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The Task Force Times

July 2018 Edition

CEO Corner

New State Budget and Youth Funding

     The new California state budget for 2018-2019 has been signed and announced with $18.8 million anticipated for homelessness resources allocated to San Diego. This further demonstrates the state's commitment to continue addressing homelessness in the state of California. California now has the largest amount of unsheltered homeless in the US according to 2017 Point in Time Count data and the HUD Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). A quarter of our nation's homeless population live in California and about 68 percent are considered unsheltered. 

     We expect that COCs will receive funds to administer and allocate fairly to providers. RTFH will work with the City and County to coordinate with new and existing grants and plan how best to determine outcome, measures, and impact to best serve those experiencing homelessness in our region. We will also need to determine what data will be used to help define allocation priorities.  

     As more information on this exciting announcement is determined, RTFH will keep you informed through our newsletter, website, social media, and public meetings. 

     We are also very pleased to have received $7.94 million from the Youth Homeless Demonstration Grant from HUD.  The official announcement can be found here. This grant shows that when we work together and collaborate in all areas of our efforts, we can be successful in bringing in new resources to help us meet our goals and to benefit those persons and groups that are important for us to help. Thanks to all those who worked together together to receive this grant!
 
Sincerely, 


Gordon D. Walker
Chief Executive Officer
HMIS Highlights

HMIS Redesign and Implementation
 
   We are progressing rapidly towards the selection of a new HMIS vendor. Throughout June, five potential vendors came to San Diego to demonstrate their software and their capabilities. Attendees at the demonstration were able to provide us with feedback and rate each of the software on criteria such as ease of use, amount of training and assistance they anticipate, and system efficiency. The scoring on these demonstrations accounts for 10 percent of the total ranked score for each vendor. 

     After the demonstrations, members of the HMIS Exploratory Ad Hoc Committee received access to demo websites in order to test the vendors' software and gain a better understanding of how their software works. They met twice in the following week to discuss and evaluate the proposals and complete the scoring process. 

      The two overall highest-scoring vendors were recommended to the Executive Committee of the RTFH Governance Advisory. A final decision will be made and announced by the end of the month. We would like to extend a huge thanks to all of those who participated in the software demonstrations. All five vendors mentioned that they were impressed by the amount of community engagement with the HMIS selection process. The feedback we received has informed our decision and helped us ensure that the vendor selected will reflect the needs and interests of our CoC. We want to recognize the following organizations for their participation: 

2-1-1 San Diego
Catholic Charities 
Community Housing Works

County of San Diego
Downtown San Diego Partnership: Clean & Safe Program
Episcopal Community Services
Family Health Centers of San Diego
Father Joe's Villages
Interfaith Community Services
Ladle Fellowship
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
Salvation Army
San Diego Downtown Fellowship
San Diego Housing Commission
San Diego LGBT Community Center
South Bay Community Services
Veterans Village of San Diego
Continuum of Care Notice
 
     Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
          
     This year's HUD NOFA for the Continuum of Care has now been released. For all information available on this year's NOFA, you may find it on our website under the header tab "NOFA" or at the following link: https://www.rtfhsd.org/nofa/. As a reminder, our COC Lead is the central point of contact for all NOFA related questions. The COC Lead can be reached at deme.hill@rtfhsd.org. Look for frequent e-mails from her and from the cocsandiego@rtfhsd.org for more information on this year's NOFA. 

 
San Diego awarded  $7.94 million through HUD's Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program
 
     Many members of our community came together earlier this year to strengthen San Diego's application for additional funds to help serve our homeless youth in region. The RTFH is pleased to announce that we were one of the 11 communities selected to received funds through HUD's Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). This project will allow for San Diego to develop a wide range of youth-specific housing programs such as rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and other types of innovative programs such as host homes.

     Moving forward through the next several months, the RTFH will begin coordination with our Youth Action Board, child welfare agencies,homeless youth service providers, and other community partners to create a comprehensive community plan to address and end youth homelessness. Click here for the official announcement.
 
