Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness

Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness

February 2012 Newsletter

Helping communities shift from short-term to long-term solutions to homelessness. 



In this month's newsletter
Green Housewe are excited to share updates on the 1,000 Homes for 1,000 Virginians initiative, our private-public partnership for the rapid re-housing initiative for children and their families, our policy and advocacy efforts at the General Assembly this session, as well as to share available resources including tips to prepare your Continuum of Care (CoC) for the HEARTH Act, the new map tool from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the Housing Virginia whitepaper on the effects of housing on the local economy. 



The Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness 



Upcoming Rapid Re-housing Training Events
Mark your calendar for one of twelve upcoming day-long workshops on rapid re-housing in March and April to be led by our partners at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Dates and locations are below. To register, click here.
 childIn partnership with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and with support from the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness is coordinating an effort to advance the rapid re-housing strategy in Virginia. Rapid re-housing is the best practice strategy for ending homelessness that has been successful in communities across the country. It embraces a housing first philosophy that places families in housing as quickly as possible and then provides temporary financial assistance and services to enable people to remain stably housed. 


Each training will involve a mix of presentation, interactive activities, and community planning. Homeless service providers, including rapid re-housing, emergency shelter and transitional housing programs, as well as public housing authorities, domestic violence providers, child and family services representatives, local funders, and local government are all encouraged to attend.


The events will cover the following topics:
* Developing relationships with landlords
* Structuring financial assistance
* Case management strategies
* Community-based services and partnerships
* Outcomes  
***Click here to register for one of these events.***  


Workshops will take place at the following dates and location. Specific venues will be announced soon. If possible, please plan to attend the training taking place in your Continuum of Care.


* March 7: Fredericksburg area
Participating CoC Counties: Caroline, Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford

* March 9: Newport News area
Participating CoC Counties: Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Hampton, James City, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Matthews, Middlesex, Newport News, Northampton, Northumberland, Poquson, Richmond, Westmoreland, Williamsburg, York

* March 21: Charlottesville/Harrisonburg area
Participating CoC Counties: Albemarle, Augusta, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Harrisonburg, Highland, Louisa, Nelson, Rockingham, Staunton, Waynesboro

* March 22: Roanoke area
Participating CoC Counties: Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Salem

* March 22: Arlington/Alexandria area

* March 29, Front Royal area
Participating CoC Counties: Clarke, Culpepper, Fauquier, Frederick, Madison, Orange, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Warren, Winchester

* April 10, Blacksburg/Dublin area
Participating CoC Counties: Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe

* April 12, Manassas area
Participating CoC Counties: Loudoun, Prince William

* April 12, Danville area
Participating CoC Counties: Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward

* April 19, Fairfax area

* April 23, Richmond
Participating CoC Counties: Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Emporia, Goochland, Greenville, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell, New Kent, Petersburg, Powhatan, Prince George, Richmond, Surry, Sussex

* April 24, Norfolk area
Participating Counties: Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach

Please join us in welcoming our newest staff member!
David Bresnahan, MBA, joined the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness as Project Manager in December 2011. In this role, he coordinates VCEH's efforts to end family homelessness through rapid re-housing. VCEH is partnering with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Freddie Mac Foundation to advance the rapid re-housing strategy in Virginia. 
For more information about David, click here!


1,000 Homes

VCEH is proud to announce that twelve communities from diverse regions of our state have officially joined the 1,000 Homes initiative including: 


Richmond, Arlington, Roanoke, the Peninsula (Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, York County, James City County, and Poquoson), Martinsville, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Western Tidewater (Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, Franklin and Southampton County) Prince William County, and Harrisonburg & Rockingham County.  


Participating communities are in  various stages of organizing their campaign, conducting registry week, and moving people into housing. See below for some exciting updates!

1,000 Homes initiative aims to partner with local communities to:

(1) identify the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness by compiling information using a tool called the Vulnerability Index,
(2) rank their vulnerability by severity, and
(3) systematically house them before their homelessness causes them to die.
Click here for the national 100,000 Homes blog that highlighted the success of our 1,000 Homes statewide initiative!



