2013 National Conference Presentations


Other | July 29, 2013

This month the Alliance is highlighting presentations materials from the 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. For additional insight and discussion of the conference workshops and materials, please visit the Conference Lessons section of the Alliance blog Ending Homelessness Today.

Changing the Terms: How Communities are Leveraging Health Care for PSH Capacity

This half-day session is for policy experts and homeless assistance leaders engaged in community-wide efforts to end chronic homelessness, and will highlight communities with new initiatives under way that integrate elements of health care reform with targeted supportive housing solutions. Topics include housing strategies, Medicaid financing, and organizational relationships. Presenters will offer perspectives on overcoming barriers to integrating housing and health care. Five communities will be highlighted: Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Portland (OR). Cosponsored by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and 100,000 Homes RSVPs were requested, space is limited.

Serving Domestic Violence Survivors throughout the Homeless Assistance System

This pre-conference session will help communities piece together how they can effectively and safely serve domestic violence survivors in the homeless assistance system. It will examine strategies to address survivors’ specificneeds: during intake and assessment; through interim and permanent housing location and placement; and via voluntary service provision and partnerships with domestic violence providers. Participants will also learn how to integrate domestic violence providers into community homeless assistance and CoC governance structures. The session will include presentations on each of these topics as well as community work time and discussion with experts on how to implement the suggested strategies.The intended audience for this preconference session is stakeholders involved with homeless assistance systems and CoC governance, homeless assistance providers, and domestic violence service providers. Multiple representatives from each community are invited to attend.

1.1 Basics of Rapid Re–Housing

The HEARTH Act, Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, and many communities’ ten year plans to end homelessness
all outline rapid re–housing as a key strategy for ending homelessness. This workshop will introduce the concepts and strategies for implementing a rapid
re–housing model from the program level, including examples of organizations that have shifted from a transitional housing model to a rapid re–housing model.

1.2 Blueprint to End Family Homelessness: The Road Ahead

Ending homelessness among families is an achievable goal. This workshop will provide an overview of the critical components of an effective, solutionoriented family homelessness system, and the research that supports adoption of this approach. Federal and local leaders will share how they are working to reshape policy and practice to end family homelessness.

1.3 Beyond a 17 Percent Decrease: Next Steps for Ending Veteran Homelessness

Since 2009, homelessness among veterans has decreased by more than 17 percent. With two and a half years left to reach the Administration’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015, this workshop will assess the progress that has been made and what further steps are needed to ensure we finish the job of housing our nation’s veterans. Presenters will evaluate lessons learned from efforts to end veteran homelessness and how they can be applied to other populations, lay out concrete steps communities can take to ensure they meet this goal, and discuss what roadblocks remain.

1.4 Ending Youth Homelessness in Your Community

Ending homelessness among unaccompanied youth has become a national priority. Jurisdictions have begun the process of systemic local planning for serving this particularly vulnerable population. This workshop will review what is needed to end youth homelessness and feature local communities that have made progress in planning to end homelessness among unaccompanied youth.

1.5 Keeping It Together: Timely Interventions to Avoid Youth Homelessness

Many vulnerable young people can avoid experiencing homelessness if they nare offered services that address the reasons they are at risk. This workshop will highlight successful community- and school-based efforts to intervene early with effective crisis responses; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender acceptance; family unification; and reentry from juvenile justice programs.

1.8 Effective Governance Models: Overseeing Your Continuum of Care and Homeless Assistance System

The HEARTH Act creates new requirements for governing your Continuum of Care. At the same time, communities are exploring ways to use governance to help promote and implement system change. This workshop will provide examples of governance models that meet these goals. It will address issues such as funding a governance structure, ensuring broad community participation, efficient decision–making, oversight, accountability, and outcomes.

1.9 Ending Chronic Homelessness: How Do We Get to Zero in Two?

Opening Doors aims to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2015. Now that we have just two and a half years to reach this goal, how close are we and what still needs to be done? This workshop will present data that provide answers to these questions and examine best practices.

