United States Interagency Council on Homelessness - No on should experience homelessness. No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.
 Ending Veteran Homelessness                                  February 25, 2013        

Asking the Hard Questions and Working Together: A Message from Executive Director Barbara Poppe 

Three resources highlight the importance of collaboration and innovation to accelerate progress on Veteran homelessness  


Just recently, we reported remarkable progress on reducing homelessness among Veterans-the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness has declined by 17 percent since January 2009. Collectively, we are working to make lasting and transformative system changes at the national and local levels in order to end homelessness among Veterans by 2015.  We dedicate this newsletter to recent findings on what it will take to achieve this vision. 


In December the Council heard from Dr. Dennis Culhane from VA's National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, who shared progress and opportunities for greater collaboration to achieve the results we need to reach the goal. Dr. Culhane's analysis and report are now available: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans: A Report by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.  We encourage you to take a look. 


 Read Ending Homelessness Among Veterans: A Report by USICH


Solving Veteran homelessness across the nation requires success in every community. There are some communities that are on-track to meet or exceed the 2015 goal. When he was a Special Advisor at USICH this fall, Dr. Josh Bamberger talked with these leaders and analyzed their approaches in order to understand what it will take to achieve this level of success in every community.  He also authored a short piece that compiles ways that some communities have overcome a barrier in implementing HUD-VASH: move-in costs. We encourage you to consider how your community might step up local efforts by adopting the practices we've profiled. 


Read Positive Outliers: Communities on Track to End Veteran Homelessness


Read about local solutions to move-in cost barriers in HUD-VASH  


Reflecting on Dr. Culhane's report,  I authored a blog that raises some key questions that leaders at the local level should consider.  We can only achieve our goal if we ask the hard questions and work together to respond.  I hope the questions I raise here will spur your community to make tough decisions that will ultimately lead to greater success in ending Veteran homelessness.


With continued investment, increased integration of services between VA and non-VA resources, and adoption of solutions that work we can get even greater annual decreases in Veteran homelessness.  Together, solving Veterans homelessness is possible. Let's get it done. 

Access all of these resources here

Improving HUD-VASH Through Rapid Results 

Blog highlights work of 100,000 Homes Campaign Rapid Results Teams 


Just over 100 days ago, teams from Colorado, Arizona, and Utah set goals for improvements in implementation of the HUD-VASH programs in their communities following transformative work in a Rapid Results Housing Bootcamp with Community Solutions. Recently, these teams came back together to share their work in a Rapid Results Sustainability Review. This Sustainability Review was an opportunity for teams to report on their progress and how it was achieved as well as work through challenges with other Rapid Results teams from their region. USICH Regional Coordinator Beverley Ebersold shared her experience on a blog, read it here


Thank You Deputy Director Jennifer Ho  

For the past three years, USICH has been honored to have Jennifer Ho serve as a Deputy Director. In her time, she has helped author Opening Doors, develop the framework to end youth homelessness, and strengthen and build greater collaborations across all Council member agencies.  Jennifer brings the strategies and vision of the Plan to life everywhere she travels and in everything she does. This week she transitions to her new role as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on housing and services, where she will work to improve the connections between housing, health, and social services. We are so glad that our work will continue to overlap, and we wish her all the best in her new role.


100,000 Homes Campaign Releases Community Assessment Tool  

Tool helps Campaign communities reduce barriers to housing placement  


The 100,000 Homes Campaign studied the data from 100,000 Homes campaign communities across the country and reviewed existing research and literature on homelessness. They identified 19 factors that may correlate with high rates of housing placement for vulnerable people who are experiencing chronic homelessness. This week, the Campaign launched a free, online self-assessment tool that provides 100,000 Homes Campaign communities with a customized report identifying greatest strengths and weaknesses. Along with this tool, the Campaign also developed the High Performance Series of tools, which are keyed to these nineteen factors and designed to help turn a community's self-assessment tool report into a successful quality improvement initiative.


Access the Community Self-Assessment Tool


News from our Partners

Department of Housing and Urban  Development


HUD and HHS Announce $98 Million in Rental Assistance for Americans with Disabilities  

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health and Human Services announced nearly $98 million in funding for 13 state housing agencies to provide rental assistance for low-income Americans with disabilities through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program. This program enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of median income to live in integrated mainstream settings.  The state housing agencies are working closely with their state Medicaid and Health and Human Service counterparts to identify, refer, and conduct outreach to persons with disabilities who require long-term services and supports to live independently. 


HUD-issues rule formalizing discriminatory effects in housing, strengthens Fair Housing Act 


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is issuing a final rule to formalize the national standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing Act as the result of discriminatory effect. "Through the issuance of this Rule, HUD is reaffirming its commitment to enforcing the Fair Housing Act in a consistent and uniform manner," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "This will ensure the continued strength of one of the most important tools for exposing and ending housing discrimination." The rule provides clarity and consistency for individuals, businesses, and government entities subject to the Fair Housing Act.  HUD anticipates the rule also will make it easier for individuals and organizations covered by the law to understand their responsibilities and comply with the law. 


Read more about the final rule


Department of Health & Human Services


Save the Date: SAMHSA-hosted Webinar on Homelessness Among Veterans of Recent Conflicts 


On April 18 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm EST, SAMHSA will host a webinar detailing homelessness among Veterans of recent conflicts and share some important ways community leaders and agencies can work to best serve this population. This webinar builds on the work of expert panel hosted by SAMHSA, whose guiding principles and conversation was summarized by USICH in this fact sheet. Stay tuned for a registration link in the coming weeks and make sure to sign up. 


HHS Releases Information Memorandum on Using TANF Funds to Assist Families Experiencing Homelessness 


The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Family Assistance released an information memorandum (IM) entitled "Use of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Funds to Serve Homeless Families and Families At Risk of Experiencing Homelessness." This information memorandum affirms the importance of using eligible Federal and State TANF funds to serve families who come into contact with homeless service providers, the majority of whom are eligible for TANF-funded assistance. Barriers to employment and stability for families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, such as housing costs, childcare, and transportation, can be addressed by closer coordination between TANF agencies and homeless service providers. This IM encourages TANF agencies to consider providing interventions such as rapid re-housing to help assist families in finding or staying in permanent housing with coordinated support services. 


Read the information memorandum  

Table of Contents
Asking the Hard Questions and Working Together
Improving HUD-VASH Through Rapid Results
Thank You Deputy Director Jennifer Ho
100,000 Homes Campaign Community Assessment Tool
News from our Partners
On the USICH Blog

On the USICH Blog


Last week, as hundreds of advocates and service providers for families and youth gathered in Seattle for The National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, we had to pleasure of sharing the work and words of Anne Miskey, Executive Director of Funders Together to End Homelessness. 


In her blog, she explains how philanthropic partners have contributed resources to the Youth Count!
initiative in all nine cities, while also sharing the commitment of funders to continue their work for youth experiencing homelessness.  


The unique role of funders in our collective work to reach of the goals of Opening Doors is critical to acknowledge, and Ms. Miskey's blog allows us to understand their role more deeply. We encourage you to check it out. 


Read the blog


Upcoming Events
Webinar: National Healthcare for the Homeless Council presents Medicaid Eligibility, Enrollment and Outreach: Changes to the HCH Community  
Wednesday, February 27


Corporation for Supportive Housing Eastern Region Supportive Housing Conference
Thursday, March 7- 
Friday, March 8
2013 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium
Thursday, March 14 - Saturday, March 16

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