Arlington| Seeking to enhance relationships with landlords in the community, 100 Homes Arlington folks joined the local Northern Virginia Apartment Association (NVAA) and submitted an article to their newsletter. As a result, they received a call from local Realtors and an investor that are interested in the program.  In addition,  $1 million in private and county funds have been dedicated to housing the most vulnerable homeless Arlingtonians thanks to a $500,000 commitment from respected business leader John Shooshan and a $500,000 match from the Arlington County Board. This $1,000,000 contribution will bring the community closer to the goals set out by the 100 Homes Campaign, Arlington's name for their local 1,000 Homes for 1,000 Virginians initiative.




Richmond| Already, 40 of the 119 individuals identified as medically vulnerable during the August 2011 registry week have been housed.  Virginia Supportive Housing has housed 30 individuals, 7 have moved off the streets and into a variety of housing, and the VA has thus far housed 3 individuals using VASH vouchers. See the amazing photos below of Scott, who was ranked THE most vulnerable individual in Richmond.


 BEFORE:  Without Housing             



AFTER: With Housing   




In conjunction with the annual HUD Point-in-time count, 1,000 Homes Roanoke conducted their Registry Week beginning on January 23, 2012 with the help of 60 volunteers. 
 A special thanks to their partner agencies including the
 Roanoke City Police Department, Starbucks, Roanoke Gas and American Electric Power; not to mention Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Roanoke is currently analyzing their vulnerability data which will be available shortly. Stay tuned!


Harrisonburg & Rockingham County| As the newest community to join, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County led by the regional Continuum of Care conducted their Registry Week in conjunction with their annual HUD point-in-time (PIT) count during the week of January 23rd. Volunteers included student and faculty volunteers from James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University, faith based groups, various non profits including United Way, Blue Ridge Legal Services, Salvation Army, Mercy House, HARTS, First Step, Valley AIDS Network, Valley Associates for Independent Living and government agencies. Over 80 surveys were conducted - the highest number ever compared to previous PIT counts. Volunteers explored various wooded areas and documented camp sites hidden within neighborhoods, and heard various stories of individuals struggling to survive and dealing with a variety of housing barriers.  Information is currently being entered into the statewide database and it is expected that data on vulnerability will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
VA State CapitolThe specific amendments to the Governor's budget that impact homelessness are listed below as well as an update on the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF) all which encapsulate VCEH's policy priorities. With your help, VCEH has been busy at the General Assembly this session contacting and meeting with legislators. On February 19th, the House and Senate will release their budget reports.  At that time, we will know if the amendments below are included.  

Please click here for this Sunday's Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed below, written by VCEH Board of Director member John Dearie on the bi-partisan support this 2012 Session on homelessness.


Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing Amendment (see handout)


* Item 108#2s: Senate Patron: Howell (D); Co-Patron(s): Edwards (D), Wagner (R), Watkins (R)
o Will go before Senate Finance Economic Development subcommittee


* Item 108#1h: House Patron: Lingamfelter (R); Co-Patron(s): Anderson(R), Carr (D), Comstock (R), Head (R), Herring (D), Loupassi (R), McClellan (D), Tata (R), Villanueva (R)
o Will go before House Appropriations Economic Development subcommittee


Family at HomeThe Governor's budget, released in December 2011, provided $1,000,000 for FY2013 for permanent supportive housing and $500,000 for FY2013 for rapid re-housing. This amendment provides $1,000,000 from the general fund for the second year of the budget - FY2014 - for permanent supportive housing and $500,000 from the general fund for FY2014 for rapid re-housing. This level of funding will help end homelessness for 200 households including children and their families and individuals with severe disabilities.