1.10 Integrating Housing and Mental Health Services

There is often a strong connection between mental health treatment and housing stability and yet fitting together housing and mental health treatment and intervention strategies can be a challenge for both providers and consumers - this workshop will explore ways that housing providers can incorporate mental health services and leverage community partnerships.

1.12 The Federal Budget: The Funding Outlook for Ending Homelessness

This past year, amid the uproar over sequestration and the fiscal cliff, you may have missed the budgetary decisions that Congress made impacting efforts to
prevent and end homelessness. This workshop will update participants on the funding status of key homeless assistance and affordable housing programs,
and how they might affect your programs. Presenters will explain where we stand in the process and how you can have an impact.

1.13 Partnering with Criminal Justice to Prevent and End Homelessness

A key part of successful homelessness prevention and good systems planning is connecting people exiting the criminal justice system to housing resources.
This workshop will discuss how to reduce homelessness through discharge planning, strategic partnerships, and diversionary courts, with some focus on
programs specifically geared toward veterans.

1.14 Prevention Strategies

When targeted effectively, prevention assistance can aid households in preserving their current housing situations and can reduce the number of people entering the homeless assistance system. This workshop will discuss research and the cost effectiveness of different approaches to providing prevention assistance.

2.1 Emerging Research on Rapid Re–Housing

The rapid re–housing model has spread across the country as an effective way to end homelessness. Through implementation of the HEARTH Act, rapid re–housing stands to become a cornerstone of the federal response to homelessness. This workshop will feature presentations on evaluations of rapid re–housing’s effectiveness.

2.2 Options for Providing Rent Subsidies

Determining the best rental subsidy model for your organization and clients can be challenging. Presenters will explore different models of short- and medium-term rental subsidies for homeless households, as well as progressive
engagement approaches.

2.3 Designing Your Rapid Re–Housing Program: A Workshop for New SSVF Grantees

With its focus on rapid re-housing, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) provides the missing link in the Department of Veterans Affairs efforts to end homelessness among veterans. This interactive workshop will be targeted toward first-time and future SSVF grantees. It will provide an introduction to rapid re-housing and strategies to implement the model for veterans and their families.

2.4 Serving the New Veteran

As the current conflicts continue to wind down, there is a new generation of veterans entering the civilian sector. These veterans share many of the same problems as their predecessors, but have a host of new issues with which they must deal. Military sexual trauma, veterans with dependents, effects of multiple deployments, traumatic brain injury, and other issues will be explored.

2.5 Research on Homeless Youth

As ending youth homelessness becomes a higher priority nationwide, research becomes more important than ever to ensure the development of effective practice and policy. This workshop will feature leading researchers on youth homelessness. Presenters will focus on the effectiveness of family intervention and other housing models as well as how to target particular housing models.

2.6 Housing and Service Responses for Youth

The majority of homeless youth will return safely home to their families or other adult caregivers. For the small subset of youth who are unable to do so, the homeless assistance system will have to provide appropriate housing and service options. This workshop will examine a variety of short– and long– term housing and service models for homeless youth.

2.7 Introduction to Coordinated Assessment

Communities that are just getting started with coordinated assessment are likely to have questions about how to design their processes, what tools to use for assessment and data collection, and what stakeholders to bring to the table and how. This workshop will serve as a “crash course” in everything communities need to know to start their coordinated assessment process on the right foot.

2.8 A New Landscape: Operating an Effective Shelter Program in a Housing First Environment

For emergency shelter providers, changes made by the HEARTH Act bring new challenges. Presenters will describe how to operate an emergency shelter that supports the HEARTH Act’s focus on rapid re–housing and shorter episodes of homelessness. They will also describe how shelters can welcome the various household configurations they may see, including two–parent families, LGBT individuals, families with older children, and adult couples.

2.9 Making the List: Assessing and Ranking Performance in a Continuum of Care

For many communities, the latest Continuum of Care application presented new and uncomfortable challenges. Projects had to be tiered and ranked, and some were placed in jeopardy of not being renewed. In this workshop, presenters will describe transparent and performance–based strategies for assessing and ranking programs.

