The Task Force Times

June 2018 Edition

CEO Corner

New Board Members

     On June 14, 2018, we held our Annual Membership Meeting. At this meeting, the membership elected board members to fill the homeless service provider board member seats rotating in 2018. The membership also ratified the board slate approved by the board at their May 2018 board meeting, which included all other director positions rotating in 2018 (excluding the service provider seats).  
     We want to welcome our new RTFH Board Members: Ellis Rose filling our Homeless/Formerly Homeless seat, Jeff Gering from Family Health Centers filling our Healthcare Provider seat, Nancy Cannon O'Connell filling a Flexible seat, Kathryn Lembo from South Bay Community Services filling the Homeless Service Provider South Bay seat, Alexandra Berenter from Downtown San Diego Partnership filling a Business seat, Susanne Terry from the San Diego County Office of Education filling the Education seat (which became vacant mid-term and was filled during the recruitment process, although the seat doesn’t rotate until 2019), and our Board Secretary, Karen Brailean, now filling one of the Funder Representative seats.

     We want to formally thank the following exiting board members for all of their hard work in serving on our board: Major Jessyca Carr from Salvation Army who served from 2014-2018, San Diego County Chief of Probation, Adolfo Gonzales, who served from 2016-2018, Dr. Sue Lindsay who served from 2014 to 2018, Larissa Tabin from South Bay Community Services who served from 2014-2018 and Simonne Ruff from Corporation for Supportive Housing who served from 2014 to 2018.

     Special thanks to the formerly titled Nominations and Selection Committee and the Chair Simonne Ruff for a great deal of time and effort put into improvements to our Charter and ByLaws also voted on and passed at the last Membership meeting. Reflective of some of those improvements, that committee is now called the Governance Advisory Committee

Gordon D. Walker
Chief Executive Officer
The 2018 WeAllCount

Recreational Vehicle Count

     Since the release of the WeAllCount numbers, a few community members have expressed concern over the updated methodology utilized in this years WeAllCount and how recreational vehicles (RVs) are counted. For the first time this year, the RTFH asked enumerators to separately identify RVs from all other vehicles in our census tract forms when conducting the count. This was done with the intent to better understand the types of vehicles our counters were seeing, and to assess how big the population of those permanently residing in RVs is in San Diego. 

     The decision to identify RVs as a separate category was based on guidance per HUD. HUD has stated that there is not a single standard for considering those in RVs as part of the unsheltered homeless population, and that each Continuum of Care must show discretion in how they classify this type of sleeping arrangement. HUD dictates that we must first determine if the individual identifies as homeless and then also assess whether the RV meets habitability standards. As a community, we must assess an individuals circumstance by engaging those who are in RVs by knocking on their windows/doors and collecting more information. Through this process, the determination can be made if the RV meets general habitability standards. This determination cannot be made with only a visual count of RVs. HUD has stated that without engagement it is "very, very hard to determine if anyone is homeless in RVs." 

       The decision to not include the RV numbers as unsheltered in the annual report was based on our inability to determine if those in RVs: are homeless as HUD requires, if they were unstably housed but were living in habitable conditions, of if the RV was inhabited by vacationers taking advantage of San Diego's temperate climate. Additionally, this year was not a mandated reporting year for HUD. Moving forward, it is the intention of the RTFH to develop a new baseline for this methodology for the WeAllCount with HUD guidance. As we gear up for the next WeAllCount on a mandated reporting year, the RTFH anticipates moving towards a more "person-centric" model that will seek to enumerate the number of homeless individuals in place of solely tallying vehicles and RVs. 
Continuum of Care Notice
     Gearing Up for
The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

          This year's HUD NOFA for the Continuum of Care has not been released yet. This notice describes the type of funding available on a competitive basis and provides a contact where an application may be submitted. As a reminder, Deme Hill, the RTFH CoC Lead, is the central point of contact for all NOFA related items. Deme can be reached at Look for e-mails from her and from the for more information on this year's NOFA when it becomes available.

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  
     On June 12th, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless had the opportunity to have HUD Technical Assistance lead a discussion on evaluating San Diego’s Coordinated Entry System.