Supportive Services Amendment  


* Item 315#13s: Senate Patron: Howell (D)
o Will go before Senate Finance Health and Human Resources subcommittee


* Item 315#5h: House Patron: O'Bannon (R); Co-patron(s): Bell, R (R), Brink (D), Hope (D), Ingram (R), Landes (R), Watts (D)
o Will go before House Appropriations Health and Human Resources subcommittee

This amendment provides $700,000 from the general fund in the FY2013 to provide community-based behavioral health
 services for chronically homeless individuals who are not Medicaid eligible to be served in permanent supportive housing. This amendment would provide funding for services to include outpatient care, case management, and supportive residential or assertive community treatment. The average annual per-person cost of these services is between $10,500 and $12,600, based on fiscal year 2011 estimates.


Virginia Housing Trust Fund Bills


VCEH continues to monitor the Virginia Housing Trust Fund bills introduced by Delegate Morrissey (D), Delegate Lopez (D), and Delegate Herring (D). VCEH is working with Delegate Morrissey's office to amend his bill HB121 to include language in the original draft supported by the Campaign for a Virginia Housing Trust Fund. Our recommendations include grant funding targeted for homeless households. 



VCEH gets around the state to visit with our partners, attend events, facilitate or host meetings, and more. Here's what we were up to in December and January!


December 2011  

Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Abingdon, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Fairfax for the Ending Child and Family Homelessness in Virginia Initiative Regional Opening Events.  


Richmond for the Housing Trust Fund Breakfast Forum and meeting with Mary Brooks, the Director of the Housing Trust Fund Project and leading expert on trust funds for more than 25 years.  


January 2012  


Richmond for the 2012 General Assembly session to meet with state legislators to advocate for long term solutions to preventing and ending homelessness including the amendment to increase funds for homeless programs (permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing), the amendment to increase funds for supportive services tied to permanent supportive housing, and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.  


Richmond for Housing Advocacy Day in which nearly 75 advocates and housing and homelessness providers gathered to learn about the issues and visit with their legislators.  


Front Royal for a meeting with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Continuum of Care for the kick off of the development of a regional ten year plan. VCEH will assist in the development of the plan and guide the process.  


Newport News for a presentation to the Hampton Roads Housing Consortium for a meeting on 1,000 Homes for 1,000 Virginians, the public-private partnership on rapid re-housing, and state policy issues.  


Richmond for the convening of Nonprofit Virginia launch event and strategy session to assess how nonprofits in Virginia can better advocate for critical human services. 


Is Your Continuum of Care Prepared for the HEARTH Act?


The HEARTH Act, signed into law on May 20, 2009, made significant changes to the federal funding that communities receive through local Continuums of Care (CoC). These changes impact the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants (your CoC dollars).  


The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) has resources that can serve as "cheat sheets" for the information you need to know to be prepared and be most competitive for these critical federal funds. See the links below for additional resources.



USICH Unveils New Map Tool with Data and Key Contacts on Homelessness


The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)  announced last week a new interactive map that allows users to access state level data on homelessness and important contacts for each state and territory.  


The map provides contact information for key partners on the ground in each state with the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in the four key populations targeted by the four goals of Opening Doors: chronic, Veterans, families, and overall homelessness. 


The map includes contact information for different programs at the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and Education as well as state leads on homelessness and information on the state homelessness planning process. 




Housing Virginia White Paper


In January, Housing Virginia, a statewide affordable housing nonprofit organization, released a new publication titled The Effects of Housing on the Local Economy that explores five key areas of economic impact related to the housing market. The report documents the direct connection between housing and economic vitality.  


Organized into five articles, the report examines the direct and indirect impacts of housing development on local economic growth, in addition to its contribution to the cost of local government and education. The report also looks at the future of home-ownership in a time of widespread foreclosures and changes in housing finance.  In addition, commercial economic development is explored through mixed use approaches to housing development, as well as the connection to neighborhood vitality. Finally, the roles of major institutions and large employers - such as hospitals - are examined in the context of neighborhood and housing revitalization.