2.10 Developing and Financing Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent supportive housing is a proven strategy for ending chronic homelessness. Presenters will discuss strategies and best practices for developing permanent supportive housing, as well as challenges that may arise. They will also discuss alternative funding streams and possible community partnerships.

2.11 Housing and Community: Person–Centered Options for People in Recovery

For many chronically homeless people with substance use problems, permanent housing is an important foundation for recovery. Once in housing, people in recovery vary in their preferences about supports and services to keep them stable. This workshop will examine housing and voluntary recovery models, along with community strategies to offer options for people experiencing homelessness to pursue their recovery objectives.

2.12 What Works: Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities

Working is often an important part of becoming stable in housing after an episode of homelessness. However, formerly homeless people with disabilities face unique barriers to employment. Presenters will discuss effective models and available resources that engage vulnerable people in work, for recovery as well as income.

2.13 Matters of State: Advancing Policy Priorities in State Capitals

From Medicaid to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to supportive housing investments, advocates are finding reasons to push for state policy approaches in efforts to end homelessness. Presenters in this session will share their expertise in developing and following state advocacy plans and discuss current priorities for state homeless coalitions.

3.1 Finding Housing: Strategies to Engage and Incentivize Landlords

A key component of successful rapid re–housing programs is creating and maintaining strong relationships with a variety of private and public landlords. This workshop will cover strategies that communities have used to develop these relationships and will provide the opportunity for participants to develop incentive and engagement strategies through interactive activities. Examples will include shared housing options and specialized landlord engagement strategies for domestic violence survivors.

3.3 Question and Answer Session for SSVF Grantees

With a focus on rapid re-housing and prevention strategies, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is the newest program in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ arsenal for homeless and at-risk veterans. This workshop will provide an overview of the program and allow grantees and prospective grantees to ask questions about implementation, program design, and program rules. Department of Veterans Affairs and model program staff will be on hand to answer questions and expand the knowledge base around this grant.

3.5 Exploring Child Welfare Agencies’ Role in Ending Youth Homelessness

Extending foster care, improving discharges from care, and helping homeless youth reconnect to family are among the many ways child welfare agencies can help young people avoid or escape homelessness. This workshop will explore the connection between foster care and youth homelessness, and highlight promising practices.

3.6 Using Host Homes to Shelter and House Youth

Host homes have been found to be a good solution for both the emergency and longer–term housing needs of homeless youth. Presenters will discuss how they are using host homes in their communities. They will also help workshop participants explore whether or not this strategy would work for them.

3.8 Coming Together: Creating a System to End Homelessness

No one individual or provider can end homelessness. Individual programs and homeless assistance leadership must work together to create a system of service that is geared toward meeting consumer need and high performance standards. This workshop will discuss how communities can create and implement a shift toward systems thinking within the homeless assistance community.

3.9 Using Reallocation to Support Strategies That Work

Under the new Continuum of Care interim regulations, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is encouraging communities to assess the performance of the CoC on a system level and its existing projects and develop strategies to reallocate funding resources from underperforming projects to create new permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing projects. This workshop will provide an overview of the reallocation process and provide examples of how the reallocation process has been effectively used in communities.

3.10 Identifying and Serving Your Community’s Most Vulnerable Families

How are communities identifying the most vulnerable families and ensuring that they have the support they need to be successful? This highly interactive workshop will explore the tools communities are using to target permanent supportive housing and transitional housing programs to families with the most acute service needs.

3.11 Connecting with Medicaid to Pay for Supportive Services

State Medicaid expansions, starting in 2014, can translate into new funding for services in supportive housing. This workshop will cover a range of possible opportunities for providers and their community partners. Presenters will discuss how their programs work strategically with Medicaid in their states and communities, and how new Medicaid coverage will help the people they serve.

3.12 Messaging That Makes an Impact: Advancing Your Advocacy Agenda

A critical component of our efforts to end homelessness is sufficient funding for key federal programs; however, in recent years, the budgetary and political climates have made securing these funds difficult. Despite this, advocacy efforts by communities across the nation have made a significant impact in ensuring our nation continues to serve its most vulnerable people. This workshop will examine messaging and policy agendas that have made the biggest impact and the strategies that will continue to influence policy- and decision-makers.

