Presentations from the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness


Conference Presentation | August 5, 2014

Critical Time Intervention Training

This half-day training is targeted to service providers working with persons transitioning from homelessness or other institutions to the community. Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice designed to prevent recurrent homelessness, recidivism, and other adverse out comes during the period following placement into the community from shelters, hospitals and other institutions. This time-limited intervention is delivered in three phases, each usually lasting three months. Each phase decreases in service intensity and results with the intervention ensuring the participant is linked to the appropriate community services to ensure housing and life stability. The training includes an overview of CTI and reviews the specific treatment areas supported by this intervention and is appropriate for individual and family practitioners.

1.2 Promoting Housing Stability for Older Foster Youth and Their Families

The Fostering Connections for Success Act allows states to use federal resources to extend foster care for youth until age 21. This workshop will examine how states are using extended foster care to design and expand developmentally appropriate housing and service options for youth age 18 to 21. Workshop speakers will also discuss how child welfare agencies and homeless service and housing systems can collaborate to reduce homelessness among youth and young parents exiting foster care.

1.3 Targeting and Preventing Homelessness

Prevention and diversion, when used strategically and targeted properly, can assist households in maintaining their current housing and avert homelessness entirely. Using this intervention can greatly reduce the disruption to a household’s life and may reduce the number of people entering into homelessness and the homelessness system. This workshop will examine diversion and prevention strategies, as well as relevant emerging research on targeting prevention services.

1.4 Medicaid 101: The Basics for Homeless Advocates

Some vulnerable adults and children may be newly eligible for Medicaid services. This session will outline Medicaid eligibility and benefits and the intersections with other low-income health care programs. Presenters will also provide a foundation for understanding how Medicaid services are reimbursed.

1.5 Right Sizing Your Homeless Assistance System

As community leaders focus on creating a system of service that is geared toward both meeting consumers’ needs and high performance standards, the issue of how to “right size” the homeless assistance system becomes critical. This workshop will discuss strategies and tools that communities can utilize to analyze the effectiveness of their current system and determine the strategies and interventions to create the most effective system for the community.

1.6 Improving Local Data on Youth Homelessness

To date, there are very limited data on the scope and needs of unaccompanied homeless children and youth. In 2013, for the first time, communities were mandated to differentiate unaccompanied youth and children in point-in-time (PIT) counts. Since then, some promising practices in conducting youth PIT counts have emerged. This workshop will focus on strategies for improving PIT counts of youth, including incorporating surveys into the count.

1.7 Non-Chronic Homelessness Among Single Adults: An Overview

Each year, point-in-time counts show that the majority of homeless individuals are not chronically homeless. Yet resources are generally not targeted toward this group. Speakers in this workshop will discuss characteristics of non-chronically homeless individuals, including length of stay in the homeless assistance system, and practical targeted strategies.

1.8 Transatlantic Practice Exchange: Lessons from Across the Pond

This year the Alliance and Homeless Link, a homeless charity based in England, jointly offered a Transatlantic Practice Exchange program, through which five U.S. homeless assistance providers traveled to organizations in the United Kingdom to learn about best practices there. During this workshop, Exchange participants will provide an overview of their experiences and lessons they learned in their practice areas of focus, including youth homelessness, rapid response, coordination and assessment strategies, hospital discharge practices, comparisons of Psychologically Informed Environments and Trauma Informed Care, and serving people with complex needs.

1.9 Communities and Veterans Affairs Working Together

Ending veteran homelessness in a community may hinge on collaborations between public agencies, communities, and private organizations. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has emphasized the need for partnerships on the community level. The new 25 Cities Initiative is one example of work being done to develop coordinated assessment, data sharing, and communication between VA Medical Centers and Continuums of Care. This workshop will highlight communities where this is already happening, show best practices, and take a closer look at work to improve the partnership between VA medical centers and local Continuums of Care.

