In January 2021, the Ryandale board launched a process to develop this strategic plan, which will focus the organization’s priorities and guide efforts in the years ahead. It was approved by the board on April 8, 2021.

Ryandale Transitional Housing VISION

GROWTH: Over the next 3–5 years, Ryandale envisions growing sustainably to expand its transitional housing units and programs.

FOCUS ON NEEDS: These facilities and programs will be positioned to meet the greatest housing needs across various demographics struggling with homelessness resulting from economic, social and emotional challenges.

RESOURCES: Achieving this vision will require growing resources and skills at both staff and board levels. Secure sources of additional funding will be developed, along with a plan to manage risks during the transition.

PARTNERSHIPS: To support long-term success of clients during their own transitions, Ryandale will engage more proactively in partnerships with other service providers (e.g. mental health, addictions, employment, education, corrections and the City) and help clients maintain their connection to services as they transition to community life.

PROFILE & ADVOCACY: Through community engagement, public events and its own digital presence, Ryandale will also sustain a more active profile as an advocate for transitional housing and related services.

Ryandale Transitional Housing MISSION:

To ensure safe accommodation and support access to essential support services for people in KFL&A struggling with the economic, social and often emotional challenges of being without permanent housing. Beyond the provision of a safe and comfortable place to stay, Ryandale works to build greater social inclusion and a renewed sense of hope in our residents.

Core Service Values Driving Ryandale Priorities & Strategies:

Ryandale Transitional Housing continues to be guided by five general values that are priorities for the organization as a whole. They are:

Shelter · Food · Safety · Human Dignity · Compassion

Ryandale is strategically driven by pivotal values the organization will stick to “no matter what” — even if at some point it had to “pay a price” to live that value, or if holding that value became a disadvantage in some way in the future. Those who do not share these values, and/or breach it consistently, simply do not belong in the organization. They are:

• Serving clients with dignity and respect, without judgement, especially with respect to any past history of addiction, incarceration, or mental illness. (Clients, however, must meet standards for addictions and level of risk to the community.)
• Being inclusive and accepting with respect to gender status, racial or family/cultural background, or factors like poverty driving marginalization and homelessness.
• Focusing on a transitional role (even as acuity levels of need are increasing) by working with other agencies and partners to support client self-sufficiency and transform lives.

These priorities may be pursued concurrently and/or iteratively, as expansion depends on growing Ryandale’s financial and human resources together with partnerships.

Priority 1: Expanding Housing Infrastructure & Programs

Ryandale’s first priority is to reset the organization, positioning it to grow and carefully expand what it has to offer in response to community needs. This requires three other enabling strategies related to funding, paid/volunteer human resources, and partnerships.

1.1 Conduct a needs assessment to align expansion with serving greatest local needs.
1.2 Actively explore ways to connect with other support programs and expand our own.
1.3 Systematically explore/pursue opportunities to expand our transitional housing units.

Priority 2: Developing More Sources of Secure Funding & Support

To fulfill its vision/mission and expand what it has to offer, Ryandale will need to develop additional secure sources of funding and follow a risk management plan during the transition.

2.1 Establish a resource development plan (for grants, fundraising, events, and leveraging partnerships) and identify opportunities to tap into new revenue sources.
2.2 Build Ryandale’s fundraising expertise & capacity to pursue new revenue streams.
2.3 Develop a comprehensive financial plan with strategies to ensure sustainability. (This would build on analysis of growth targets, use of reserves and donor prospects.)

Priority 3: Growing Operational Resources (Staff and Board)

Ryandale will require sufficient skills and people resources at the staff, board and perhaps contract or partner levels to fully achieve its goals.

3.1 Prepare a detailed plan to identify ways to make best use of existing resources as well as future staffing and board requirements.
3.2 Expand staff resources, perhaps through hiring for an Executive Director role, and further develop a skills-based board through recruitment/training of new members.
3.3 Cultivate partnerships with other support programs to identify synergies, seek operational efficiencies and leverage each other’s resources.

Priority 4: Engaging Partners and Increasing Ryandale’s Profile

To build support for transitional housing and Ryandale’s services, and wrap-around services for clients throughout their transition, the organization needs to amplify its profile and connect with others (mental health, addictions, education, corrections, the City and so on).


4.1 Court agency relationships with outreach presentations, events, and networking to bring current and future partners on board with Ryandale’s vision, improve program coordination, make effective use of resources and align our advocacy efforts.

4.2 Enhance Ryandale’s presence online, in social media and through digital marketing. Communications with partners or individuals might also focus on attracting donations.
4.3 Pursue strategic relationships with educational/training partners to better support and stabilize clients, especially by improving their employability.

Other Important Priorities:

The priorities identified in Ryandale’s strategic plan speak to areas where special attention, resources and effort are needed over the next three to five years. In addition, several other important issues were identified in the strategic planning process that will be addressed in the annual operational plans for the organization.
One of those priorities is to remain client focused. An example would be regularly soliciting their ideas and feedback on how well Ryandale is meeting their needs.
Another priority is to maintain a longer-term perspective of client success (not only while they are residing in a Ryandale home). A related idea is to develop a mentorship role for those who have completed their transitions into the community.
Another important priority involves adopting a proactive (even bold) approach to meeting needs, tempered by careful use of resources and prudent management of risks, resources and finances.

Implementation Framework (2021-2024):

Specific workplans will respond to its future challenges and opportunities and translate the strategic priorities outlined above into ongoing activities and initiatives.
Related best practices would also be employed in the areas of communications, engagement, change management, capacity building, and partnership relations.
It is expected that a high-level operational plan, describing annual objectives and workplans, will be developed at a later date. They are expected to follow these general implementation phases:
• Year 1: Develop plans for expanding capacity (financial, human resources, profile and partnerships) and define options for expanding infrastructure/housing.
• Year 2: Pursue opportunities for growth, implementing the plans developed in Year 1.
• Year 3: Make adjustments as lessons are learned and bring plans to full maturity.

Material implications of the plan for budget, human resources, policy, communications, change management, capacity building and so on will also be identified. A successful roll-out of this strategic plan will depend on effective two-way communications — with the residents of Ryandale’s home as well as other clients, funders, community partners and decision-makers in a variety of sectors — amplified by related engagement efforts to develop understanding of the issues addressed in the plan.