exiting homelessness. HSH’s goal is to move 8,000 individuals out of homelessness in the next four years by being smart, strategic, and creative.

The Fish Fellow Work Scope

The 2016 Fish Fellow will be embedded in HSH’s Data & Performance team, which uses data and research to inform better program design, solve complex system problems – all of which is key to developing good system of care and to creating a better experience and more successful outcomes for clients. The Fellow could work on a combination of the following tasks:
– Business process modeling
– Performance metric identification and tracking
– Data analysis and visualization
– Research on best practices and program design

Potential Projects
As HSH is a newly formed department, the work plan for the Data & Performance team is still in development, but potential projects include:

Next steps for the Navigation Center Model: The City opened its first Navigation Center, a pilot program to connect homeless individuals to services and housing, in 2015. It was created to engage clients who don’t utilize the traditional shelter system because of a variety of barriers, including excess possessions, pets, or a desire to stay with their partner. It is also unique in that it supports clients in accomplishing key goals, such as getting a source of income and primary healthcare. The model will be significantly expanded in the next two years – increasing to 6 sites – and the Data and Performance team will work closely with non-profit service providers and program managers to create metrics and track outcomes to ensure each program is as successful as possible.

Improving Demographic Data for Outreach Assessment: HSH has two teams that work directly with clients on the street – the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the Encampment Resolution Team (ERT) – as well as contracts with multiple non-profits. With the creation of the new department, there is the opportunity to thoughtfully redesign and standardize the data collected by street outreach teams to better assess client needs, and better link clients to services. The evaluation of this data will ensure that services are designed and targeted to serve the clients most in need.

– Interest in the provision of social services, including the design of contracts, programs and performance metrics.
– Experience with analyzing large data sets and creating visualizations or other means of displaying data to a variety of audiences, including policy makers and the general public.
– Strong communication skills – both verbal and written.
– Cultural competency, including experience working with diverse and disadvantaged populations. Multiple language skills a plus.

Jason Fish: A Legacy of Impact

Jason Fish led the Teach For America-Bay Area Board as its chairman for ten years, from 2006 to 2016. In that time period, the board composition changed and more than doubled in size. It is now more diverse and more effective than it has ever been, having expanded its oversight role with dramatically positive effect on our organization.
During Jason’s tenure, we more than tripled the size of our network of corps members, local alumni and regional staff. We increased the effectiveness of our teachers in the classroom and expanded our impact in schools and districts through our alumni activities. Jason brought an understanding of – and passion for – what it takes both to increase the opportunity for educational equity in the Bay Area, and to build Teach For America-Bay Area into a strong, self-sustaining organization.