VCEH is proud to highlight the work of communities across Virginia. Keep us posted on what you, your organization, and your community are up to by emailing   

 recognized Norfolk as one of 4 cities in the country that have made a significant impact in ending chronic homelessness through the development of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) using the Housing First model. According to the article, referencing data from a National Alliance to End Homelessness 3/2010 report: Chronic Homelessness: Policy Brief ,
"A Jan. 18 press release by the National Alliance to End Homelessness cited permanent supportive housing as the greatest factor in the recent decline of chronic homelessness. Four cities considered leaders in permanent supportive housing have seen noteworthy drops in chronic homelessness: Chicago (12 percent); Norfolk, Va. (25 percent); Quincy, Mass. (50 percent); and Wichita/Sedgwick County, Kan. (51 percent)."  
Current data from Norfolk's Office to End Homelessness shows that between 2006 - 2011, the City of Norfolk developed 121 PSH units, mostly serving persons experiencing chronic homelessness, at an astounding rate. Between 2006 and 2010, 61 PSH units were developed.  By December 2012, the total number of PSH will grow to 127.  

100 Homes Arlington

According to the Arlington 10 Year Plan Implementation Task Force, rates of chronic homelessness have declined by more than 20% and more than 150 persons have been moved into permanent supportive housing. $500,000 was committed from the private sector, thanks to local business leader John Shooshan, in a match to $500,000 from the County. The first permanent supportive housing affordable efficiencies with 8 units are currently under construction.


Franklin County

Support to Eliminate Poverty (STEP), Inc., has been working on a Permanent Supportive Housing project for over 3 years, but the finish line if finally in sight. The duplex will hold 2 units and have two bedrooms in each unit.  Funding has come from a variety of sources but most of it has been local funding.  Local foundations, businesses, churches, and individuals have provided financial support while others have offered to donate their services (plumbing, electrical, site work, etc.). The duplex is expected to  be ready for tenants in late June/early July.  STEP has applied for HUD funding through the COC that would allow them to build a second duplex next door.  



A BIG Thank You to Our Renewed Champion Organization:


Northern Virginia Family Services


Also, thank you to our newest and renewed organizational and individual members:


Blue Ridge Independent Living Center

HomeAid Northern Virginia

Al Smuzynski

Cindy Barton

John Dearie

Larry Padberg

Ray Gromelski

Sister David Ann Niski

Have you received your annual membership renewal letter? If so, please renew! If you are unsure whether or not your membership is due, email 


The Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness in the Commonwealth of Virginia through community collaboration, capacity building, education, and advocacy.

1,000 HOMES
Click each link below for more information!

March 8

2012 South Hampton Roads Regional Conference on Ending Homelessness


March 9

Newport News Rapid Re-Housing Training


March 21-23

Housing First Partners Conference 2012, New Orleans 


March 21     Charlottesville/Harrisonburg Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


March 22         

Roanoke Rapid Re-Housing Training


March 22         Arlington/Alexandria Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


March 29         

Front Royal Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


April 10           Blacksburg/Dublin Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


April 12          

Manassas Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


April 12           


April 19           

Fairfax Area Rapid Re-Housing Training


April 23           

Richmond Rapid Re-Housing Training

April 24           
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VCEH Publications:
2010 PSH ReportPSH Report
 A national consensus has formed on the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing for preventing and ending homelessness for the most vulnerable individuals, with the most severe and complex  
needs. The State of Permanent Supportive Housing in the Commonwealth of Virginia outlines the status of permanent supportive housing programs in Virginia, and includes: the current number of permanent supportive housing units, who permanent supportive housing serves and can serve, and how it can solve the problems of chronic homelessness, jail and prison recidivism, and inadequate housing options for youth aging out of foster care. 
It answers the questions: how close does Virginia's current permanent supportive housing capacity come to meeting the need for permanent supportive housing in Virginia and how can we better use partnerships, encourage increased collaboration, and leverage existing and new resources to fill the gap between current capacity and actual need.