The Task Force Times

May/June 2019 Edition

CEO Corner
Continuing Community Collaboration

Summer has just begun, and we are well underway on many projects and funding sources that are keeping us all quite busy.
We have developed project and system performance dashboards, and we look forward to seeing how this visualized data can help drive decisions, further conversations, and give more context to what ending homelessness looks like on both a project-specific and a larger scale.
We are finalizing contracts for organizations that have been awarded HEAP funding, a one-time flexible block grant to provide immediate emergency assistance to people experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of homelessness. Selected projects are spread throughout the region, and we are also excited to have a youth-focused project in each of these regions (Central, North, East, South), and we are appreciative of the collaborative work that these applicants put forth in the Heap funding process. We will look forward to the impacts these efforts will have across the region.
We also would like to update that the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program (YHDP) RFP application process has concluded. The $7.94 million in funds awarded to San Diego’s implementation of the YHDP is expected to take place in the fall.

On June 19th, we kicked off the Rapid Re-housing (RRH) Learning Collaborative with our consultant Michele Valdez, who has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit and government fields. This Learning Collaborative will assist our region’s RRH providers to work together with a wider group than their peers. Ms. Valdez has reviewed our standards of practice, and will share successful strategies developed specially to address San Diego’s unique needs.

Important to our work is the public input on the Outreach Policy draft public comment period that has begun on the first of June and will continue until August 30. We encourage feedback through our online survey.  Additionally, Ed Boydt will join us again in July for Diversion training, and we will also conduct Outreach sessions by the President and CEO of the OrgCode Consulting firm, Iain De Jong. Dates and more details about these trainings and sessions will be updated on our event calendar.

Tamera Kohler
Chief Executive Officer
HMIS Highlights
Project Performance and System Performance Dashboards
The RTFH is excited to share that, in collaboration with SimTech Solutions, Inc., two dashboards have been prepared for the benefit of our community.  

The first dashboard is the Project Performance Dashboard to review visualized data for each project that operates within the HMIS. Currently, the individual project identification is not available in the dashboard. Each agency will be sent their specific project code so that they may review their own data and use this dashboard as a tool to summarize their performance in terms of available HMIS data.

The second dashboard is a visualization of the federal report submitted to HUD, the System Performance Measures (SPM) report. The SPM dashboard acts as an executive summary of the overall HMIS by following the same 7 performance measures that HUD requests in their annual reporting of the same name. This dashboard uses the information that the RTFH sends to HUD annually and visualizes it in such a way that historical trends over time can be seen from a regional, system-wide perspective.

We are excited to be able to provide these to you in our community and look forward to seeing how this visualized data can help drive decisions, further conversations, and give context to what ending homelessness looks like on both a project-specific and a larger scale.

The Project Performance Dashboard can be found here:
The System Performance Measures (SPM) Dashboard can be found here:

We will continuously review the dashboards for usability and presentation with the goal of displaying the data in the most effective way possible. We are also committed to updating the data that feeds the dashboards on a quarterly basis.

Please send any questions about the dashboards to

7/17 HMIS Webinar on Running and Utilizing the APR
The HMIS team will host a webinar on July 17 at 1:00 pm PT that will provide focused training on a key federal report, the HUD Annual Performance Report (APR). The session, entitled "HMIS Focused Training - Running and Utilizing the HUD Annual Performance Report (APR)", will cover how to run the HUD Annual Performance Report in Clarity as well as how to read and utilize the report results in order to troubleshoot data quality for HMIS programs. The session is most appropriate for those who would be running the APR for programs they operate in HMIS, including (but not limited to) HMIS agency administrators. 

Read more and register for the webinar here

Clarity/HMIS New User Training
The RTFH HMIS Team also 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.

Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA)
New HUD Annual Homeless Report for CoC’s

San Diego’s CoC LSA has been submitted by the RTFH to HUD. The LSA is a new federal report for 2019 that takes specific data into account from our Continuum of Care’s HMIS and stores it in a data repository as a submission to HUD. The LSA informs HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), a report written by HUD to Congress.
The LSA has been a challenging process for all involved nationwide since its original release by HMIS vendors late in 2018. We are proud that our CoC came together so that our region could submit a clean report to HUD.
Although the LSA has been submitted for this fiscal year, there is more to come. HUD has also introduced a new tool, known as Stella, which will transform the data uploaded in the LSA into critical information about the San Diego system of care. Future announcements will be made about Stella’s capabilities in the ways it will be able to assist us further in our work.