1.10 The Blueprint for Ending Family Homelessness

How can your community end family homelessness? This workshop will provide a broad overview of the research policy and practice strategies that are helping communities to end family homelessness with a particular focus on rapid Re-Housing, coordinated assessment, and targeted services. The workshop will highlight a community that has made dramatic progress in reducing family homelessness.

1.11 Person-Centered Options for People in Recovery

For people with substance use problems, permanent housing is an important factor in recovery. However, preferences regarding supports and services received while in housing vary by person. This workshop will focus on housing and voluntary service models and will cover person-centered strategies for helping people experiencing homelessness to pursue their recovery goals.

1.13 Providing Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Rapid Re-Housing has proven to be an effective and beneficial model for survivors of domestic violence. This workshop will focus on the core elements of providing rapid Re-Housing to survivors, discuss safety planning for survivors and staff, and share experiences with the specific challenges this population may face. Speakers will also discuss the impact rapid Re-Housing has had on their program or community’s capacity to serve survivors.

2.1 Sexual Exploitation: Intersections with Youth Homelessness

For many homeless youth, the dangers of sexual exploitation are a sad fact of life. Providers for both youth and adults should be aware of these dangers, their consequences, and their overall impact on youth experiencing homelessness. In this workshop, presenters will provide an overview of sexual exploitation and discuss how to identify survivors, provide appropriate housing, and keep survivors safe.

2.2 Systemic Responses to Youth Homelessness

Youth homelessness is best addressed through a comprehensive response that includes crisis services, a variety of housing opportunities, and developmentally appropriate assistance. This workshop will examine communities that have successfully developed a systemic response to youth homelessness and review emerging frameworks for responding to the needs of youth.

2.3 Addressing Substance Use

Many housing and support options for people with substance abuse issues are reserved for  chronically homeless people. In this workshop, participants will learn about strategies for serving  individuals who are not chronically home- less, but are dealing with substance use problems. Strategies for managing substance use in various types of programs, including emergency shelter and permanent housing, will also be included

2.7 Getting Technical with Coordinated Assessment

This workshop will provide tips on the successful implementation of coordinated assessment through the development of strong system-wide prioritization standards for housing and services and policies and procedures that describe and govern the process. Participants will also be connected with model resources to use to create their own documents.

2.8 Funding Efficiently: Using Data to Allocate and Reallocate Resources

Communities are always interested in allocating their resources efficiently; however, it is challenging to identify which programs are the most effective and efficient. This workshop will provide examples of how to use data to determine what kinds of programs your community should fund and to what scale.

2.9 Good Governance: The Essential Elements

Effective governance is essential to unite homeless services providers, manage and measure performance, and set the tone for a systemic focus on ending homelessness. This workshop will discuss discuss the role governance plays in successfully addressing each of these key areas.

2.10 Housing and Serving Undocumented Immigrants

Identifying and providing assistance to undocumented immigrants is complicated by a number of barriers, including questions about legal eligibility for programs, language, and cultural differences. Presenters will discuss legal restrictions on resources, including from federal programs. They will also examine options available to programs serving undocumented immigrants experiencing homelessness, including those who are survivors of domestic violence.

2.11 Rapidly Re-Housing Veterans Using SSVF

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant is the popular and effective rapid Re-Housing program for veterans. Funding for this program has continued to increase toward a scale necessary to house all the homeless veterans in most communities. This workshop will highlight the overall vision of this program, emerging best practices, and proper implementation and program design.

2.12 Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing: An Introduction

The core components of rapid Re-Housing, developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, include housing search and landlord negotiation, financial assistance, and rapid Re-Housing case management and services. This workshop will provide an introductory overview of rapid Re-Housing and the core components, and will feature some exemplary programs.

2.13 The Role of Faith-Based Groups in Ending Homelessness

Many faith-based groups across the country provide shelter, permanent housing, services, and meals to people experiencing homelessness. This workshop will highlight faith-based providers who play key roles in their communities’ homeless assistance systems. It will also examine innovative, effective ways faith communities are working to end homelessness, including through partnerships between homeless assistance providers and congregations that are successfully housing and mentoring families.

