The Task Force Times

September 2019 Edition

CEO Corner
Fall always feels like a season of learning. Summer is over, schools are back in session, and there is a certain excitement around the end of one season to initiate the next. 

On a daily basis, learning and growing from the community at large is demonstrated in our work. The RTFH understands that one of the most powerful collective learnings are demonstrations in Communities of Practice. The strength of the Community of Practice (CoP) model is in the people who share common sets of problems and concerns, who come together to contribute experiences and best practices to guide mutual solutions.

CoP's are powerful tools intended to coordinate efforts that meld into proven, nationally known best practices to launch San Diego ever closer to the shared goals of ending systematic disruptions in people’s lives. Disruptions that teeter people to the outer edges of homelessness. The exponential disruptions of those who have already fallen into homelessness.

An example of this is the RTFH new Rapid Rehousing Learning Collaborative as well as our emerging Diversion and Outreach work. In these efforts, we have engaged national experts who substantiate the necessary background and experience to work alongside providers and stakeholders in these areas. This way, we can better lay the groundwork for our community to come together to implement synergistic, nationally proven, and recognizably achievable strategies tailored to address San Diego’s unique needs.

We are incredibly appreciative of the great strides taken thus far by our community leaders, passionate providers, and the invested interest of the many intersecting entities all over the region as together, we accelerate towards alleviating and eradicating homelessness in San Diego.

Happy Fall to All!


Tamera Kohler
Chief Executive Officer
Continuum of Care Notice
RTFH Monthly Membership Meeting
The next CoC Membership Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday Oct. 31st. Please see the RTFH Events Calendar on our website for the most current meeting dates, times, and locations. If you have any questions about your membership status for voting privileges as a paid member, please send inquiries to

CoC Monitoring 
All CoC funded programs are in the process of having scheduled monitor visits with the CoC Lead. 
  • The RTFH CoC Monitoring Policy that was adopted by the RTFH Board of Directors effective 1/17/2019 can be accessed on the RTFH website by clicking here.
  • A CoC HUD CoC Monitoring compliance policy is available for organizations to adopt if they do not have one in place, and can be accessed on the RTFH website by clicking here.
These documents, along with other necessary compliance documents, can be accessed on the RTFH CoC section of the website by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please contact 

Outreach Policy Guidelines - Draft #2
Based on the feedback that was circulated for the first 90 day period, a revised second draft has become available for a 30 day review. It is the intent of these Policy Guidelines to provide overall guidance on a shared vision and approach for San Diego County, including all 18 cities and the unincorporated areas, for addressing the needs of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, including those living in vehicles, and those residing in encampments.

     Next Steps as of October 1, 2019

Flexible Housing Pool RFI 
We have posted the Regional Landlord Engagement and Management of Flexible Housing Pool RFI to the RTFH website at:  Please forward on the link to any interested parties. Responses to the RFI are to be submitted by October 31. 2019.

RTFH and community partners are engaging in efforts to reduce homelessness and promote housing stability within San Diego County through the development of a flexible housing pool. The RTFH envisions the pool as a resource for securing private rental units placed on the market so that provider organizations have an inventory of available units that can be matched with prospective tenants.

This Request for Information is an information gathering process in which the RTFH seeks to collect information and opinions in order to ascertain interest and better understand the components and fiscal impact of a full time entity to address the housing inventory challenges within the community.

RTFH is seeking information from interested entities to submit an overview of the ideal staffing structure, budget, and timeline to develop a model for a Regional Landlord Engagement and Management of Flexible Housing Pool dedicated to brokering relationships with property owners and landlords to secure units for vulnerable populations within the San Diego region and managing a flexible pool of funding to be used for various housing related expenses including long-term rent.

Please see the RFI for instructions on submitting responses.

