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The Task Force Times

March 2019 Edition

CEO Corner
The Power of Collaboration
  
     Happy spring! One of my favorite ways to understand and strengthen systems is through a Learning Collaborative. A Learning Collaborative is a forum for service providers to develop and implement changes to how they operate, as well as overall system design changes, while receiving support from their peers and other experts in the work. As a community working together to end homelessness we have a few core program models that provide housing assistance. One of the leading HUD program models is Rapid Rehousing which our region receives funding from both the Continuum of Care (CoC) and the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) that support this housing solution. We also have a model funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) and potentially funding through the Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP). With each of these models come slightly different requirements which can make running a successful RRH program challenging right from the start along with tight rental markets and low vacancy rates to name a few. When RRH was first introduced nationally it was understood to be a fundamentally different way of doing business for many homeless service providers. In consideration of the uniqueness of San Diego region we want to ensure that as a community we provide RRH to our clients in an efficient and effective manner and that our practices are clear and comprehensive, RTFH will be launching a RRH Learning Collaborative starting in May. We will look to this year-long collaborative to inform the setting or targeted outcomes and any needed updates to policies and procedures. Our goal is to create an opportunity to collectively work together and learn from each other’s experience and capitalize on each other’s resources and skills while we design and implement a flexible, client-driven RRH model. Unlike individual or classroom style of learning, a learning collaborative is a form of peer learning.
 
In order to do this, we have brought in Michelle Valdez, a consultant with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit and governmental fields including homelessness. Over the coming month, Michelle will be reaching out to providers, funders, and other key stakeholders to gather information and feedback on how RRH is currently operating and will work with our community to design and roll out a Learning Collaborative, based on the NAEH model/toolkit, that is tailored to our community’s needs.
 
Sincerely,
Tamera Kohler
Chief Executive Officer
HMIS Highlights

3/26/19 Webinar - Tools for Agency Administrators
Earlier this week we held a webinar entitled “Clarity Training Session - Tools for Managers/Administrators”. This webinar offered some information specifically for leadership at HMIS participating agencies who play one of the four main HMIS roles (HMIS agency administrator, backup agency administrator, security officer or billing contact) however it may also be useful to others outside of these key contacts. Data Entry Cheat Sheet for Outreach Workers and Programs
We are pleased to share a new data entry cheat sheet for outreach workers. If you enter data into HMIS on clients you serve through an outreach program, please review this document as it provides both a high-level outline of the data entry process as well as step-by-step instructions with screenshots of how to complete the process in Clarity.
View/download the cheat sheet here.

HIC Updates
The HMIS team has sent out emails to providers for the HIC data and are in the process of finalizing inventory for the night of the PIT. The Sheltered PIT data has been collected using brand new tools from the HMIS, the comparable database, and the with the cooperation of our non-HMIS provides via a non-HMIS tool. Over 175 programs and over 35 agencies are participating in this year's HIC and Sheltered PITC.
Please note: the final date for updating, cleaning or submitting provider data for the HIC is April 5th, 2019! The RTFH staff is available for any questions or concerns regarding the HIC and Sheltered PITC!
   
Please send any questions regarding HMIS to support@rtfhsd.org and our team will be happy to assist you
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Continuum of Care Notice
YHDP Coordinated Community Plan Submitted!

On March 12, 2019, the CoC submitted the San Diego Coordinated Community Plan to End Youth Homelessness to HUD for approval of implementation of the CCP. The final submission of the CCP was approved by HUD on March 13, 2019. Please join the Youth Action Board, Operations Team and Regional Task Force on the Homeless to introduce the final San Diego Coordinated Community Plan to End Youth Homelessness on April 4th at 1:30 pm
at The Coucil for Supplier Diversity. 
For additional information about upcoming Request for Proposals for YDHP which is planned to be released to the community in April 2019 please visit our website.


Update on the HEAP
 We received 51 complete applications from 41 agencies for a 2 year ask for over $63M.
All applications have been reviewed for meeting threshold requirements and if needed have been given a 24-hour window to make minor corrections and will be notified by email today. Here is the updated tentative timeline due to the extension of the original application deadline.
 
TENTATIVE TIMELINE
 
3/18/19               HEAP Applications Due
3/19-29/19          Staff Review applications for Threshold
3/27/19               Contact Potential Reviewers for conflict
3/28/19               Final data for submission of missing items (if needed)
3/29-4/2              Final review for Threshold
4/5/19                 Assign Reviewers to application
4/5-4/29/19        Review & score applications
4/30-5/3/19        Rank all applications
5/6/19                Present ranked applications to committee
5/17/19              Notice of Awards
Diversion Learning Collaborative
 
  We want thank all the community partners that attended the first of the diversion training. A special thanks to Father Joe's Village for their space and catering our meals and Ed Boyte for a very well orchestrated and informative collaborative! Everyone that attended participated in role playing where they implemented the tools of diversion and also acted as the client so we can also understand the vulnerability our clients feel when sharing their story. Friday's Train the Trainer session had 20 attendees that were from all areas of the County. The goal is that as a community the Trainers will continue to teach diversion to our providers after the contract with the Cleveland Mediation Center ends next year. 
Coordinated Entry System Catch Up
   
     Our CES management team this past month has been out in the community meeting with organizations to walk through with each organization individually about what it means to be an Access Site. As part of the revamping of the CES system the community agreed that we need to move away from Assessment sites and using the VI-SPDAT as the first strategy when talking to people about their housing crisis and instead used a prolonged engagement method of first determining if they are experiencing a housing crisis and if there is a way to help them divert out of that crisis and not enter into homelessness.  Access sites are throughout San Diego and are where persons experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness can gain initial access to CES. Access Point staff complete initial screening, make emergency service referrals, complete initial diversion/problem-solving conversations, and, if appropriate, may administer population-appropriate CES Triage Tool in the HMIS. 
   
     Additionally, the CES team continues with the Case Conferencing meetings. These meetings bring together homeless service providers and housing providers to discuss aviable housing resources in the community and which program would best serve their client's needs. There have had 8 Case Conferencing meetings so far with 112 clients marched from that process including one family  with a new born baby who slept in their car for the past 2 years who has been matched  and moved into a PSH unit on 3/1!  

Project Spotlight
 
The CES team is excited to announce the first successful lease-up with Zephyr Apartments! The CES team in coordination with PATH staff have successfully sent 100% of the referrals through the new Clarity system. This means that homeless veterans throughout the region were matched to the PATH Zephyr project through the HMIS and then screened by PATH's case managers to lease-up 100% of the Zephyr property. 

According to Taylor St. Clair, Zephyr's Program Manager, using the CES process was "...a positive experience. It appeared that we were really able to serve the clients that were the most appropriate for PSH. The weekly case conferencing hosted by RTFH was also an integral part in identifying the most appropriate clients and gave the ability to collaborate with the other veteran programs to assist with getting clients leased up."

Affirmed Housing's website states, "Zephyr will be home to extremely low income and homeless veterans. It will not only provide comprehensive on-site social services and case management services for its residents, but also access to other veteran services at the local VA Clinic (just four trolley stops away) on Rio San Diego Drive. Zephyr responds to two important initiatives of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the City of San Diego Mayor’s Office: Housing First – SDHC’s Homelessness Action Plan, and Housing Our Heroes – The 1000 Homeless Veterans Initiative, respectively." 
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