Homelessness

We believe that our brothers and sisters deserve a safe place to call home. We know that this is not the case, considering that in 2013 there were approximately 500 homeless or unstably housed children enrolled in our city and county schools. In addition, we learned that there are roughly 200 homeless adults on any given night in our community. Our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters deserve better. It is a grave injustice that our community needs to address. We committed our justice ministries to addressing the growing number of homeless individuals in the community.

It turns out that there are many agencies that are working to help those who are homeless to get the care, work, and services that they need.

As we met with these individual agencies that work with the homeless, we realized that they were doing good work individually but their efforts were being uncoordinated.  Our community lacked a community-wide strategy to move people into stable housing and ensuring that their clients are getting the benefits and help that they need.  Although one was created to end homelessness by 2012, little to no collective moves were being done to make that a reality.

To address this problem, in 2013 IMPACT proposed the establishment of a “roundtable to reduce homelessness”. This roundtable has acted as a coalition of organizations and institutions that are already trying to help mitigate our community’s growing homelessness problem. Increased cooperation will make our existing institutions more effective and efficient at moving people off of the streets and into stable housing. IMPACT has put forth seven priorities for the roundtable to take on.

Instead of creating another agency around which those is need must navigate, we can better have the needs of individuals be at the center. Redirecting this approach will better serve those who need help.

One year since its creation, we learned of progress that has been made:

PRIORITY RESULTS SO FAR 
  1. Establish a common and measurable goal, with specific timetables, to reduce the numbers of individuals who are homeless in our community.
–committee has been created to create a new plan to end homelessness. May take a year (PACEM)-plan will be in 3-5 year implementation timetable (VSH)-starting goal of maximum of 30 days in shelter (TJACH)
  1. Develop an ongoing, cooperative strategy to hold providers accountable

 

 

-TJACH is the roundtable-Four collaborative applicationshave happened (TJACH)-Governance and charter made in Nov. 2013 and committees formed (TJACH)
  1. Establish common intake via the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), to leverage all available federal and state funds earmarked for homeless programs
-$35,000 for full time central intake person (CACF)-coordinated assessment happens by the Haven at their location daily (TJACH)-Using HMIS is a criteria for joining TJACH (PACEM)
  1. Develop information-sharing agreements and commit to refer individuals to other service providers to receive the care they need
-Weekly community case review with PACEM, Haven, TJACH, R10, Cville DSS, Salvation Army, SHIE, MACAA, Albemarle Schools, Charlottesville Schools, Virginia Supportive Housing MHA and others (TJACH)-MOU’s developed between agencies. Only have to do with funding (VSH)
  1. Establish a cooperative funding mechanism for a Housing Fiscal Agent who can channel federal and state rapid re-housing funds that are especially helpful to children and families
– 62 people have been helped  thanks to rapid rehousing funding (VSH)-Equity (through ASG) is fiscal agent of rapid rehousing (VSH)
  1. Pursue the creation of a “Housing Navigator” to locate appropriate housing and service agencies for continued support.
-several agencies have collaboratively applied for funding from city and county to fund this position (TJACH)-initial budget proposal has funding in it (TJACH)-ABRT Recommends $41,045 of new funding recommended if funding is available (includes funding for other things as well) (Cville Budget proposal)
  1. Develop a plan to provide SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) training to all area service providers so they can increase the speed and likelihood of an eligible homeless person receiving Social Security benefits.
-27 people have received benefits thanks to SOAR training (VSH)-considering a half time or full time person to train people (TJACH)-1/4 people in PATH trained (R10)