2.14 Improving Emergency Shelter

In this workshop, emergency shelter providers will discuss how to establish inclusive emergency shelter policies, incorporate rapid Re-Housing principles, and ensure high standards of health and safety. The workshop is designed for shelter providers who wish to improve the way they serve families and individuals.'

3.1 Creative Strategies for Building Landlord Partnerships

A key component of successful rapid Re-Housing programs is creating and maintaining strong partnerships with a variety of private and public landlords. This workshop will cover strategies that housing specialists have used to develop these relationships, including marketing techniques, and incentives.

3.5 Putting the Pieces Back Together: Family Intervention for Youth

Family conflict is the most frequently identified cause of youth homelessness. Research shows that family intervention is an effective strategy for youth exiting homelessness and returning home. Participants in this workshop will learn how family intervention models are used to reconnect runaway and homeless youth to their families or other caring adults.

3.8 A Conversion Conversation: Retooling Transitional Housing

Providers and community leaders across the country are exploring options for retooling their transitional housing programs in order to improve overall performance. Presenters will cover the journey these communities took to successfully change their programs, including their challenges, solutions, and successes. This workshop will highlight communities that have retooled their transitional housing resources to increase rapid Re-Housing resources and the conversion of buildings to new uses.

3.10 Introduction to Systems Thinking

Developing an effective community-wide response to homelessness, which is in the best interests of providers and consumers, requires thinking beyond individual programs and understanding systems. This workshop will teach communities how to pull disparate partners together through system visioning and planning exercises.

4.1 Continuum of Care Partnerships to Link People with Public Benefits

Access to health care and income support can contribute greatly to housing stability, especially for vulnerable people with disabilities in low-income families and communities. This workshop will provide an overview of resources and strategies for homeless assistance agencies to help people connect with benefit enrollment efforts. Successful partnerships with SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recover (SOAR) and Medicaid enrollment programs will be featured.

4.2 Taking Rapid Re-Housing to the Next Level: Strategies for Ramping Up

Is your community already doing rapid Re-Housing? Do you need to do more? This workshop is designed for communities that have already implemented rapid Re-Housing and are looking for ways to increase their rapid Re-Housing capacity. Workshop speakers will discuss strategies to identify funding sources and build systemic support to expand rapid Re-Housing in your community.

4.3 Successful Rapid Re-Housing inHigh Cost Rental Markets

Implementing rapid Re-Housing in high cost rental markets requires communities to be strategic and creative in their approaches. Providers that have met this challenge “head on” with resourcefulness and ingenuity will share their experience in making rapid Re-Housing work, in spite of high rents.

4.5 Where Does State Policy Fit in Your Advocacy Playbook?

State policies can greatly enhance, or impede, our efforts to end homelessness. This workshop will examine how advocates and providers are effectively influencing state and local policy through advocacy. Topics to be covered include how to secure services funding through Medicaid Health Homes, how to mobilize youth who have experienced homelessness to educate policymakers, and how advocates can prepare locally for implementation of the National Housing Trust Fund.

4.6 Housing and Service Models for Homeless Youth

Youth experiencing homelessness have a variety of needs, and there is great variability in their ages, development stages, and abilities and desire to live independently. This workshop will examine the continuum of housing and service responses intended to meet the varied needs of homeless youth. Workshop speakers will discuss transitional housing, both scattered site and single site; host homes; permanent supportive housing; and rapid Re-Housing.

4.7 Connecting Youth with Education and Employment Opportunities

Education and employment opportunities can provide youth with stability and a platform for a successful future. Homeless youth may miss some of these opportunities. This workshop will discuss strategies for reconnecting youth with education and employment, including developing partnerships with local employers, employment resources, and educational institutions.

