Priority 3



Eva’s is home to many: to the youth who turn to it; to the staff who devote their waking hours and many nights and evenings to it; to the volunteers who give of their time and skills because they believe in it; and the Black community that came together to establish it, and whose children from time to time rely on it. Eva’s can build from this goodwill to build its systems to better embrace the bold new course it has set for itself. Eva’s will need to invest in its infrastructure, and culture, while continuing to implement its governance and equity goals.

Eva’s can build on staff passion by clarifying its management approach and ensuring staff engagement and contribution to all these strategic priorities, with clear parameters and spheres of action, authority, and influence. Staff wellness is strongly linked to this objective, and Eva’s will need some focused attention and planning in its human resources systems and structures.

Eva’s will need to tackle its funding diversity issues and progress toward whatever model of centring Black youth it determines, while in tandem, openly, and explicitly, using words that indicate the commitment and aspirations, as well as the progress and accountability of this journey. The journey itself will be a draw for donors from Black communities and allies, and the specific wealth that is to be found therein. Eva’s will engage donors, the public and policy makers anew with a robust communications strategy that bears out the goals of the planning period.

“When I came here, I found home.”

~ Youth Focus Group Discussion



Conduct an Operational Review

We will review our structures, systems, policies and procedures, departmental and team configurations to establish we have the right complement and distribution of human resources that lives and breathes our philosophy.

We will ensure additional strength is added to support the priorities of this plan. We will develop and implement back-bone systems where we require them (HR, finance systems; monitoring, evaluation, and learning; internal and external communication systems; invest in technology and training to ensure we have adequate tools to support growth, adaptability, and the realities of hybrid work) to support current and future operational needs.


Capacity building across the organization

Ensuring common management styles, governance practices, decision-making frameworks and approaches will be a matter of continuous learning and intentional capacity building. We will measure the impact of this work through enhanced and continuous staff engagement processes.


Equity/ARAO bench strength, training, and program framing

The core of our mission, vision, values as well as our new strategic priorities, relies on and is infused by this objective:

Elaborating, clarifying, and living our Equity/ARAO values will require clarification of its implications in our approach, philosophy, program frameworks in tangible daily ways, as well as our approach to structures and systems.


Management philosophy/
staff wellness

As we strengthen our internal resources, we will focus on both structural and cultural change to support our staff teams and the work of the organization, fostering wellness through a supportive intersectional anti-racist environment of mutual accomplishment, care, and accountability. We will review the work of the organization to re-calibrate staff responsibilities and workloads and ensure compensation remains in line with industry standards and maintain high levels of employee attraction, retention, and engagement.


Communications planning and implementation for Eva’s

Eva’s will need a robust and agile communications plan and implementation strategy throughout its learning and collaboration journey to achieve its desired state as a Black-focused organization with a robust youth leadership dimension. The plan will consider the principles of transparency, humility, allyship, identity awareness and thought leadership in its development and implementation. Owning our holistic approach, we will consider moving toward a name and identity that doesn’t limit us to our association with shelter and embraces our link to Eva Smith.


Diversification of fund development, community relationship building

With a strong foot forward in our advancing community engagement, we will develop and execute a fund development strategy that ensures a diversified stream of revenue and multi-year funding commitments to stabilize and sustain core operations of Eva’s, as well as the goals of this Strategic Plan.


Governance journey toward being a destination Board for Black and youth leadership

We will continue to strengthen and diversify the composition of the Board of Directors. We will ensure that the Board is fostering the development of Black leadership at the intersections of multiple identities. We will continue to attract, engage, and retain Board leaders, youth, volunteers, and representatives of the communities that we work with through an intentional governance development and renewal strategy with targets that match our strategic priorities.