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Community Conversation on Homelessness

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Presentation on theme: "Community Conversation on Homelessness"— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Conversation on Homelessness
Steve Fussell 05/30/12

2 At Issue… 1,750 homeless children in Seminole County Public Schools.
“42% of Seminole County students are on free and reduced lunches … the highest number we’ve ever had.” – Dede Schaffner (Faith Community's Conversation on Homelessness, August 10th, 2011) Faith Community's Conversation on Homelessness, August 10th. (2011, August 31). Faith Community’s Conversation on Homelessness. Retrieved September 1, 2011, from CMF Media: homelessness/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CmfPublicMedia+%28CMF+Public+Media%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

3 Adult Homelessness in Seminole
810/Night 387/Night 2009/10 2010/11 Council on Homelessness, Florida Department of Children and Families. (2011, June). Council on Homelessness 2011 Report. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from Florida Department of Children and Family Services Prevention and Referral Services Publications:

4 $52/Homeless/Night Focused on 60 service providers • Info came from:
Gross, G., & Schmidt, T. (2010, September 29). Analysis of Funds Received and Spent on Homeless Programs in Central Florida. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Commission Meeting Minutes: $52/Homeless/Night Focused on 60 service providers • Info came from: IRS forms 990 Services provider’s staff and management Homeless Services Network Heart of Florida United Way Internet websites Funding Sources – Category & Total (in millions) Government: $23.7 In-Kind Contribution: $15.7 Other: $21.9 Unidentified Receipts: $ 1.0 Private Contributions: $15.7

5 With supportive housing programs & case mgmt. Savings?
Emergency room visits, emergency shelters, hospitalization, and jail stays $35,000 - $150,000 / Person / Year With supportive housing programs & case mgmt. $13,000 - $25,000 / Person / Year Savings? $10,000 - $137,000 / Person / Year Council on Homelessness, Florida Department of Children and Families. (2011, June). Council on Homelessness 2011 Report. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from Florida Department of Children and Family Services Prevention and Referral Services Publications:

6 “Quality of Life” Violations? $900 Fines: $250 (Dowd, 2010)
Dowd, J. (2010, June 17). Managing Attorney, Legal Advocacy at Work. (S. M. Steck, Interviewer)

7 History of the “Conversation”
CMF Media Panel Discussion, June 2010 1st Meeting November, 2010 “Collectively understand the needs of those who are homeless or about to become homeless; review the available resources and determine additional resources and/or strategies.” (Martin & Saunders, 2010) Saunders, M. (2010, June 10). Community Conversation on Homelessness Meeting. Seminole County Health Department, Sanford, FL. Michele Saunders, Director –Community Services for Seminole County, shared her plan improve the plight of the homeless by “having a group of key community stakeholders building a strategic plan”, including identifying and managing performance “outcomes” to address more services that result in a decrease of homelessness. (Saunders, 2010)

8 3rd Meeting was May 2011. Issues include:
Coordination and Communication Among Agencies Funding Case Management Housing Safety Medical Assistance Child Care Transportation Bryer, T. (2011). Gaps in Service. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from Central Florida Matters Coordination and Communication Among Agencies: Online Networks to keep count of available beds; absences of coordinated systems to services; “Lack of meaningful language to describe homelessness including a classification taxonomy (e.g. chronically homeless, newly homeless, circumstantially homeless) with language to rate state of homelessness… so that limited resources can be scored and prioritized.” Funding: Financial Assistance to move into Housing, Amount of reporting requirements associated with getting and receiving funding. Lack of Financial Assistance. Access to emergency funds to prevent homelessness. Three agencies targeted funding to programs as one of the gaps. Case Management: Planning after release from Jail, Employment Services, and Vocational Assistance. Housing: Inexpensive Permanent Housing. Thirteen agencies mentioned lack of affordable housing, or assistance to move into permanent home. Safety: Number of Overnight/Emergency Shelters/Transitional Housing Units. Lack of affordable overnight options for safe housing. Eight agencies stretched the lack of emergency shelters. Medical Assistance: Hospitals, Medicine, Substance Abuse Treatments, MH/SA Treatment Facilities. Five agencies spoke about more access to hospitals, treatments, medications. Food and Hygiene: Showers and Laundry. Lack of Hot food service on a regular basis. Three agencies mentioned a lack to drop in centers (showers, laundry, haircuts, clothes, food). One agency mentioned too many people collecting clothing and food, because of lack of coordination. Child Care: Four agencies said one of the gaps is lack of child care services to homeless families. Transportation: Sufficient to support employment and accessing of services. Four agencies mentioned the need for assistance on transportation services.

