Working Together to End Homelessness

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Working Together to End Homelessness. Robyn Thibado (West cAP ) & Carrie Poser (Institute for Community Alliances) Balance of State Continuum of Care September 2014. Overview of the Presentation. Introduction Continuum of Care Background Purpose Definitions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Working Together to End HomelessnessRobyn Thibado (West cAP) & Carrie Poser (Institute for Community Alliances) Balance of State Continuum of CareSeptember 2014Overview of the PresentationIntroductionContinuum of CareBackgroundPurposeDefinitionsFederal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness Opening DoorsWhat can a Public Housing Authorities (PHA) do to help?Where do we go from here?

Because far too many Americans go homeless on any given night, this bill provides comprehensive new resources for homeless Americans.

-President Obama, May 20, 2009HEARTH ACTHelping Families Save Their Homes ActPresident Obama signed into law on May 20, 2009Became Public Law 111-22

Division B of this law is the HEARTH ActHomeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to HousingReauthorizing and amending already existing legislation, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

HUD developed 6 sets of regulations to implement this legislation. Two relevant components to todays discussion include the Definition of Homeless and the COC Program Interim RuleContinuum of CareThe Continuum of Care program is designed to assist sheltered and unsheltered homeless people by providing the housing and/or services needed to help individuals move into transitional and permanent housing, with the goal of long-term stability.

According to 24 CFR Part 578.1(B), the primary purpose of the COC Program is to:Promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness.Provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to re-house homeless individuals and families rapidly while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities as a consequence of homelessness.Promote access to and effective use of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families.Optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

History of Continuum of Care SystemHUD began implementing the COC process in 1995 through the Notice of Funding Available (NOFA).

Each year, the NOFA guided the development of COCs and encouraged communities to work together to address homelessness in a coordinated manner. In addition, HUD published user guides and FAQs and other technical assistance materials to assist communities develop effective COCs.

This method resulted in scattered information not easily located.

The COC Program Interim Rule changes this. Continuum of Care Interim RuleThe Continuum of Care Interim Rule formalizes the following COC responsibilities:

Coordinating, or be involved in the coordination of, all housing and services for homeless persons within its geographic area.

Coordinating McKinney-Vento funds awarded within its geographic area.

Establishing & operating the HMIS within its geographic area.

Establishing and operating, or designating, the centralized or coordinated assessment to be used within its geographic area.

What is the Continuum of Care?nonprofit homeless providers, victim services providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers,

mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, and organizations that serve homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and homeless and formerly homeless individuals.In order to carry out the primary purpose of the COC Program, HUD requires representatives of relevant organizations to form a Continuum of Care to serve a specific geographic area. These representatives include:What does the Continuum of Care have to do?Operate the Continuum of CareConduct meetings, Monitor, Evaluate performance,Establish a coordinated assessment system with written standards and prioritizationDesignate & operate an HMISPlanningSystem Coordination Point-in-Time CountAnnual Gaps AnalysisParticipate in the Consolidated Plan

Components of a Homeless SystemPreventionAssist individuals and households at risk of homelessness to maintain their housing by providing housing relocation and stabilization services and/or short-term emergency financial assistanceExamples: limited emergency rental assistance to prevent eviction, landlord-tenant mediation, financial counselingOutreach & Intake AssessmentServices target the most vulnerable of the homeless population who are often unable or unwilling to accept emergency shelter servicesExamples: street outreach to people residing in parks, campgrounds, or places not meant for human habitationEmergency ServicesFirst stop point of entry into the homeless systemExamples: congregate buildings for households with children, hotel/motel vouchers, short-stay apartmentsContinue ComponentsSupportive ServicesThose services needed for a person to move towards self-sufficiency and permanent housing.Examples: job readiness and job skill training, benefits counseling, housing search & placementTransitional HousingInterim placement for persons or households, opportunity for clients to gain stability needed to transition and maintain permanent housingExample: 24 month housing program with supportive servicesPermanent HousingPermanent affordable housing is long-term, safe, decent housing for individuals and households. Examples: housing vouchers, mainstream housing, project-based subsidies

