03/29/2013 - What We’re Talking About: The Week at USICH - March 25-29

Local PIT Count News

This week we continued highlighting local coverage of PIT Counts across the country. Here are a few stories celebrating decreases in homelessness in addition to drawing attention to important issues like mental illness among people experiencing homelessness.  

Results from Forsyth County’s 2013 PIT Count capture the county’s lowest count on record with a 58 percent decrease in homelessness since 2005. Read the full article here.

In Santa Barbara County, PIT count numbers show 56 percent of individuals surveyed battle mental illness. Learn more.

Great news from New Orleans, homelessness drops 79 percent since its height in 2007. The decrease is attributed to falling rents, more available housing, and new funding to pay for housing. Read the article.

Veteran Homelessness

In Salt Lake City, housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness will open this Monday. The housing facility includes 72 apartments and 12 community kitchens. Read more.

In Veteran-related news, we shared a story about the effort of Veterans serving their fellow Veterans who are currently experiencing homelessness. Read about this effort.

Youth Homelessness

The President of Covenant House blogged for the Huffington Post on the impacts of the sequester on RHYA programs. Read his blog here.

Important Announcements from our Federal Partners

In case you missed these important announcements this week:

The Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program (RHSP) regulations are published and open for comment until May 28, 2013. The purpose of RHSP is to rehouse or improve the housing situations of individuals and families who are homeless or in the worst housing situations in defined rural geographic areas; stabilize the housing of individuals and families who are in imminent danger of losing housing; and improve the ability of the lowest-income residents of the community to afford stable housing.

Included within the RHSP proposed  regulations there is also a new proposed definition of “chronically homeless” whichspecifically defines what is meant by an occasion of homelessness in order to better target persons with the longest histories of homelessness and the highest level of need. HUD is seeking public comment on this new definition as well.

Read the RHSP Regulations and Chronically Homeless Definition

SAMHSA announced a Request for Applications from the District of Columbia and 17 States for the Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals program. The purpose of this jointly funded program is to enhance or develop the infrastructure of states and their treatment service systems to increase capacity to provide accessible, effective, comprehensive, coordinated/integrated, and evidence-based treatment services; permanent supportive housing; peer supports; CMHS-funded peer navigator(s); and other critical services to persons who experience chronic homelessness with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

The deadline for applications is May 28, 2013.

Read the full announcement from SAMHSA

Upcoming Events and Webinars:

On April 18, SAMHSA will be hosting a webinar, Addressing Homelessness Among Veterans of Recent Conflicts from 2:00 – 3:30pm EST. A 2011 expert panel event, Homelessness Among Veterans of Recent Conflicts, highlighted issues and solutions specific to America’s recent Veterans. This webinar includes participants from the expert panel who will provide a meaningful discussion of preventing and ending homelessness as it appears among Veterans of recent conflicts, recent research findings, successful strategies for working with this emerging population, and some cutting-edge solutions implemented by the Homeless Veterans Initiative for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Learn more and register for this webinar

Also, The Young Children Without Homes National Conference 2013 will take place at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA on May 20 and 21, 2013.If your organization serves families with children we encourage you to take a look at this conference. 

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