     Community partners were invited to attend and provide insight on ways to improve CES and start the conversation on the development of a Coordinated Entry System that meets HUD’s core requirements as well as the needs of San Diego homeless providers and clients. 

     During the meeting, HUD Technical Assistance explained the mandatory, recommended, and optional components of a Coordinated Entry System. Community partners were able to vocalize their positive experiences and challenges with utilizing our community's system. The information gathered on that day is going to be used to frame further discussions on improving our regional coordination efforts. Moving forward in our efforts to improve CES, we intend to invite interested participants to continue to work with HUD TA and the RTFH. An interest list is currently being compiled. Participation includes attending meetings, participating in webinars, and providing feedback.

     If you are interested in being a part of this process please e-mail the CES Manager, Junne Esguerra, at, by July 6, 2018. It is encouraged for all levels of CES users to participate. Further information will be provided to participants via e-mail.

HMIS Highlights

HMIS Redesign and Implementation
    With the RFP deadline passed, the RTFH is excited to begin hosting software demonstrations by prospective HMIS vendors in the next week. We have received some responses for those interested in attending the demos, but would love to have more community members and stakeholders from throughout our region's CoC be involved in hearing and giving feedback on these presentations.

Dates for the vendor demos at 5160 Federal Blvd., San Diego 92105 are as follows:

Tuesday 6/19/2018, 9:00am-11:00am
Friday 6/22/2018, 8:am-10:00am
Friday 6/22/2018, 10:30am-12:30pm
Friday 6/22/2018, 2:00pm-4:00pm

If you and/or others from your organization are able to participate, please provide the following information to Jenna Groesbeck via e-mail at

·         Organization name
·         Participant names and roles
·         Sessions participants are available to attend

     We have a higher need for individuals to attend the Friday sessions, but there is plenty of space available for all dates and times and we encourage your participation. Our goal is to choose an HMIS vendor that will allow agencies in our CoC to serve people more effectively and efficiently. We know this will be a valuable opportunity for you to contribute by helping us choose software that will meet your needs. 

     As a reminder, all updated dashboards are accessible on the RTFH Regional Reports page. Please refer to them frequently for the most up to date forward facing data about homelessness in your region. 
Client Spotlight

Sprung Into A New Start
    Rhonda first became homeless in May of 2014 and she soon spent several years attempting to navigate the services available for those experiencing homelessness. While Rhonda does have family around her that loves and supports her, moving in with them was never an option. Earlier in life, she spent her time as a wife and mother, taking care of her family and making sure her household ran smoothly.  Because of this, her work history was limited and in turn, paid little into Social Security, which has made it difficult in recent years to be able to afford housing in San Diego.

     In May of 2017, Rhonda completed her first VI-SPDAT assessment at South Bay Community Services. In November of 2017 she began working with RTFH Housing Navigation Specialist Cynthia Garza. Over the few years that she experienced homelessness, she encountered many challenges in trying to resolve her housing situation. Between limited economic resources and a lack of follow-through, she felt let down by the system and had lost hope that anything positive would come her way.  It took several months and many intimate conversations for Cynthia to build a rapport and gain Rhonda’s trust, but with time they formed a great working relationship. In addition to her homelessness, Rhonda had been experiencing multiple health issues and Cynthia was concerned for her well-being.  Rhonda had gone to the emergency room several times within a few short months, being admitted for days at a time.  In collaboration with Kelly, Kyle, and other Alpha Project staff, Rhonda was able to get a bed at the Alpha Project Sprung Structure while she waited for a housing resource to come her way.  In March of 2018, Rhonda was matched to a Permanent Supportive Housing vacancy at Alpha Square, giving her an opportunity to get off the street and into her own space with supportive services to help keep her housed and healthy.  She moved into her apartment on May 7th and has been a happy resident ever since. 

     Rhonda’s narrative highlights how San Diego's Coordinated Entry System can be effective at reducing homelessness when community service providers come together to collaborate, serve, and house our fellow San Diegan neighbors who experience homelessness. 
Copyright © 2017 The Regional Task Force on the Homeless, All rights reserved.

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

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The Regional Task Force on the Homeless · 4699 Murphy Canyon Road · San Diego, CA 92123 · USA

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