There are a number of changes to this report since the distinction has been made between the data submission (LSA) and the written report (AHAR). An entire list of changes can be found here.

Board Nominations and Selection

The process of selecting new RTFH Board members is completed for the new fiscal year. The approved slate contains the following Board Members who were selected:
Appointed seats:
David R. Estrella Public Housing Authority
Jessica Chamberlain Veterans Administration
Vicki Brannock Workforce Partnership
Non Service Provider Seats:
Amy Denhart Funder Representative
Dimitros G. Alexiou Health Care
John Brady Flexible
Karen I. McCabe Health Care
Keely M. Halsey Funder Representative (2020 Term)
Michael Hopkins Flexible
Paul J. Connelly Law Enforcement
Raymond G. Ellis Business
Rolland E. Slade Faith Community
Sean D. Karafin Business
Sean M. Elo Education
Service Provider seats:
Andre Simpson, VVSD North County Inland region
Laura Tancredi-Baese, Home Start, Inc. East County region
Walter Phillips, San Diego Youth Services Central region

We welcome the new slate of Board Members who will take office on July 1, 2019 and look forward to their work. We are also very grateful for all of the work that has been done by our departing Board members, Alexandra Berenter, Susanne Terry, Peter Callstrom, and Ken Sauder. We would like to give a special thanks to these individuals, whose expertise has guided us over their term with us. We wish them luck on their future endeavors.
Please note that there is no Governance Board Meeting in July to accommodate attendees of the NAEH Conference. The Board will reconvene on August 29. Please see the RTFH Events Calendar to locate meeting dates and times.
Continuum of Care Notice
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
As of July 1, the HUD NOFA has not yet been released. Please continue to check our website for updates. The NOFA establishes the funding criteria for the Continuum of Care (CoC) programs. As of now, we are preparing for the release of the NOFA by making certain we have the most current point of contacts for applicants intending to apply for these funds, along with a back-up individual. You can fill out the contact update form here and email to to make sure we have the most current information. 
Please continue to check our website for more updates on the release of the NOFA.

Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP)
The RTFH was awarded $18 million for distribution in the San Diego region over the course of two years in HEAP funding, a one-time flexible block grant to provide immediate emergency assistance to people experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of homelessness. We received 51 applications from 41 agencies requesting over $63 million dollars in funding assistance. On May 31st, 22 applications were recommended for funding over $8 million in the first year, and the organizations were notified of those conditional awards.

Funding Distribution (based on Conditional Awards):
  • 28.2% = North County (North Inland & North Coastal)
  • 13.4% = East County
  • 11.2% = South County
  • 27.8% = Central (including City of San Diego)
  • 19.4% = County-wide programs
RTFH staff is finalizing conversations with the organizations who have been selected for funding based on meeting the requirements specified by HUD for this funding. Those who were not selected will have the opportunity to meet with RTFH staff to discuss any feedback about the application, and to potentially share their applications with other funders. More information about this can be found on our website here.

NYC Point Source Youth Conference 
The San Diego Youth Action Board (YAB) was invited to participate as panel members on Innovations in Youth Collaboration: Best Practices in Creating and Engaging a Youth Action Board at the 2019 Point Source Youth conference in New York city. YAB members, RTFH staff, and other homeless youth providers in San Diego attended the conference. The youth were able to network with other Youth Homeless Demonstration Project (YHDP) communities across the nation to learn their best practices. Youth were engaged throughout the entire experience and were encouraged to participate.
San Diego YAB did a great job presenting about their experiences on creating a Youth Action Board. They shared valuable information and lessons learned with the 25 new YHDP communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage our youth to learn and encourage their growth.

Attendees of the first two Diversion training sessions were invited to an open feedback session to provide some insights and thoughts on practical implementation. They discussed the diversion principles of empowerment, mediation, crisis resolution, and solution talk. They want to use data to assist with identifying where diversion may work best, and make sure that all appropriate staff, such as outreach and access site workers, go through a similar training to learn these techniques. They learned that many agencies have been doing some diversion in their work as it stands, so now the focus is on formalizing techniques that have already been happening to unify the community to follow best practices.