4.9 HUD-VASH: Housing Every Last Chronically Homeless Veteran

As of 2013, there were approximately 25,000 chronically homeless veterans. These veterans can and should be served by the joint-Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUDVASH). This workshop will cover effective program models, targeting, and engaging community partners and case management services to ensure we address the needs of this vulnerable population.

4.11 Integrating Data and Sharing Research to End Veteran Homelessness

The estimated number of homeless veterans has declined by more than 24 percent since 2010, according to the 2013 point-in-time count. As we rapidly approach the 2015 goal date for ending homelessness among veterans, analyzing critical data and research will become more important than ever. Presenters will discuss how the face of veteran homelessness will change as the number of homeless veterans is reduced, as well as new program models and outcomes.

4.13 The Role of HUD Multifamily Housing Programs in Ending Homelessness

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Multifamily Housing Programs provides a variety of resources that may be used to serve homeless individuals and families. In this workshop, presenters will explain how to best utilize HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing resources to assist people experiencing homelessness. Programs covered will include Project-Based Rental Assistance, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities. Presenters will also introduce strategies to engage private multifamily developers in the work of ending homelessness, including barriers and successes.

5.1 Building Community Will: Working at All Levels to End Homelessness

Ending homelessness requires a community-wide effort, involving all levels of government and a variety of stakeholders. This workshop will explore ways to engage and advocate to local, state, and federal leaders to ensure your community has the resources it needs to achieve the goal of ending homelessness. Presenters from key communities will discuss how they built the necessary political will and leveraged their achievements to advance their missions.

5.5 Decreasing Moves after Housing Placement

Once households are placed into housing, programs often find that they need to be placed into another housing unit due to eviction, code or lease violations, or overcrowding. This workshop will discuss strategies for unit retention and decreasing the instability that leads to disruptive moves for households in permanent supportive housing.

5.6 Five Keys for Better Performance in Homeless Assistance Systems

Improving performance in a homeless assistance system requires effective collaboration between a strong governance structure, homeless assistance providers, and funders. This workshop will feature leaders who have achieved striking results in communities, and will reveal the five keys to developing and maintaining a high-performing homeless assistance system.

5.7 Tackling Advanced Issues in Rapid Re-Housing

Bring your toughest rapid Re-Housing questions and most difficult challenges to this workshop! Learn from other practitioners who may have faced similar issues and developed strategies to address them. Undertake real-time problem solving with colleagues from around the country.

5.8 The Role of Peer Support in Ending Homelessness

Structured peer groups and peer support opportunities are an integral part of homeless assistance programs. This workshop will focus on how to create positive peer support opportunities for a variety of populations who experience homelessness, including youth, young parents, and individuals struggling with substance use and recovery.

5.9 Research on the Efficacy of Housing First

Housing First is a low-barrier, person-centered housing model for anyone, including people with psychiatric disabilities and co-occurring disorders. Since its development, the model has been replicated nationally and internationally, and research and evaluation have repeatedly shown it to be effective in ending chronic homelessness. Speakers in this workshop will present research on the effectiveness of the Housing First model.

5.10 Implementing Rapid Re-Housing for Single Adults

Single adults who are not chronically homeless represent a large portion of people experiencing homelessness. While rapid Re-Housing is routinely thought of as an intervention for homeless families, it can help individuals as well. Workshop speakers will discuss strategies for successfully Re-Housing individuals and creative ways to improve the effectiveness of the intervention.

5.12 Providing Affirming and Welcoming Services to Homeless LGBT Youth

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth are over-represented among young people who experience homelessness. This workshop will examine tools and strategies that providers are adopting to ensure that all of their services to at-risk and homeless youth are supportive, welcoming, culturally competent and appropriate for LGBT youth.

5.14 The Role of HUD’s Homeless and MainstreamHousing Programs in Ending Homelessness

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, including the Emergency Solutions Grants and Continuum of Care programs, provide a variety of resources that can be used to serve homeless individuals and families. In this workshop, presenters will provide an overview of how HUD’s homeless assistance programs will be impacted as a result of new regulations, policies, and federal budgets. Presenters will also discuss strategies that communities can employ to better coordinate and target dedicated homelessness resources and integrate them with available mainstream resources.

