The Task Force Times

August 2018 Edition

CEO Corner

Our Evergrowing Agency

    There are a number of exciting changes underway at the RTFH, and more opportunities are coming down the line. In order to effectively facilitate these changes, the Regional Task Force is continuing to grow. We've had a few wonderful additions to our staff recently, and anticipate further growth in the coming months. 

     We are currently in the midst of finalizing the contract with our new HMIS vendor, Bitfocus. We are eager to get the new HMIS software up and running so that our region can better combat homelessness using sound data. The RTFH would like to publicly thank the Lucky Duck Foundation for its generosity in helping with the advance needed to finish the contract.

      This past week we hosted a public input session on how to allocate the funds from the state's new Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). During this meeting, we received feedback from a variety of interested partners and community members on how to best utilize these funds. There will be another community input session on Thursday, August 23, as part of our scheduled membership meeting. We look forward to hearing any additional suggestions about how these funds should be allocated to make the biggest impact in our region. 

     With new software and new funds on the horizon, it is an exciting time for our Continuum of Care. It is our commitment to collaborate closely with each of you in utilizing these resources to make a significant difference in the lives of San Diegans affected by homelessness. 

Gordon D. Walker
Chief Executive Officer
HMIS Highlights

Focus Strategies Meetings

     As part of the development process for our community plan to end homelessness, RTFH contracted with Focus Strategies to perform a system-level data analysis. This may sound familiar because late in 2017, a similar level analysis was performed on the 2016 calendar year data using the 2016 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and 2016 budget information collected from providers. The results of the 2016 data analysis made it clear that we needed a more intentional approach to collecting the data as well as a more contemporary look at what is happening in our region considering the massive changes we've undergone as a community in the past year. 
     To ensure the round of data collection and analysis is accurate and well-informed, Focus Strategies visited San Diego to conduct meetings with service providers who had lodging projects (I.e. projects who fund beds) during the week of August 6th.

     At these meetings, Focus Strategies and the RTFH met with over 30 providers to explain plans to utilize 2017-2018 HMIS data, contemporary budgets for the projects being analyzed, as well as the information from the 2018 HIC. Nearly 200 projects were discussed during the week and we are confident that the new analysis will produce actionable results as we continue to develop the community plan and hope this data may be used as well for other local initiatives. 

    The RTFH thanks all of the agencies who were able to participate and appreciates the chance to continue to build and enhance the working relationships we have with our partner agencies. Currently, budget information is being collected and HMIS exports are being built for this project. We would also like to thank the San Diego Housing Commission for hosting the first day of meetings with providers. Keep an eye out for updates in the near future on the results of our Focus Strategies' analysis. 
Continuum of Care Notice
    Capital Hill Day with Congressman
Scott Peters
     The San Diego CoC board members, RTFH staff, and other California advocates met with Congressman Scott Peters on Capitol Hill Day to discuss national, state, and local policies regarding homelessness. The Congressman was excited to see people visiting from his district, and was very interested in hearing our collective voice on issues regarding homelessness in California. The RTFH staff and CoC board got a chance to thank Congressman Peters on his support of the HUD Homeless Youth Demonstration Grant, which in July awarded the RTFH with $7.94 million dollars; over 2 years the grant will serve more than 1,000 homeless youth in our region. Congressman Peters has a deep vested interest in veteran homelessness and serves on the Housing Committee on Veterans' Affairs. His staff has met several times with the RTFH to educate themselves on local data and the realities of homelessness, to help garner the political will to continue the work to help end homelessness in San Diego, California, and nationwide. 


Meeting with Congressman Scott Peters to discuss homelessness in the San Diego region.

The Congressman speaking with Tamera Kohler and Karen McCabe.

L to R: Amy Denhart from Funders Together to End Homelessness,  Brian Gruters from LeSar Development, Erika Hartman from Downtown Los Angeles Women's Center, Congressman Scott Peters, Deme Hill from RTFH, Tamera Kohler from RTFH, Karen McCabe from Scripps Mercy Hospital, and Bill Bolstad from Father Joe's Villages. 
NOFA Results

The Rating and Ranking Subcommittee has completed scoring of new and renewable applitcations for the 2018 CoC competition. You can view the initiatial scoring results awarded at the following link:

Scoring Results

AmeriCorps Member Service Opportunity
     The RTFH and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are seeking an AmeriCorps member to serve as a full-time Project Specialist for our agency. Homeless or formally homeless transitional-aged youth are encouraged to apply. Folks interested in applying must submit a resume and cover letter to For a full job description click this link.

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.
Coordinated Entry System Catch Up
  HUD Technical Assistance Visit   

     Last week the RTFH hosted a three-day workshop led by our HUD TA's. This technical training was attended by a wide-array of service partners who participate in the CES process in a variety of different ways. The workshop allowed the community to come together to "blow up" San Diego's Coordinate Entry and redesign the system. Folks were able to identify some of the gaps and barriers they have encountered in CES and brainstorm resolutions that would bridge the shortcomings. 

     At the end of the third day the group brainstormed a list of actionable next-steps for our team to begin working on. Our team took this list and developed a 30-day work plan to begin swiftly implementing some of these next steps to improve our regions CES. Many of these changes will need to be coordinated with our new HMIS vendor as we work to create a network that will efficiently meet the needs of our regions homeless population. We would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who participated in this process and for giving their valuable time to this endeavor. During this workshop, our group was able to develop an updated mission statement to help inform our regions Coordinated Entry that we are proud to share: 

The San Diego Coordinated Entry is an efficient network of care, helping individuals and families resolve their housing crises by accessing valuable resource in an equitable, person-centered and transparent manner.  

Some of our participants engaging in an activity.

Many discussions were had on what is and isn't currently working.

A group photo of all those who participated in the 3 day workshop.
Staff Spotlight

Jennifer Yost, Director of Grant Management
     The RTFH is proud to announce that we have brought on Jennifer Yost as our new Director of Grant Management. Jennifer has 19 years of homeless, non-profit, economic and community development experience. She has a strong background in community engagement, grants management, and federal and state regulatory compliance. She joins the RTFH after having served in Seattle's Humans Services Department as the Federal Grants Manager of Homeless Strategy and Investment where she oversaw the compliance and tracking of $30 million in HUD funding and over $44 million in city funding; representing 9 different revenue sources and 17 restricted use accounts. Prior to that, Jennifer was the Community Development Division Director for the City of Nampa, Idaho. During her tenure with the city, she oversaw the City's Community Improvement Programs and the U.S. HUD funds received through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. We're proud to bring her aboard and believe she will be a valuable member of our team. Welcome to San Diego, Jennifer! 
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4699 Murphy Canyon Road
San DiegoCA 92123

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