Designing And Delivering A Supported Housing Service For The ‘Un-housable’

Heather Skinner, S James

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The nonprofit sector is increasingly faced with the challenges of adopting unfamiliar orientations focusing on customer service and quality which historically have been more usually associated with the commercial for-profit sector. Such organizations are also facing financial and competitive pressures which are also more commonly associated with the commercial world and market economies. These factors tend to imply that nonprofit organizations should adopt a market orientation. Indeed many initiatives offered by public and nonprofit organizations are now defined as ‘‘social marketing.’’ This article presents empirical evidence from a case study of an innovative supported-housing project for homeless street drinkers and considers the barriers faced when implementing the project. Issues surrounding top management leadership, service design, service quality, consumer engagement, and the engagement of frontline customers facing service delivery personnel are considered, as these would expect to be evident in a service organization with a strong market orientation. However, considering that the project was implemented contrary to the express wishes of both the organization’s internal market of its service employees and the primary target market of its service users, conclusions are drawn within a conceptual framework that agrees with the need to consider a social rather than a market orientation to the provision of such services within nonprofit organizations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49 - 66
    Number of pages17
    JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


    • supported housing project
    • homeless street drinkers
    • nonprofit organizations
    • homelessness


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