Continue ComponentsRapid RehousingRental assistance combined with supportive services aimed to help individuals and families attain and retain permanent housing with limited stays in homelessness.Examples: financial assistance in the form of short/medium rental assistance, security deposit, first/last month rent, services tailored to the needs of the tenantPermanent Supportive HousingCombines housing assistance and supportive services, onsite or through partnering agencies.Examples: rental assistance and case management in scattered site for the homeless who have co-occurring substance use and mental illness.Wisconsin HUD-recognized Continuum of Care LayoutThe State of Wisconsin is divided into 4 separate HUD-recognized Continua. Milwaukee (www.milwaukeecoc.org) Racine (www.racinecoc.org) Dane (www.unitedwaydanecounty.org)Balance of State remaining 69 counties (www.westcap.org/wi-boscoc)

Each continua has its own leadership, governance structure, committees/workgroup, coordinated assessment system, policies, and funding.Balance of State Continuum of CareThe Balance of State Continuum of Care is a 501c3 organization. Membership of the organization is comprised of 21 local continua. Each must:Represent a defined non-overlapping geographic area;Include representation from private and non-profit sectors of the community, including individuals experiencing homelessness or were formerly homeless;Meet at least quarterly;Send a representative from a local COC agency to two quarterly meetings of the Balance of State COC.The leadership of the Balance of State COC resides in a volunteer Board of Directors, at minimum 11 and at maximum 15 individuals.Robyn Thibado (West CAP) President of the BoardCarrie Poser (ICA) Vice President of the Board21 Local ContinuaBrownCAPCentralCouleeDairylandFox CitiesIndianheadJeffersonKenoshaLakeshoreNorth CentralNortheastNorthwestNWISHOzaukeeRock-WalworthSouthwestWashingtonWaukeshaWest CentralWinnebagolandWhy is the COC important?Develop proactive solutions rather than reactive stop-gaps

Coordinate targeted homeless resources and mainstream resources for a more efficient and effective system

Identify common goals for which to advocate

Increase community buy-in and access to mainstream resources

Homeless DefinitionCategory 1Literally homeless individuals and familiesCategory 2Individuals and families who will imminently (within 14 days) lose their primary nighttime residence with no subsequent residence, resources, or support networksCategory 3Unaccompanied youth or families with children and youth who meet the homeless definition under another federal statute and 3 additional criteriaCategory 4Individuals and families fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence with no subsequent residence, resources, or support networks

United States Interagency Council to End Homelessness (USICH)Developed Opening Doors, the first-ever Federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.

Result of a partnership between 19 Federal agencies and partners such as the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA).

Opening Doors is a roadmap for joint action, providing a reference framework for the allocation of resources and alignment of programs. Includes 10 objectives and 58 strategies Requires the Federal government to work in partnership with State and local governments, as well as the private sector, to employ cost-effective, comprehensive solutions to end homelessness. Federal Strategic Plan: Opening DoorsHUD is focused on the 4 major goals of Opening Doors. Funding and policy decisions are guided by these goals.End Chronic Homeless by 2015**End Veteran Homeless by 2015End Family and Youth Homeless by 2020Set a path to ending all homelessness

Update on Chronic Homeless goal**: USICH is in the process of adjusting to extend to 2016 because Congress did not fund at the level needed to reach the goal by 2015.

Progress on each goal is tracked through HUDs annual point-in-time (PIT) data.

Homelessness by the Numbers in WIIn 2013, there were 27,556 people that experienced homelessness (reported by providers who use HMIS).18% increase since 201064% meet the definition of newly homelessDuring the January 2014 PIT, there were 6,058 people experiencing homelessness on 1 night.

Provider Type*# of PeopleHousehold Composition# of PeopleSub-population# of PeopleEmergency Shelter3,111Household with children3,129Chronic Homelessness448Transitional Housing2,544Household without children2,910Veterans542Unsheltered343Household with only children19Victims of DV1,380*There were also 60 people in Safe Havens.National Success vs. WI SuccessUsing the January PIT count, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin has increased since 2010. However, using the same measurement, the number of people nationally has been decreasing!