9 Overall lack of cohesion Largely connected
Referral Network Overall lack of cohesion Largely connected Bryer, T. (2011). Gaps in Service. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from Central Florida Matters


11 Guiding Statements Vision: No person in Seminole County has to be homeless. Mission: To have a coordinated system of care through community collaboration and evidenced based best practice that ensures access to housing and supportive services. Outcome: Reduce and prevent homelessness through increased housing opportunities and supportive services capacity, leading to self sufficiency.

12 CCoH Status Report Completed Draft CCoH Charter
Governance Committee members appointed Subcommittees formed and initial meetings held; recommendation for the addition of a Housing Committee and Employment/Training Committee Housing inventory completed for emergency, transitional, permanent supportive housing in the County Overview presentations to the business community, local government and public Seminole County Manager and Attorney “Meet and Greet” orientation on homelessness Establishment of CCOH Website Participation in newly established Sanford Homeless Taskforce

13 Next Steps… CCoH Charter finalized and signed
Develop a multi-year action plan, based on gaps analysis, current processes and resources to achieve the CCoH mission, vision and three outcome statements. Research and propose multi-year funding priorities Expand the participation of the Seminole County business community to become an active partner in the CCoH Identify and leverage regional funding opportunities --Corporation for National and Community Service matching grant; Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) regional grant; coordination of funding with Seminole County Public Schools Foundation

Develop a coordinated referral, communication and service provision system Create a centralized common database  Homeless Plan financially supports expansion of the designated HMIS including licenses, development of an integrated referral process and universal intake/assessment tool. Increase and coordinate case management services Homeless Plan funds $298,000 in case management staffing to target the fastest growing segment of the homeless population – families with homeless children attending public schools Increase service and resource capacity Homeless Plan adds funding of $900,000 for transitional housing for up to 125 families, $100,000 job retraining funds, $33,000 utility and rental assistance Develop a Housing Inventory of Shelters of all types – emergency, transitional, permanent, etc. (DONE) Develop a Service Catalog of core assistance services currently in the community Develop a governance structure to support system improvements, monitor progress and continually evaluate its effectiveness

15 Addressing Homelessness in Seminole County
“The Housing First Approach” My goal in developing this plan was to combine the Seminole County BCC’s directive with the strategic vision of the Community Conversation on Homelessness. By: Valmarie H. Turner Director Seminole County Community Services Department

16 Critical Needs Within the Seminole County Community
At the Fiscal Year 2010/11 Preliminary Budget Development Work Sessions, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) directed the Community Services Director to provide an assessment of additional needs for Seminole County citizens who have been adversely impacted by the current economic conditions. The assessment, as presented, identified a need for additional resources in the following critical areas: Rental Assistance Utility Assistance Food and Medical Care Homeless Prevention The Community Services Director provided an assessment of the critical needs in our community at the 2010/2011 Preliminary Budget Development Work Sessions which identified the following critical areas: Rental Assistance, utility assistance, food and medical care and Homeless Prevention.

17 Homelessness in Seminole County
Homelessness in Seminole County gained national attention in the 2011. 60 Minutes Hard times generation I: Homeless Kids Hard times generation II: Families living in cars It is important to know that the Community Services Department currently provides these services – however, due to the economic crisis of our country, the need has increased significantly. Not to mention that Homelessness in Seminole County gained national attention in 2011 due to the 60 Minutes coverage.

18 HUD Homeless Definition
HUD's existing definition of homelessness includes people: living in places not meant for human habitation (the streets, abandoned buildings, etc); living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing facility facing the loss of housing within the next seven days with no other place to go and no resources or support networks to obtain housing. (although it is not specifically described in the McKinney-Vento statute)

19 Federal Definition of Homelessness (including HUD)
The HEARTH Act adds to this definition situations where: a person is at imminent risk of homelessness where a family or unaccompanied youth is living unstably. Imminent risk includes situations where a person must leave his or her current housing within the next 14 days with no other place to go and no resources or support networks to obtain housing. Instability includes families with children and unaccompanied youth who: are defined as homeless under other federal programs (such as the Department of Education's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program), have lived for a long period without living independently in permanent housing, have moved frequently, and will continue to experience instability because of disability, history of domestic violence or abuse, or multiple barriers to employment. The US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration have adopted this federal definition of homelessness to create a unified definition of homelessness for the federal agencies. HEARTH - Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing, Enacted May 20, 2009 – emphasizes prevention, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing.