Listening and Learning Tours Continued

     The CoC Listening and Learning tour will continue with CoC funded agencies and RTFH members over the next couple of months. Our overall goal is to strengthen the relationships with our providers. We look forward to seeing your program sites and hearing about the great work you and your staff are doing to help those in our region experiencing homelessness.
The 2018 WeAllCount

Youth Count Summary

 
     For the past three years, San Diego has made a concentrated effort in improving the quality of our data surrounding youth homelessness. The RTFH partners with various youth homelessness providers throughout San Diego County to assist with coordinated outreach efforts in targeting unaccompanied children and transitional aged youth.There has been a significant barrier in understanding the scale of youth homelessness due to the lack of historical data. Homeless youth are understood to be a 'hidden' population that experience a difficult time accessing services related to education, medical care, employment, and housing. To work on bridging this gap, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its federal partners have decided that the 2017 Point-in-Time Count will serve as the baseline year for measuring future trends in youth homelessness nationwide. 

     Below is a summary of some of the data collected during the 2018 Youth Count. This year, homeless youth service providers conducted street and event-based outreach seeking to survey unsheltered and unstably housed youth throughout San Diego County. 
 



 
Coordinated Entry System Catch Up
                                             
     HUD Technical Assistance 
 
     The HUD Technical Assistance guided Mapping of the Coordinated Entry System held on June 12th was a successful event with over 70 attendees. Many lessons were learned and highlighted the need for greater discussion on CES. HUD TA will be returning in August to continue this work. In the June newsletter, interested participants were asked to e-mail the CES Manager to express interest. We would like to ensure that all regions, sub-populations, stakeholders, and user-levels are well represented.  Invitees will be receiving an email for more details.

The CES team has been actively working to improve service delivery, in addition to the invaluable support from HUD Technical Assistance. Over the last quarter, some highlighted accomplishments include:
  1. Developed a comprehensive training calendar
  • First in the series is an Assessor Training, coming in late July through early August- all Outreach staff, Housing Navigators, and Assessors are encouraged to attend. Be on the lookout for a RSVP email. 
  1. Outreach Coordinator has been reaching out to outreach teams in all regions to create partnerships, develop region-specific resource information, map out outreach efforts and identify gaps. The Outreach Coordinator has developed drafts of a universal Third Party Verification of Homelessness to be reviewed by community partners and funders for adoption.
  2. Continued successful weekly case conferencing with the Father Joe’s Village Sprung Structure and community partners
  3. Average over 350 referrals per month to housing providers, increased communication with housing programs regarding referrals with no action, and actively working on data clean-up.
  4. Designing a CES User Group – developing a forum for the RTFH to share CES updates and for providers to ask questions.
  5. Filled and trained two vacant Housing Navigator positions- welcome Sofia Cardenas and Anesha Durham!
  
Client Spotlight

A Home Without Wheels
 
    Carolyn first became homeless 10 years ago, spending the entire time in the City of Oceanside. While homeless, Carolyn used her vehicle to escape the elements and would sleep in the driver's seat of her car along with all of her possessions. Beginning in January of 2016, Clifford Morris, Outreach Coordinator from Alpha Project assessed Carolyn's need for supportive services utilizing the Common Assessment Tool (VI-SPDAT). This was Carolyn's first engagement with the Coordinated Entry System, and she was eventually connected with Oceanside's Homeless Outreach Team officers, Joshua Ferry and Lonny Harper.  Despite being connected to some resources, Carolyn was experiencing compounding medical problems and was frequently in and out of the hospital. Her health was declining, and she needed urgent intervention.

    In June of 2017, Valentina Heather, a Housing Navigator with the RTFH, began working with Carolyn to help guide her through the Coordinated Entry System and work with her to obtain permanent housing. A housing resource became available through Oceanside's Public Housing Authority and Carolyn was quickly matched to this project. Despite having a housing voucher, the next big hurdle would be finding a landlord willing to accept the subsidy. It took a community effort to help Carolyn locate a potential housing opportunity through Oceanside's newest housing development, Mission Cover Senior ApartmentsWith some additional assistance from another community partner, Community Resource Center, Carolyn was able to secure a new apartment. 

     On June 27th, 2018, Carolyn signed her lease and got her keys for her new one bedroom apartment. Donations from Brother Bennos and Interfaith Community Services helped to furnish her gorgeous new apartment. Carolyn expressed, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have been homeless for 10 years. Living in this apartment is going to get kind of hard to get used to. But this is my home and I'm thankful it doesn't have wheels anymore!" 

    Carolyn's story highlights how San Diego's Coordinated Entry System can be effective at shortening an individual's length of homelessness once engaged in our system. Through a coordinated effort with an array of service providers working together, a community was able to come together and end homelessness for one individual. 

 
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The Regional Task Force on the Homeless
4699 Murphy Canyon Road
San DiegoCA 92123
 


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