We also want to thank Father Joe's Villages for catering the training session and for allowing use of their space. We also want to thank the Council for Supplier Diversity for hosting our May session with trainer, Lehman Busbee. Ed Boyte will return for the next scheduled set of training sessions. Please keep an eye on our event calendar for the dates and details about these trainings. To sign up for the training, please contact Kat Durant: 
Rapid Re-housing (RRH) Learning Collaborative  
The RTFH, with consultant assistance from Michelle Valdez, hosted our first phase of the RRH Learning Collaborative on June 19th. Michelle has invited RRH providers and stakeholders from the San Diego Region to establish a shared community vision and prepare for the launch of the Collaborative Team Meetings that are planned to start in July. The Learning Collaborative will work on best practices to implement a flexible, client-driven RRH model, as well as develop a framework for ongoing collaboration and improvement. The overall goals of the Collaboration are:
  1. System alignment, ‘Right-sizing’ strategies identified and implemented
  2. System-wide RRH Operational Practice Standards adopted
  3. Develop/sustain a Community of Practice
  4. Improved Outcomes for Participants (moved into housing quickly and remain stability housed)
The anticipated timeline is as follows:
  • Spring 2019: Review/assess current RRH system 
  • Late Spring/Early Summer 2019: Convene providers/stakeholders & launch Learning Collaborative 
  • Fall 2019: Develop recommendations for right-sizing system 
  • Winter 2019/2020: TA for implementation of best practices & system improvements

Outreach Policy – Draft Public Comment Period (6/1 – 8/30)
During the May 16th Board Meeting of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, the Board of Directors authorized the next steps of coordinating the outreach efforts to address unsheltered homelessness. This step includes the release of draft policy guidance and a public comment period for feedback on the plan. It is the intent of this policy to provide guidance on a shared vision and approach for the region for addressing the needs of unsheltered persons including those residing in homeless encampments. You are encouraged to review the presentation and the draft of the policy that will be presented to the RTFH Board for adoption during the September Board Meeting. The public comment period will be open for 90 days beginning June 1st.

Scheduled meetings are also intended to provide additional forums for public comment. You can check for the dates and locations of those meetings by visiting the landing page for the policy here.

Iain De Jong Visit: July 29 through August 2
Iain is the President and CEO of OrgCode Consulting, an international consulting firm focused on ending homelessness. Iain is a policy advisor to various governments and a technical advisor to dozens of homeless shelters and street outreach programs throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. His organization is also the author of the VI-SPDAT, the common assessment tool used by many CoC’s for Coordinated Entry. Currently his research interests pertain to unsheltered homelessness, and he has been working with the California Policy Lab at UCLA to better understand the characteristics of unsheltered homeless persons and housing approaches that work best in supporting these individuals out of homelessness. Iain has authored The Book on Ending Homelessness which will be available this summer.    

Iain will be working with our community on shadowing street outreach staff, facilitating a roundtable discussion on the state of outreach efforts, strategic outreach planning sessions, a Panel Discussion on Diversion from the Street, and Housing-focused street outreach training. We are very lucky to have his expertise to guide us.

Coordinated Entry System Catch Up
Project Spotlight
The CES team is excited to announce its second successful lease-up with the Lofts Apartments as of May. The CES team in coordination with Alpha Project, the SDHC, and Royal Property sent potentially eligible veteran clients experiencing homelessness to be screened by Alpha's case managers to lease-up 100 percent of the Lofts property. 

There was a dynamic process of identifying clients which encompassed identifying clients from the By-Name-List, locating clients staying at the VVSD Sprung Structure, and identifying clients at the community's robust Veteran Case Conferencing meetings which are held regularly. Alpha Project's website states, "Located at 3808 El Cajon Blvd, Alpha Lofts at Normal Heights is a new affordable housing complex for Homeless Veterans in San Diego. Alpha Project provides essential supportive services for the residents of Alpha Lofts, which includes 52 affordable rental apartments and one manager's unit."
June is LGBT Pride Month
We also would like to acknowledge that the month of June is designated as Pride Month, a month that is intended to celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance and to promote equality. The RTFH would like to extend a Happy Pride to our San Diego LGBT and other affirming neighbors. Our staff have also added non-binary pronouns to our email signatures as a way to encourage solidarity.

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