3.13 New Research on Homelessness

Quality research can inform both policy and practice. This workshop will feature new and important research in the fields of housing and homelessness.
Researchers will present the findings from their studies as well as the key policy or practice implications. Featured research topics will include the aging of the homeless population, the efficacy of rapid re–housing, and employment.

3.14 Funders: Working Together To Encourage Good Results

A community’s homeless system is supported by multiple funding sources. This workshop will discuss how funders can agree on goals, strategies, and methods to align funding streams and reduce overlap. It will also cover how joint or collaborative funding can accelerate progress in a community’s work to end homelessness. Performance–based contracting will also be discussed.

4.1 Integrating Rapid Re–Housing and Employment Strategies for Families

Assistance with housing and employment are both necessary to help families quickly escape homelessness and achieve greater economic self-sufficiency. This workshop will examine how communities are integrating rapid re-housing and employment strategies. Partnerships with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Workforce Investment Act agencies will be among the strategies examined.

4.2 Serving Survivors of Domestic Violence

Studies have shown that a significant number of homeless women are survivors of domestic violence. This workshop will discuss the importance of partnerships between homelessness assistance agencies and domestic violence service agencies, as well as adaptations to rapid re–housing that can keep
survivors of domestic violence safe and stably housed.

4.3 Evolving Veteran Homeless Assistance Models

As we move forward in the historic effort to end homelessness among veterans, there are new lessons being learned. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has put forth new models and is working to adapt its older models. Presenters will discuss how some organizations are making changes in their programs and how the VA models are evolving.

4.4 Collecting and Incorporating Youth Data

The need for data is a critical component of our nation’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness among youth. This workshop will look at the latest methodology and trends in collecting youth data, including best practices for including youth in Point-in-Time Counts. It will also explore how to use data to inform local practices, planning, and performance.

4.5 Ending Homelessness for Young Families

A sizeable portion of the families experiencing homelessness are young parents with young children. This workshop will focus on ending homelessness for the youngest of these moms through family intervention andeffective housing and service models.

4.6 Coordinated Assessment: The Advanced Class

For communities that have started down the path of implementing coordinated assessment, issues such as strict individual program eligibility requirements and long wait lists may pose a challenge to creating larger systems change. This workshop is meant to address the barriers that communities may face when they are farther along in the planning and implementation phases of coordinated assessment.

4.7 Ideal System Design: Ideas and Strategies

How many shelter beds do you need? How much rapid re-housing? How many permanent supportive housing units? This workshop will discuss strategies systems can use, in concert with outcome data and consumer input, to figure out how much of each intervention their system needs to effectively end homelessness.

4.8 Codifying Excellence: Tips for Developing Effective Prioritization and Eligibility Standards

Each community needs system-wide written standards that clearly describe who will be prioritized for admission to different interventions. These standards will be crucial in developing a system with a standardized coordinated assessment process designed to serve and house the most vulnerable households first. This workshop will offer tips for creating standards that will lead to this type of system.

4.9 Public Housing Authorities and Chronic Homelessness Initiatives

Public Housing Authorities can serve as key partners in the creation of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. In this workshop, presenters will describe successful partnerships between homeless service providers and public housing agencies that have led to progress in ending chronic homelessness.

4.11 Cultivating Congressional Relationships: Advocacy Strategies for Success

Establishing relationships with policymakers who control vital federal resources is critical to securing those resources. Presenters will provide an overview of key advocacy strategies, such as conducting successful congressional meetings, which are impactful in making ending homelessness a priority for federal policymakers. This workshop is ideal for those who hope to strengthen their federal advocacy efforts, and is particularly useful for those planning on participating in Capitol Hill Day.

4.10 Benefits Outreach and Enrollment: New Roles for Homeless Assistance

Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid are important benefits for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, and may be key to their ability to thrive in permanent housing. Presenters will explain new Medicaid enrollment rules, and discuss outreach programs and strategies to connect vulnerable homeless people with the benefits that meet their needs.