- Funding Updates -
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) 
The final 2019 NOFA Application that has been submitted to HUD for the San Diego Continuum of Care has been published on our website, along with the Priority Project Listing. If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to Deme Hill, Continuum of Care Lead at or Pat Leslie, Consultant at
Youth Homeless Demonstration Project (YHDP)
The YHDP awardees were announced in the August edition of this newsletter, and are available for review on our website by clicking here.
Youth Spotlight:
Stakeholders, in partnership with the HUD Youth Homeless Demonstration Grant, County Office of Education and our HUD Technical Assistance Provider from the U.S. Department of Education will meet with higher education stakeholders and early care and education stakeholders once again to convene regarding the areas education and homelessness. The groups have been meeting quarterly to identify barriers and challenges within the respective systems to partner in new ways, and align resources regarding education and youth homelessness.  While the discussion focuses primarily on families headed by youth or young adults (YYA), many of the issues and strategies discussed are applicable to working with all families experiencing homelessness in the county of San Diego.
The group(s) are holding their quarterly meeting for the San Diego YHDP Higher Education Convening, scheduled for Tuesday, October 22, 2019, from 1:00 - 4:30 pm PT. The agenda is being developed and will be distributed to the individuals who are education providers invited to register for this meeting.
If you know an education partner that should be included in either group: The Higher Education Work Groups OR The Early Care and Education Work Group, please have them reach out to Christina Dukes AND Mayra Valdez- Contact information below:
NCHE | Operating the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program
Christina Dukes, Federal Liaison
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)
E:   P: (336) 315-7385   W:
Mayra Valdez, RTFH Project Specialist   P: (858) 292-7627 x28
The RTFH Board of Directors
The regular September Board meeting was held on September 19th
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled to be held on Thursday, October 24thPlease see the RTFH Events Calendar to locate updated dates, times, and locations.
Coordinated Entry System (CES) Updates

The CES team is pleased to distribute some important and long-awaited information that will help inform you and our community of partners and service providers on CES. This information was emailed on 09/26 to all providers and stakeholders who were identified as those who would benefit from receiving updates to the CES.

Please click here to review the most recent messaging regarding conducting the VI-SPDAT. This information is meant to help guide Outreach Workers, Case Managers, and other providers who conduct the Common Assessment Tool and the VI-SPDAT on when and where the VI-SPDAT should be conducted. 

In addition to VI-SDPAT messaging, you will find our updated Access Site flyer, which is dated 09/26/2019 at the bottom of the flyer. This flyer was created to inform the community and people experiencing homelessness where to direct those experiencing homelessness to start the conversation around getting assistance with immediate needs, shelter and housing resources. These are places where someone experiencing homelessness can connect with a provider, get support in planning for their needs, and learn about resources available in the San Diego region. This flyer will continue to be updated as access sites change or are added. Please note: This flyer will update as new sites are added or if there are changes to the current sites. Please email to ensure that you are receiving updates to the flyer as they occur.

Lastly, the RTFH has posted some general Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about what CES is, who we serve, and what the first step is in getting assistance when facing housing instability, among other questions. These questions are to help both our community of providers and community of people experiencing homelessness gain a clear understanding of some basic CES information. 

Please click here to find these resources available on our website to get access to the above mentioned documents and information and please check back regularly to the RTFH website for updated CES information and resources. Additionally, please share this information with anyone who would need to be informed on CES updates.
HMIS Highlights

HMIS Data Standards Changes FY 2020 (required for all licensed HMIS users)
The RTFH is proud to announce that as of October 1st, 2019 all of the required FY2020 Data Standards HMIS updates are ready to go in the Clarity HMIS. To help ensure that the process continues to be as smooth as the launch of the data standards, we have also distributed Data Standards training material in the form of a focused training video and data entry guide.

The data standards are a set of instructions provided by HUD along with federal partners Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services.  These data standards set the national standards for collecting data about homeless services at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. These are updated nearly every year as the system and standards evolve by all HMIS vendors and implemented by local HMIS Lead agencies (the RTFH for our CoC region). The HMIS Lead is responsible for required training of all HMIS licensed users in order to ensure that the federal partner’s standards are maintained. The San Diego HMIS Support Team provides this training along with technical assistance around the changes.

If you are a Clarity HMIS user and would like would like support or have questions about these Data Standards changes, please contact

Clarity/HMIS New User Training

The RTFH HMIS Team offers Clarity/HMIS New User Training sessions in-person at the RTFH Office in the United Way Building. If your organization has new staff that need to access HMIS to enter client data, this training session is required before they can be granted a Clarity user license. Sessions for the upcoming month are posted on the RTFH Events Calendar; click on an individual session to review technical requirements for training and register online to attend. HMIS Agency Administrators will be contacted following training sessions to confirm the cost of additional user licenses before trainees are provided a license.

