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By Lindsay Knotts
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released the NOFA for the FY 2015 Continuum of Care Program Competition on September 17, 2015. On September 29, 2015, USICH hosted a webinar for communities on strategies for success in responding to HUD’s NOFA.
The webinar covered the important changes in the FY 2015 Competition and how it support the goals of Opening Doors. Policy Advisor, Lindsay Knotts, recaps the webinar and highlights the top things to know about this year's CoC Competition.
By Katie Jennings
We are pleased to announce the addition of Joe Savage, Jr., to our National Initiatives Team. Joe is based in Philadelphia, and will cover the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. He brings over 15 years of leadership in the fields of homelessness, affordable housing, economic development, and policy analysis.
Read on to learn more about Joe's background, the work he will do with USICH, and other staff updates!
By Jasmine Hayes
As communities across the country come together to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are acutely aware of the intersection between family homelessness and domestic violence. Policy Director Jasmine Hayes discusses what it will take to end family homelessness and the need to support domestic violence service providers.
By Richard Cho
Congresswoman Maxine Waters hosted a briefing earlier this month to review the progress we have made in ending homelessness for all Americans under the newly amended Opening Doors. The briefing especially highlighted the opportunity we have to end chronic homelessness in 2017.
USICH Deputy Director Richard Cho reflects on our national commitment to ending chronic homelessness and why that commitment matters.
By Dustin Allen and Jenni Miller
The Missouri Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness (GCEH) serves as the state’s Interagency Council on Homelessness. The committee firmly believes in the power of collaboration and partnership and includes representatives from state departments and other partners, all working to end homelessness in Missouri. Dustin Allen and Jenni Miller detail how the work is accomplished.
09/04/2015 - Strategies You Can Use to Connect People Experiencing Homelessness to SSI/SSDI Benefits
Social Security benefits are often a primary source of income for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness. Sometimes, it is a challenge for people to navigate the application process, gather the correct documentation and medical records, or receive correspondence through the mail.
Key Strategies for Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness to SSI and SSDI Benefits provides guidance for all organizations that provide homeless services on assisting people through the application process.
Meaningful and sustainable jobs, couple with housing, are key to providing people with successful paths out of homelessness. They instill people with purpose and possibility. They help people engage in their communities and in society at large.
This Labor Day, we hope you will re-commit to the employment strategies in Opening Doors and accelerate our work to connect people experiencing homelessness to employment. We've gathered six employment resources from our partners we think you should know about.
Army Veteran Thomas Green struggled with multiple episodes of homelessness spanning the past 20 years. Thanks to the coordination of multiple VA programs, Mr. Green now has stable housing in the Veterans Multi-Service Center's (VMC) Shelter Plus Care Program.
Learn more about Thomas Green's story and how the VMC, through coordination with other VA programs, is helping connect Veterans to housing in Philadelphia.
By Mel Sullivan
Let me start with a little background. My name is Mel Sullivan and I am a fourth year LINK-2-LEAD doctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in the Specialized Educational Services department. My focus is on how institutes of higher education (IHEs) and school districts prepare or train teachers to work with students experiencing homelessness or in foster care. In my future career as a teacher educator, I hope to improve teacher development in this area, in addition to emphasizing collaboration between professionals in education, social work, counseling, and administration. While I happened upon this research topic somewhat by chance, it has become personal to me, as I discovered I have close friends who experienced homelessness during their youth.
When I set out to find a summer internship at a national organization focused on homelessness, I did not anticipate finding one in policy. But, I saw a tweet from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) that said they were looking for interns, so I figured I would give it a shot. After a few months, several conference calls, and an epic apartment hunt, I was ready to move to D.C. for my six-week internship! Let me just say here that I am not a city girl; I prefer being in the middle of nowhere. So in addition to a new job, metropolitan life was going to be a completely new experience.
By Kris Kuntz
Last week my friend Jeanine passed away. She was found unconscious in her apartment. Jeanine suffered from several health complications including a seizure disorder, bouts of depression, and a long history of drinking. The doctors concluded that her body essentially shut down and that nothing could have been done, although it is hard to believe given her athletic 6’2” frame, outgoing personality, and the fact that she walked five miles every day. She was only 52.
I met Jeanine three years ago in the San Diego County women’s jail after her name was brought up among police officers and paramedics as our city’s most frequent user of the ER and jail. I was there to talk with her about a program called Project 25. Started in 2011, Project 25 was conceived of by the United Way of San Diego County with support from CSH. The United Way provided the majority of the funding with the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission playing important roles in both financial support and programming. The idea was simple: target the most costly and frequent users of public resources who were living on the streets of San Diego and, using a Housing First model, provide them with permanent housing and intensive wraparound services. Father Joe's Villages managed the services, oversaw the housing, and collected the data to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness and savings to the community.
The program started with 25 people, grew to 35, and then added Jeanine as the 36th person in the program after officials in the city asked Project 25 to work with her. Like others in the program, Jeanine was initially resistant to the concept. I would like to say that she agreed to participate on our first meeting in jail and things were perfect from there on out, but that’s not the case. We followed her in and out of jail and the ER numerous times before she finally trusted us enough to let us into her life. Once she did, Jeanine was quickly placed into her own apartment and from there the real stabilization began.