July 2013
Issue: 3
                                       Serving Those Who Serve The Homeless
Compassionate Houston Invites Public to "Welcome Home" Houston's Heroes  

Last summer 101 chronically homeless veterans were housed within a 100-day period. More than 400 veterans were housed by the end of the year! With the success of that pilot program, the Housing Houston's Heroes effort has been expanded this year, with a goal of housing 300 chronically homeless veterans in a 100-day period. The first housing vouchers were issued in May.

 

Though these veterans will also have access to social services and job assistance, their first challenge is to get settled in their new living spaces. That's where your help is vital. Compassionate Houston is asking Houstonians to join the Adopt-A-Vet project to provide basic household supplies in a "Welcome Home" basket (paper goods, cleaning supplies, kitchen essentials, toiletries, and bath and bedding items) for each veteran. The approximate cost of adopting one veteran is $250.

 

For details and to register ...

2013 PIT Count's New Methodology Explained  
  

Dr. Cathy Troisi, Associate Professor at the University of Texas School Of Public Health recently overviewed the significant changes made in the methodology of the Point-in-Time Count in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The changes were introduced  to improve the completeness and accuracy of the enumeration. The first change was the involvement of traditional homeless services providers under the umbrella of the Coalition for the Homeless along with academia (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health) and a local health department [Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS)].

 

This collaboration was exemplified by including the implementation of an Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized management tool used in fire, police, and public health preparedness activities ensuring integration of efforts through its defined organizational structure. ICS has many advantages including an orderly, systematic planning process and clear chains of command and supervision. Command Central was set up at HDHHS.
 

To read more on the improvements and their effects ...
Recapping Latest Lunch & Learn

 

Seventy stakeholders attended the Coalition's Lunch & Learn on June 19th featuring the results of the 2013 Point in Time Count and a three year comparative analysis of the PIT Data.  Dr. Cathy Troisi  presented the data and an overview of the enhanced methodology that was implemented 2011 through 2013.  The comparative analysis indicated a 26% decrease of homelessness and a concurrent increase of 27% formerly homeless persons and families housed in Permanent Supportive Housing.  The presentation as well as the 2013 PIT Executive Summary and Overview are located online.


Gary Grier Presents at AAFCS Conference 

 

Community of Partners in Home and Community was the topic of Gary Grier's presentation at the recent American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Conference.

 

The session included an overview of conducting the point in time enumeration including street count, shelter count, and other data collection to maximize the impact of the enumeration for community planning and measurement. Particular focus was given to the consumer advocacy utilization of homeless and formerly homeless individuals in the planning and implementation of the street count. The innovative Stand up and be Counted Corps program was highlighted as a model of how Continuums of Care and community stakeholders can mobilize community effort from grass roots advocacy.

 

Gary recapped the two days in January 2013 when over 400 volunteers in Houston/Harris County and Fort Bend County were mobilized to conduct the street count. Over 150 consumers participated as guides or plants in the process.

 

Joining Gary was the Consumer Advisory Council Secretary Shannon Johnson who spoke about overcoming the experience of family homelessness and shared with the group the pride she had in the recent High School graduation of her son.

 

"She did a wonderful job discussing how persons who had experienced homelessness can become valued volunteers," noted Grier.

HMIS Quarterly Update and Awards

As part of the ongoing technical assistance activities, the Coalition HMIS Team hosts a quarterly forum for active HMIS users. The purpose of the forum is to inform the HMIS community about recent data trends, ongoing system-wide activities, and important developments regarding the HMIS and our software ClientTrack. It's also a great opportunity to get broader HMIS community feedback. At the forum, the HMIS Team also presents awards in three categories. This quarter's awardees are:

 

"Rising Star" (The Most Improved Agency or Program): Community Of The Streets (COTS)

    For rejoining the HMIS after a two-year hiatus, and already going full speed with service entries and reporting
 

"Super Star" (The Best Agency or Program in Data Quality): Career and Recovery Resources, SSVF Program

   For having the least number of data quality acknowledgements during the monthly VA Repository uploads
 

"Trailblazer" (The Most Valuable Player - Individual User): Stephanie Sykes, Sally's House

   For timely reporting pertinent issues and program updates, always using IssueTrak help-desk software, and consistently having good data quality

 Coalition for the Homeless in the News 

 

Homeless advocates focus on results, not just effort ...

By Jayme Fraser

 

Read the article ...

In This Issue
"Welcome Home" Houston's Heroes
2013...PIT Count's New Methodology Explained
Recapping Latest Lunch & Learn
Gary Grier Presents at AAFCS
HMIS Quarterly Update and Awards

Upcoming Events
Homeless Services Coordinating Council
August 7, 2013
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

 MHMRA Conference Center
7033 Southwest Freeway

 

Registration and coffee service starting at 8:00 am.  This meeting will feature a panel discussion on Accessing Mainstream Resources including the Social Security Outreach and Access to Recovery (SOAR) Steering Committee, Texas Hunger Initiative Outreach Collaborative with HSCC, and the Houston Food Bank Social Services Outreach Team.  We also expect updates on the 2013 HUD Super NOFA and Collaborative Application.


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Lunch & Learn
August 15, 2013
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
 United Way
50 Waugh Drive
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the Homeless
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