NationallyBalance of StateDaneMilwaukeeRacineTotal # PersonsDecreaseIncreaseIncreaseNo ChangeDecrease# ShelteredDecreaseIncreaseIncreaseNo ChangeDecrease# UnshelteredDecreaseDecreaseIncreaseDecreaseNo Change# Persons in familiesDecreaseIncreaseIncreaseIncreaseDecrease# Chronic HomelessDecreaseNo ChangeIncreaseNo ChangeIncrease# VeteransDecreaseDecreaseNo ChangeNo ChangeIncrease

PIT data indicates that between 2012 2013 chronic homelessness increased 19.10% in Wisconsin.

What can Public Housing Authorities (PHA) do to help?The real work of ending homelessness happens at the community level, through partnerships between homeless service providers, COC leaders, municipal and State governments, philanthropy, community & business leaders, and public housing authorities.

According to HUD, there are 6 specific ways PHAs can partner to end homelessness:Establish Homeless PreferenceMove-Up Strategy ImplementationScreen InStreamline Application ProcessesCreate Eviction Prevention ProgramProject-based vouchers to create supportive housing with on-site servicesHUD Notice PIH 2013-15In June 2013, HUD provided guidance on housing individuals and families experiencing homelessness through the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs (Notice PIH 2013-15).

This guidance encourages PHAs to:Review discretionary admissions and termination/eviction policies to determine if any changes can be made to remove barriers for serving the homeless population.Manage the waiting list to provide homeless populations increased access to the PHAs programs.Partner with homeless service providers, Continuums of Care, and other organizations to serve the homeless population.

Homeless PreferenceAccording to HUD, Homelessness and waitlists dont mix well. A PHAs greatest tool for increasing program access for individuals and families experiencing homelessness is establishing a preference in their admissions policies.

PHAs can take a variety of actions to allow homeless populations better access to their programs, including:Establishing a strong outreach strategy in partnership with the local continua, Strengthening the process for contacting applicants on their waiting list (e.g., contacting applicants via email or phone), Establishing flexible intake and briefing schedules (e.g., provide a window of time for appointments), & Establishing nondiscriminatory preferences in their admissions policies for persons experiencing homelessness.The preference could also be a subset, such as: chronically homeless, homeless veterans, homeless identified as most vulnerable through community-based assessment strategies.

To determine local need, PHAs should:Work collaboratively with the local continua. Use COC HMIS data and PIT counts in order to determine whether and to what extent there is need for a homeless preference.

By coming to the table, PHAs are able to use the resources available to the local continua and the local continua can better understand the pressures and competing demands facing PHAs including limited supply of vouchers and units.

COCs and homeless service providers can benefit the PHA by: Identifying and pre-qualifying eligible people who are experiencing homelessness,Making referrals to PHAs, Making supportive services available to households that qualify for PHA waiting list preferences,Providing assistance with the PHAs application process, and Helping with housing search, move-in costs, providing furniture, food and other essentials (when available).

Real Life Examples of this WorkingThe Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, NC (HACA) actively participates in the communitys 10-year plan to end homelessness and ongoing collaboration meetings with community partners. When initially implemented, the homeless preference was limited to chronic homelessness. Now, it has expanded to include those that have been homeless for more than 90 days.

The Loudoun County Virginia PHA amended its administrative plan to establish a waiting list preference for persons experiencing homelessness. As housing vouchers become available through turnover, every tenth (10th) voucher is made available to a person who is homeless.

MaineHousing has given people experiencing homelessness a preference (extra points toward accessing the wait list) for Housing Choice Vouchers.There are also cumulative preferences in order of priority for victims of domestic violence, veterans and homeless families 2+, disabled, elderly and individuals.

In response to data identifying approximately 1,000 to 1,200 individuals experiencing homelessness who are frequent users of emergency departments, the Ann Arbor Housing Commission joi...

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