6.2 Successful Strategies for Implementing Rapid Re-Housing for Youth

Youth experiencing homelessness continue to constitute a sizable portion of the homeless population and communities often do not have the resources to meet their needs. This workshop will examine which youth might benefit from rapid Re-Housing, and promising program models that both meet a youth’s housing and unique developmental needs and increase communities’ capacity.

6.3 Improving Your Shelter System and Crisis Response

Community leaders across the country are grappling with how to evaluate and improve their shelter and crisis response systems. This workshop will explore how to develop a comprehensive and efficient crisis response, including key metrics to measure, and incorporating effective outreach, rapid Re-Housing, and coordinated assessment. This workshop is for community planners, funders, and government leaders.

6.6 Housing-Related Financial Assistance and Case Management

Providing financial assistance and home-based case management are core components of rapid Re-Housing. This workshop will discuss how to employ the progressive engagement model of financial assistance to maximize limited resources and house as many households as possible. Additionally, this workshop will explore strategies for providing effective home-based case management that connects re-housed households to resources that help them improve their safety and well-being, and achieve their long-term goals.

6.8 New Research on Homeless and Runaway Youth

Quality research on youth homelessness aids in the development of effective practice and policy. In this workshop, researchers will present findings from recent studies as well as key policy and practice implications. Topics that will be covered include the effectiveness of family intervention, and service use and trauma among homeless youth.

6.12 Homeless Assistance Systems in Rural Communities

Developing an effective homeless assistance system in rural communities presents unique challenges, including limited resources, siloed providers, and vast geographic areas of coverage. This interactive workshop will provide the opportunity to explore creative strategies that rural communities are using to meet these challenges. Attendees from balance of state Continuums of Care and rural communities will have the opportunity to discuss solutions they have implemented and to troubleshoot and brainstorm around ongoing challenges.

6.13 Veteran Employment Programs: Evidence-Based Practices

Veterans have particular barriers and difficulties to overcome in today’s changing job market, but they also have a lot to offer prospective employers. This workshop will focus on the unique skills, assets, and characteristics that veterans bring to the workplace and the barriers and, in some instances, discrimination that veterans face. New solutions and program approaches, in particular the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor grants and programs that are focused on veteran employment will be covered.

7.1 Using the Learning Collaborative Model to Promote Organizational Change

A Learning Collaborative is a model that helps communities create systemlevel changes by providing a forum for service providers to improve their rapid Re-Housing programs, while being supported by their peers and experts. This workshop will provide an overview of the model, including the step-by-step process of implementing an effective learning collaborative.

7.2 Best Practices in Housing and Serving Aging Populations

Many communities are still searching for the right response to homelessness among their aging population. This workshop will provide an introduction for providers on how to re-house this population appropriately and effectively while accounting for their unique health-care and service needs.

7.3 Integrating Employment Strategies into Rapid Re-Housing

Unemployed individuals and those without income can be successfully housed through rapid Re-Housing; but once housed they may require continued support to help them obtain the income they will need to pay the rent. Come to this workshop to learn how agencies have successfully integrated employment strategies into their rapid Re-Housing programs.

7.4 Medicaid 201: The Business End of Services in Supportive Housing

This session explains Medicaid payment structures and policies as they might operate in housing and health care partnerships. Managed care models and state Medicaid waivers will be examined, along with effective approaches to financing health care services and other Medicaid supports in supportive housing settings. Workshop speakers will highlight existing networks with supportive housing providers.

7.5 Crisis Response Systems for Youth

Much like single adults and families, youth require a crisis response system that can react to a housing crisis and return the young person to family or housing as soon as possible. This workshop will discuss ways to effectively combine emergency shelters geared toward minors and older youth, doubling up or sharing housing, and family intervention to quickly house youth in crisis.