What is Outreach Coordination and why is it important?
What is Outreach Coordination A referral is sent if a Housing Provider cannot locate the person pulled from the Central Referral System (CRS) The referral is assigned to a variety of outreach team based on the individuals criteria The mobile Outreach Teams check their own resources and make physical visits to locate the person If the Outreach Teams locate the participant, they assist with the Housing Provider until the participant is officially housed
Benefits of Mobile Outreach Team Have the ability to physically look for participants in the streets/shelters Engagement and relationship building with participants Can assist participants with documentation gathering and transportation, if necessary Give a warm handoff to the housing provider
Coordinated Access HUD HEARTH Act Mandate No Wrong Door Access and direction to all homeless services Common Assessment
Coordinated Access – Mobile Outreach Role Identify and accompany most vulnerable Initial Assessment Assist in access to other services Housing
Central Referral System (CRS) and Housing Focused Outreach
Elements of CRS Part of Coordinated Access, specifically for PSH After an assessment, a vulnerability ranking is assigned All enrollees prioritized based on vulnerability Vulnerability for singles based on medical conditions leading to mortality. Vulnerability for families based on interaction with DCFS, time homeless and household disabilities.
CRS Needs Outreach Outreach for CRS in an integral part of Coordinated Access Interaction between housing providers and outreach providers Silos in the system Close communication Outreach Coordination Without outreach, highly vulnerable people won’t make it to PSH Participants are more transient Contact information is sparse to non-existent Need assistance with documentation gathering and keeping appointments
Mobile Outreach Teams Currently Participating in OCP Heartland Health Outreach Thresholds (CTA) DFSS Featherfist Beacon Therapeutic Polish American Salvation Army
Rapid Re-Housing Bridge Units Temporary bridge between homelessness and permanent supportive housing Eligibility: HUD defined homeless and acceptance into a PSH program Goal: To have participants moved out in less than 3 months 15 units in Uptown and 5 south and west, overseen by 2 HHO Outreach Workers and Thresholds
What Was Evaluated? Models: There were two outreach models implemented. Housing: How many participants that were served by Outreach Coordinated reached housing? Outreach: How effective were the outreach teams at locating and engaging referrals?
COLLABORATION Between Agencies # of Different Agencies in 2013: 16 SIT meetings: Twice a month Outreach Coordination Meetings: Every month in 2014 Working together: ONE TEAM! I pity the fool not using Coordinated Outreach
Qualitative Findings: Program Integration Outreach Providers: Outreach Providers felt that program integration helped them locate landlords, helped participants communicate with landlords, made the project more organized and provided a smoother transition for the participant. Housing Providers: Housing Providers felt that working with OPs helped them with locating/engaging clients, building rapport with clients, and transporting clients to appointments. Sometimes the roles of the HPs vs. OPs is not clear to clients
Qualitative Findings: SIT Meetings Outreach Providers Meetings offer safe and supportive space where members can discuss/process challenges together Meetings help staff know where participants are in the housing process and allow face time with the program coordinator Housing Providers Meetings allowed them to build stronger relationships with other HPs. Meetings provide structure, information, and space to ask questions; allow you to express concerns about a client; and connect you with the program coordinator on a regular basis
Qualitative Findings: Recommendations Programs should have a medical provider available and willing to sign medical letters Mandatory cultural competence trainings for Outreach Providers and Housing Providers would help in effectively assisting participants of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds Reduction of paperwork through condensing pre-intake and intake process.
Recommendations continued… Create communication protocol When clients are enrolled into CRS additional questions geared towards assisting the Outreach Team locate participants would be helpful The CRS managing entity could create a time limit for how long a participant’s file can remain inactive before he/she is housed or their file is returned to the CRS.
Challenges Highly vulnerable have sporadic contact information Information on CRS printout can be sparse Funding may dictate the participants an outreach agency can work with Limited capacity for new referrals Learning curve for new housing providers pulling from the CRS
Challenges continued… Limited authority with Outreach Providers Inconsistent communication between partnering agencies Limited authority with OBP Housing Providers Documentation needed to enter a PSH unit Housing clients with criminal records
Discussion Questions What are some characteristics of a successful outreach team? How could you see outreach coordination improving your work? What are some of the biggest challenges for outreach today? How does a CRS application directly affect the chances of a participant reaching housing?