As a note to all those who need training in the month of October, the trainings previously scheduled for  0/10 and 10/16 have been rescheduled for 10/23 and 10/30.

WeAllCount: Annual Homelessness
Point in Time (PIT) Census 2020

The RTFH would like to thank the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) for their recognition of our more recent efforts to improve on methodology to move towards an engaged count of people experiencing homelessness. They have posted the following in their most recent newsletter:
You can read the NAEH full newsletter release here. If you would like to make donations to the PIT survey efforts for our volunteers to distribute during the 2020 WeAllCount PIT in January, contact or
Learning Opportunities
The Permanent Housing Learning Collaborative
The Permanent Housing Learning Collaborative welcomes new attendees, and anyone interested in finding out more about what they do and what it entails to join is welcome to email the Associate Director of Housing Innovation Partners: During the last meeting, the group voted to merge with the Supportive Housing Learning Network (SHLN) who are doing similar and important work. This combined group will also have the support of the San Diego Housing Federation allowing to expand the areas in which they can serve their members. Their next meeting date/time/location is still to be determined.
Additionally, The San Diego Housing Federation’s Annual Conference takes place on October 9 and 10, 2019. The first day is a pre-conference institute being facilitated in partnership with The Housing Federation, CSH, and Wakeland Housing. The following day consists of intensive and in-depth training on “Homelessness 101”, “Motivational Interviewing”, Trauma-Informed Care”, and “Coordination of Property Management and Services”. This training uses evidence-based practices, is tailored towards front line staff and property management staff in supportive housing environments, and is highly recommended. More information on both days of the conference as well as registration can be found at:
Rapid Re-housing (RRH) Learning Collaborative  
Consultant Michelle Valdez returned to San Diego on Wednesday, October 2nd for another RRH Learning Collaborative Meeting joined this time by Kris Freed, Chief Programs Officer at Los Angeles Family Housing, who oversees all of their homeless programs operations. With 20 years of experience in the nonprofit homeless service sector, Kris specializes in designing homeless services with an emphasis on coordinating service delivery across multiple systems. She will help lead the RRH providers through some  training, skill-building and brainstorming.
Governor Newsom Signs Series of Bills Addressing Homelessness
On September 26, California Governor Newson, who formed the California Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force, signed a package of homelessness bills to address local needs in removing regulatory barriers to solve homelessness, including CEQA exemptions for supportive housing and shelter construction. You can read more about this announcement that builds on a historic $1 billion investment in the 2019-2020 budget to address homelessness crisis.
Gravitas: Collective Intelligence Software Platform
The San Diego Homeless Provider Alliance (SDHPA) started out of a desire to give providers a way to have unified voice and give us an ability to support collaboration.  One of the tools provided to the group is a web-based platform to help us ask and give help to each other.  We all want to help but if your inbox is like mine, it can be hard to be as helpful as we desire.  With this platform, we can all see the ask and the offers of help.  The overall support of the community increases.

The tool was developed off the concept known as the reciprocity rings.  A reciprocity ring is a where people ask for help to the group and group members help.  It is built on the simple principle we want to help and only need to be asked.  This is further supported by research done at both the University of Michigan and author Adam Grant.  If you ever get a chance to read his book, Give and Take, I highly recommend it.

The platform is called Givitas.  You can learn more at The potential of this simple but powerful tool for our community is incredible.  We can have up to 200 people on the platform.  They have found having over 100 helps keep it active and engaging.  If you would like to get access to this tool please let Kat Durant or Paul Armstrong know and they will coordinate getting you set up.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The U.S. Department of Justice, along with other organizations, have continued to observe this month to raise awareness about the seriousness of the trauma inflicted by this abuse that affects the direct victims and has a ripple effect out to the families and communities.

If you would like to learn more about activities that you can participate in this month to spread awareness and support for those who most often feel like they suffer in silence, please see this DVAM federal factsheet.

If you need assistance or know someone who needs immediate help, report domestic violence by calling the San Diego County Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-888-DV-LINKS or 1-888-385-4657
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The Regional Task Force on the Homeless
4699 Murphy Canyon Road
San DiegoCA 92123

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