20 Average Duration of Their Homelessness
35% > one year 32% > three months 19% > one month 13% > one week *Data from the Homeless Services Network 2011 Point-in-Time Count

21 Addressing a Critical Need: Homelessness
The Community Services Department Homeless Prevention Program Plan is based on national best practice principles addressing homelessness: Prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless Help families/individuals that become homeless move into permanent housing as quickly as possible. So how can we as a community address this critical need in our community? The Community Services Department Homeless Prevention Plan

22 The “Housing First Approach”
The “Housing First Approach” focuses on providing homeless families/individuals with housing. Services includes: initial emergency services housing and resource assessment and planning housing placement assistance, including housing search and direct housing focused financial assistance (e.g., short-term subsidies, move-in costs, etc.) case management to stabilize participants in housing and ensure community supports for maintaining housing are in place Housing first reduces the amount of time that case managers spend on addressing issues on self-sufficiency and (National Alliance to End Homelessness November 9, 2006)

23 The Five (5) Components of the Plan
Housing – Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Case Management Intake and Assessment Development of Case Plan – Family Self-Sufficiency Plan Job Training/Education Assistance Utility Assistance Emergency Housing Voucher Program Emergency Shelter Program Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

24 Implementation Case Management
Meets with family/individual to determine needs - Intake and Assessment Submit case plan and approval package to the Community Services Department for TBRA, FSS, Utility Assistance, Emergency Housing Voucher Program Implements the case management plan with families and recertify, as applicable. Community Services - Financial and Compliance Administrator Reviews Case Plan and prepares participant agreement. Receives and process payment requests. Compliance Monitoring of Case Management Agencies and program implementation. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Develop a single assessment tool to coordinate community-wide access to services Provide additional licenses for each CCoH agencies Provide training and support for user agencies.

25 Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
The County’s Homeless Prevention Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program is a seven (7) month rental housing assistance program with an option to renew for two (2) additional seven (7) month terms, with a maximum of twenty-one (21) months of rental assistance. Monthly rental allowances are as follows: 4 Bedroom will be considered and approved on an as needed basis 3 Bedroom $900.00/month 2 Bedroom $800.00/month 1 Bedroom $700.00/month Efficiency $600.00/month Talk about the 7 month statistics.

26 Utility Assistance One time assistance, up to $1,000, may be provided to eligible families/individuals to assist with the payment of electric, gas, or water services. Payments will only be released to the approved agency. Eligible services include: Utility Assistance (electric, water, sewer, and gas) Current Bill Arrearages Billed Utility Deposits Utility Connection and Reconnection Fees Additional Utility Deposit Fees Old Account Balances Late Fees

27 Emergency Housing Voucher Program
The Emergency Housing Voucher Program is a short term immediate housing program that provides hotel/motel vouchers to families/individuals that are homeless. The following criteria must be met: Applicants have applied for the TBRA/FSS Programs; No appropriate shelter beds are available; and, Rental housing has been identified but is not readily available. This program will provide a hotel/motel voucher for a maximum of four (4) weeks, not to exceed $ Family reunification program

28 Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
The Homeless Services Network (HSN) of Central Florida’s HMIS will allow Seminole County to create a centralized, common database as well as allow community stakeholders to strengthen services in a more streamlined manner, and obtain information to guide future planning ( HSN will develop a single assessment tool to coordinate community-wide access to services, provide additional user licenses for each CCoH agency, and training and support for user agencies.

29 Budget Sources Seminole County General Funds
$900,000.00 HOME Investment Partnership Program $400,000.00 Community Services Block Grant (Training) $100,000.00 Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) $48,000.00 Emergency Solutions Grant $10,000.00 Total Budget $1,458,000.00

30 Homeless Program/Services Budget
Tenant Based Rental Assistance $892,350.00 Case Management $298,000.00 Utility Assistance $32,650.00 Emergency Housing Voucher $35,000.00 $50, (Emergency Shelter) Job Training/Education Assistance $100,000.00 HMIS System/Administration $50,000.00 Total Homeless Program/Services Budget $1,458,000.00

31 “Housing First” Program
Estimated average family cost Tenant based rental assistance $ 12,600* Utility assistance (deposit, arrearages) $ ,000 Emergency housing $ Job/education training $ ,500 Total $ ,000 *$900/month for 12 months + 1,800/year utility assistance

32 Attainable Solutions to Preventing Homelessness in “Our” Community
The consensus and vision of the CCoH is “No person in Seminole County has to be homeless.” The strategy solutions are attainable goals and can be achieved through a coordinated and concerted effort.

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