4.12 Housing and Serving Undocumented Immigrants Who Are Homeless

Undocumented immigrants that become homeless may have difficulty accessing particular federal programs. This workshop will review for which programs undocumented immigrants are and are not eligible, and what responsibilities nonprofit providers have for ensuring documentation.

4.14 Measuring Up: Strategies to Improve Performance and Outcomes

The HEARTH Act requires communities to measure and improve their systems’ performance on key indicators that directly impact overall homelessness. This workshop will provide examples of communities that are using performance measures to effectively improve performance and reduce homelessness. Presenters will describe their approaches in developing and implementing systemic benchmarks and improvement practices, including examples of financial incentives, reallocations, and targeting technical assistance to programs with poor outcomes.

5.1 Rapid Re–Housing Models for Single Adults

Rapidly re-housing single adults experiencing homelessness can be challenging, particularly for young adults ages 18 to 24, and adults with high housing barriers. While many of the rapid re-housing models have focused on families, this workshop will explore the implementation of successful rapid re-housing strategies to meet the unique needs of the single adult population. Presenters will provide rapid re-housing examples, including shared housing strategies.

5.2 Using TANF for Rapid Re–Housing Efforts

Innovative communities are using the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) resources to expand their efforts to rapidly re-house families. In this workshop, presenters will hear from communities that have leveraged TANF for rapid re-housing, as well as TANF administrators.

5.3 Effectively Serving Chronically Homeless Veterans

The joint U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development–U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program is designed to serve veterans who have the highest needs and have been on the streets for long periods. Presenters will discuss this and other mainstream housing programs that may be right for chronically homeless veterans.

5.4 Integrating Data and Sharing Research to End Veteran Homelessness

According to the most recent Point–in–Time Count, homelessness among veterans has declined by more than 17 percent since 2009. The intense work being done on this subpopulation has produced critical data and research that can help us work toward the goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. Presenters will discuss risk factors, the changing face of veteran homelessness, demographics, and other topics.

5.5 Addressing Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Homeless Youth

Youth who have run away from home or who are homeless are at particular risk of sexual exploitation. Providers serving runaway and homeless youth should be aware of how to identify and protect youth who are being sexually exploited. This workshop will provide an overview of the intersection of youth homelessness and sexual exploitation as well as policies and practices providers can use to help identify and protect exploited youth, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

5.7 Using the Performance Improvement Calculator

This workshop will demonstrate how to model and experiment with different systems–level changes in homelessness assistance in your community. Presenters will describe how to use your community’s data to model these changes in the “Performance Improvement Calculator” tool. Using this performance modeling tool can help drive conversations in your community about systems change and improvement strategies.

5.8 Retooling Transitional Housing – Moving to New Models

Many providers and community leaders are exploring options for retooling transitional housing programs to improve their communities’ overall performance. This workshop will identify the steps programs can take in the retooling process, and provide examples and tools for taking those steps. Providers who have retooled their transitional housing will share their experiences about making the shift, and cover topics such as staffing, contracts, and working with board members. Retooling for single and family transitional housing models will be included.

5.9 Improving Homelessness Assistance through Learning Collaboratives

A Learning Collaborative is an opportunity for organizations to make changes in the way they operate, while being supported by their peers and experts. This interactive workshop will provide community leaders, planners, and administrators with strategies for conducting Learning Collaboratives in their communities.

5.10 Moving on from Permanent Supportive Housing: Creating Successful Exits

Permanent supportive housing is the foundation for serving chronically homeless individuals and families who have intensive service needs. However, not everyone will need this level of assistance forever, and over time as people’s needs and desires change, they may wish to move on. This workshop will present methods to identify and support individuals and families that are considering moving out of permanent supportive housing, and to plan for the effective utilization of the units that turn over.

5.11 Community Partnerships to Provide Housing and Health Care for Vulnerable Homeless Adults

For someone experiencing chronic homelessness, “treating the whole person” means offering housing, medical, and behavioral health services in a coordinated manner. To be effective, most homeless service agencies cannot do it alone. This workshop features partnerships and other arrangements that bring together service strategies and funding streams in solutions to chronic homelessness.

