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   Helping communities shift from short-term to long-term solutions to homelessness 
June 2012 Newsletter  
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In this issue:
  • Rapid Re-Housing 101
  • Where We've Been in May 2012
  • Rapid Re-Housing Survey and Performance Measure
  • Register Now!
    • NAMI VA & VCEH Housing Stability and Mental Illness Summit 
  • Save the Date: Employment Summit
  • Letter to Governor McDonnell
  • Welcome to New Members


The Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness promotes rapid re-housing as a solution to homelessness. This model is relatively new and can be difficult to understand.keys        


One of VCEH's goals is to increase awareness of effective solutions to homelessness and VCEH therefore develops tools to communicate the causes of and solutions to homelessness. The following brief was developed to help new stakeholders who are unfamiliar with the issue understand the underlying concepts of rapid re-housing.  

In addition, VCEH recently developed a "Glossary of Terms" to help those who are new to the issue of homelessness understand the key concepts and acronyms.       


Rapid Re-Housing is a permanent solution to homelessness, but how does it work exactly? The concept is smart, empowering, and it benefits everyone involved.    

Until recently, temporary housing solutions were considered to be the answer to homelessness, utilizing shelters and transitional housing until a person was considered "housing ready," but housing-first models like rapid re-housing propose something more effective-the belief that housing is truly the solution to homelessness.      


Through rapid re-housing, individuals and families are identified and placed in housing as quickly as possible, then offered uniquely tailored services to help them maintain stable housing. They are not required to stay in shelters or transitional housing for a particular length of time. Traditionally services are delivered to a family or individual in a temporary housing situation. Instead the rapid re-housing model delivers these often-similar or the same services in housing of the individual's or family's own.     


In 2009, the federal government provided funds to the Commonwealth of Virginia and localities across Virginia for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP), which funded RRH efforts across the state, but new funds are needed to ensure that families and individuals in need. The state's goal is to reduce homelessness by 15 percent by 2013 and the state has created a state plan to  implement strategies to achieve this goal. Rapid re-housing is a main strategy to achieve this goal.      


"It's a win-win for the family and the system," says Bresnahan. "It provides an answer to the problem by giving people what they need-a home-and all of the dignities associated with that." 

To learn more, download a fact sheet on rapid re-housing. 

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 May of 2012! 


Radford, Manassas, Danville, Fairfax, Richmond, and Norfolk
for workshops on rapid re-housing as a part of VCEH's partnership with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Freddie Mac Foundation.   


Front Royal for a meeting of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Continuum of Care to hold working groups to plan best practice strategies for inclusion in the Northern Shenandoah Valley's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.  VCEH is assisting in the development of the plan and guiding the process.


On the web for a webinar to discuss funding opportunities, Organizational and Community Change Grants, offered by VCEH, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Freddie Mac Foundation to support shifts to rapid re-housing in Virginia.


On the phone with representatives of Continuums of Care throughout Virginia to learn about statewide progress on the state plan to end homelessness. 


Roanoke for a meeting with representatives of small town and rural Continuums of Care to discuss proposed statewide homeless assistance performance measures that are in line with the HEARTH Act.  


Roanoke to lead a meeting between a national expert in federal funding for homeless assistance and leaders from small town and rural Continuums of Care to strategize ways for communities in Virginia to be more competitive in securing federal HUD funds for homeless assistance systems throughout the state.  


Richmond for a meeting of large Continuums of Care across Virginia to discuss implementation of proposed statewide homeless assistance performance measures that are in line with the HEARTH Act. 


On the phone for a meeting of the Capacity Building Network convened by the National Alliance to End Homelessness of state and local partners spearheading change in the field of homelessness.

On the phone for a 100,000 Homes National Campaign Monthly "All Hands on Deck" call to review changes to the national campaign and what it means for VCEH's statewide 1,000 Homes for 1,000 Virginians initiative.

Richmond for a meeting of the Homeless Outcomes Coordinating Council's Data and Coordination Committee to move forward implementation of the state plan as it relates to data and coordination.

Richmond for a meeting with the Virginia Community Development Corporation to discuss the plausibility of Social Impact Bonds in Virginia.  


On the phone with statewide partners to discuss input on the best use of $1.5 million in new funds for FY2013 for permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing as a result of the Governor's proposed budget items. 



Your Input Needed: Rapid Re-Housing Workshops Survey

We want to hear from you about the effectiveness of the Rapid Re-Housing Workshops held in March and April throughout Virginia.  Give us your feedback about whether the workshops were helpful to your agency's efforts to provide rapid re-housing and let us know what additional technical assistance you may need to be successful at providing rapid re-housing.   Click here to take the survey. 