5.12 Building Political Will: Identifying Champions to Advance Your Mission

Successful local systems change often requires identifying a champion who can bring key partners together, message effectively, and impact public sentiment. The same is true at the state and national levels. This workshop will cover ways to identify and cultivate champions of ending homelessness at all levels of government to ensure we continue to implement efficient and effective systems and have the resources necessary to do so.

5.13 Focus on Children: Partnering with Schools for Resiliency, Academic Readiness, and Housing Stability

Crafting partnerships with schools and early child development programs can be an effective way for homeless service providers to promote the wellbeing of young children. This workshop will examine how schools and early childhood programs are working to address the academic and developmental needs of the children experiencing homelessness.

6.1 Partnering with Child Welfare Agencies to End Family Homelessness

Homelessness and housing instability are not uncommon among the extremely poor families that child welfare agencies serve. This workshop will examine how child welfare agencies can effectively partner with homeless service providers to address their clients’ housing needs in order to contribute to the effort to end family homelessness.

6.4 Building Self–Sufficiency: Improving Youths’ Education and Employment Outcomes

The long–term well–being of young adults requires that they have the education and work experience necessary to succeed in the workforce. This workshop will examine strategies to improve the education and employment outcomes of youth to help them achieve greater economic independence.

6.5 Maximizing System Effectiveness through Homelessness Prevention

Homelessness prevention and shelter diversion models that begin at the “front door” of the homeless assistance system are some of the most powerful tools communities have in their arsenal to reduce new entries into homelessness. The most effective homelessness prevention and diversion techniques attempt to stabilize people in their current housing situation if it is safe, not simply funnel them away from entering shelter. How to use flexible service resources, creative case management, short-term financial assistance, and connection with mainstream resources to make this stabilization happen will be an area of focus of this workshop. This workshop will also offer strategies for preventing households experiencing domestic violence from falling into homelessness.

6.6 Funding Strategies to Create Systems Change

Funders play an important role in determining what programs and services communities provide. This workshop will discuss how funders can promote system change by funding the collection and implementation of good data, as well as the overall systems change process. Presenters will share community examples and successful strategies.

6.8 Olmstead and Implications for Ending Homelessness

The Olmstead case requires states to serve people with disabilities in the least restrictive settings and to support community integration efforts. The case has given rise to a series of federal civil rights policies that influence how states expand their supportive housing capacity. This workshop will offer perspectives on Olmstead and its implications for ending homelessness. Presenters will include representatives from communities working with Olmstead principles and enforcement priorities, as well as key federal agencies.

6.9 The ABCs of Conducting Successful Street Outreach

Often the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, such as those living outdoors, in cars, or abandoned buildings, are disconnected from the homeless assistance system. This workshop will examine creative strategies for locating this often overlooked population and engaging them in supportive services in a way that ultimately leads to stable housing outcomes. Presenters will focus on the unique role that people who are currently experiencing or have
formerly experienced homelessness can play in this process.

6.10 Using Transitional Jobs to Overcome Barriers to Employment

Transitional jobs are one of the few evidence–based employment strategies for people with significant barriers to employment. Presenters will describe transitional jobs programs and how they can be funded. The workshop will focus on using transitional jobs for people with disabilities and those exiting correctional facilities.

6.11 Promotion for Events and Organizational Initiatives

Over the course of a year, homeless assistance providers and other service organizations hold events and initiatives meant to spread awareness of key issues and messaging around solutions. Presenters will explore communications strategies for getting the attention and involvement of the public and the media through social media, traditional media, and grassroots efforts that could ensure the success of an organization’s next event or initiative.

6.12 Meeting the Challenges of Re–Housing Older People

The number of older people experiencing homelessness in many communities is increasing, and analysts predict this will be a trend in the foreseeable future. In order to re–house older people and help them regain stability, providers need to know how to access aging services and housing options in the community. Speakers in this workshop will describe effective service strategies and present information on available resources and tools.