Statewide Performance Measurescalculator
VCEH, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development met in May with representatives of Virginia Continuums of Care to discuss statewide performance measures that will assist us to track state progress at reducing and ending homelessness and to assist communities to be more competitive with efforts to secure federal, state, and private resources for homeless assistance.  In line with the new federal HEARTH Act, the outcomes will track success at permanent housing placement and retention, the cost of placing households in permanent housing, length of stay in the homeless assistance system, recidivism to homelessness, and change income.  Click here to view the Statewide Homeless Assistance Measures.  We will be organizing a working group made up of service providers from around the state to plan implementation of tracking statewide outcomes.  Stay tuned for ways you can participate!  


Stay Tuned for More Information About These Upcoming
Rapid Re-Housing Events!


July or August: Webinar for agencies interested in shifting transitional housing programs to rapid re-housing.
Important Date

The webinar will serve as a first step in a series of available technical assistance to assist transitional housing programs to realign their programs to best practice rapid re-housing models.   


August and September: Trainings throughout Virginia will assist domestic violence providers with strategies for housing victims of domestic violence through rapid re-housing.  Additional information will be forthcoming.

September 18th:  Mark your calendar for a September 18th Employment Summit in South Hampton Roads, when VCEH will sponsor an event to discuss best practice strategies for employing homeless people.  The event will include trainers from the Working to End Homelessness project of the National Transitional Jobs Network at the Heartland Alliance.  More details soon.



Register Now!  

NAMI VA & VCEH Housing Stability and Mental Illness Summit

Creating housing for hope and recovery 

1,000 Homes group photo

July 22 - 23, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Downtown Richmond, VA
To foster hope and recovery for those experiencing homelessness and mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia (NAMI VA) and the
Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness are hosting a two-day statewide summit for advocates interested in creating concrete local
community plans. Registration information will be available soon. Register Here! 


Save the date for a September 18th Employment Summit in South Hampton Roads
VCEH will sponsor an event to discuss best practice strategies for employing homeless people.  The event will include trainers from the Working to End Homelessness project of the National Transitional Jobs Network at the Heartland Alliance.  More details soon. 

oneone 1,000 HOMES FOR 1,000 VIRGINIANS

1,000 Homes


VCEH is proud to announce that all 12 participating 1,000 Homes communities, representing 30 jurisdictions, have successfully conducted registry weeks! Of the near 1,400 individuals surveyed, 24% were identified as medically vulnerable. Stay tuned for our soon to be released Statewide Vulnerability Report!  


Meanwhile, communities are working hard to house their most vulnerable neighbors and increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for those with an increased risk for death due to life on the streets. At the upcoming
Summit on Housing Stability and Mental Illness, 1,000 Homes communities will send teams to create or fill any gaps in existing plans to access and/or create permanent supportive housing.  


To raise awareness and call for action on the recent report from

the InspectorGeneral (IG) of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Virginia(NAMI-VA) and VCEH jointly authored and submitted a letter to Governor McDonnell

The IG's report summarizes the results of a six-month review of the barriers that prevent the timely discharge of adults with

reportserious mental illness. In the report's findings, there was a combined monthly average of 165 individuals who are "discharge ready" but not able to leave hospitals due to extraordinary barriers that prevent them from living in the community. The data from the report indicates that the lack of safe, affordable, and stable community housing was the primary reason for delays in discharge.   

In our letter, VCEH and NAMI affirmed the Inspector General's 
recommendations and further advocated for the critical need for supportive housing not only for the "discharge ready" population addressed in the report, but for others who that are "housing unstable" and cycle from place to place: emergency and temporary shelters, hospitals, the streets, and jails. 


Specialized and supportive housing is the cornerstone to stability and long-term recovery from serious mental illness. Yet investments made for supportive housing and associated services are minimal in Virginia.

Your help is needed with raising awareness and educating others about

these issues!

Tell your Delegate and Senator that you are concerned and that their help is needed to address the problems identified in the IG's report!  

Thank you
 to our recent new and renewed individual and organizational members:   
Arlington-Alexandria Coalition For The Homeless
Catholics for Housing
Evan Davies 
Pathways Community Network Institute 
Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition For The Homeless 



Have you received your annual membership renewal letter? If so, please renew! If you are unsure whether your membership is due, email

Office of Inspector General: Review of the Barriers to Discharge in the State-Operated Adult Behavioral Health Facilities, OIG Report No. 207-12, April 2012 

VCEH's Priorities and Goals can be found on our website here.


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.  

       Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
PO Box 14649
Richmond, Virginia 23221