UN Committee Calls for U.S. to Take Action on Laws Criminalizing Homelessness

September 2, 2014    

ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro

Spotlight On...
UN Committee Calls for U.S. to Take Action on Laws Criminalizing Homelessness

The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today issued a statement calling upon the United States to take corrective action to address laws that effectively criminalize homelessness, which in the U.S. disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. The statement was included as part of the committee's concluding recommendations following a review of U.S. government compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Among the laws cited as discriminatory were laws that prohibit activities such as loitering, camping, begging, and lying in public spaces.

In a report released today, "Housing Older Adults," Harvard's Joint Center of Housing Studies warned that high housing costs could force millions of older adults to sacrifice spending on necessities like food and health care. The report also warns that the existing housing inventory in the U.S. is insufficient to meet the growing need for affordable and accessible housing for adults 50 and over.
Among the report's findings:
  • A third of adults ages 50 and over are already housing cost burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing.
  • Older adults who are severely housing cost burdened spend 43 percent less of their income on food and 59 percent less on health care than their stably housed counterparts.
On Tuesday, August 26, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness announced that veteran homelessness has declined 33 percent since 2010. In this post, we look at the declines we will need to achieve in the next two years in order to meet the Administration's goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
Here Are the Transformation Talks from Our 2014 National Conference
By naehblog
At our 2014 National Conference, we adopted a new speaking format for the final day of our conference, which we called "Transformation Talks." In this post, we introduce videos of each of these three brief talks on the role of faith-based organizations in ending homelessness, the connection between housing and healthcare, and why "bureaucracy" shouldn't be considered a dirty word.

[MARHMIS] Agenda for MARHMIS meeting - 09/08/14

Hello MARHMIS Members,

Below please find the agenda and the registration information for our upcoming MARHMIS meeting on September 8, 2014 at 10 am.

MARHMIS Bi-Monthly Meeting
Join us for a Webinar on September 8
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
MARHMIS September 8th scheduled session

MARHMIS Bi-Monthly Meeting
Monday, September 8, 2014
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
September 08, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  • 10:00 – 10:15 Welcome / Roll Call / Introductions (Paul Rossi)

  • 10:15 – 10:30 Update on NAEH Conference (All Members)
                        Members that attended the NAEH conference in Washington DC will provide an update to  
                        the group.
  • 10:30 – 10:35 Announce the upcoming NHSDC  Conference  in October (Abram L. Hillson)
  • 10:35 – 11:35 Peer to Peer Sharing:  (All Members)
                                               Members are invited to share with the group on one of the following:
1.       Challenges they face in monitoring or increasing participation
2.       Challenges with implementing a Coordinated Assessment Tool
3.       Challenges with governance
4.       Any other topic

  • 11:35 – 12:30 Open discussion on new HMIS data standards (all members)   
              - Members to talk about where they are with implementing the data standards
              - Members to discuss HUD performances measures
  • 12:30 – 12:45 Re-occurring item: Update from software solution provider meeting (vendors)

  • 12:45 – 1:00 Committee Reports and Discussions
Ø  Discussion on items for agenda committee ( Abram Hillson)
Ø  Data Committee (Kelly Blechertas)                                                   
REMINDER: Members anything that is distributed to the group via the ‘listserv’ is accessible by members and non-members online. 

Abram Hillson
Director of HMIS
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
P.O Box 18550
Trenton, New Jersey 08650-2085
Phone: 609-278-7567
Fax: 609-278-4173

HMIS Training Reminder (ShelterPoint only) and Report Card Notes

HMIS TRAINING (Housing Providers), 9/3/14, 1:30pm - 4:40pm: There is only 1 seat left for this training!  This is is a new user training for housing providers that use the "ShelterPoint" module, only.  You may attend this training for refresher purposes if seats are available.  Please register by submitting a request via our Support Portal at our hmisadmin.com site.

MONTHLY REPORT CARDS: Our monthly report cards may be viewed on our hmisadmin.com site.  Please note the following below.  
  • Red Cell: indicates failed performance measure.  If you are a direct grantee of BCDP, your monthly funds may be withheld until all of the necessary corrections are made.  Performance measures will be analysed and evaluated on a monthly basis by our Data Management Committee (comprised of Homeless Roundtable members).
  • Yellow Cell: indicates an area of concern, but may not be negative.  Please contact us to discuss.

  • Bar Graphs: The "Housing" report card now has three additional tabs at the top.


Jason Burns, MCSE   
Systems Administrator
HMIS Support Team


SOAR eNews - September 2014

If you are having trouble viewing the email below, please click here.
SOAR Logo, eNews Masthead Graphic
September 2014

SAMHSA’s SOAR TA Center Marks
Five Years of Service

Since 2009, SAMHSA’s SOAR TA Center has delivered Technical Assistance in a variety of ways to all 50 states! See what we have all accomplished together in a short amount of time.
  • 423,011 - SOAR Website page views
  • 85,067 - Website users
  • 24,967 - People on SOAR listserv
  • 8,300 - Applications entered into OAT
  • 4,700 - Facebook timeline views
  • 1,285 - Twitter tweets
  • 934 - 2-day trainings by SOAR Trainers
  • 389 - Twitter followers
  • 204 - SOAR TA Center in-person TA visits
  • 50 - States using SOAR!
  • 35 - SOAR e-news editions
  • 32 - Webinars produced
  • 26 - National Conference Presentations
  • 25 - Continua of Care (CoCs) introduced to SOAR
  • 17 - Train-the-Trainer events
  • 16 - States introduced to SOAR during this contract
  • 11 - Issue briefs published
  • 8 - Leadership Academies conducted by end of September
  • 2 - SOAR articles in peer-reviewed publications
  • 1 - National meeting for SOAR Team Leads in 2011
SAMHSA’s SOAR TA Center Staff would like to thank you for sharing your ideas, best practices, successes, and most importantly, your time over the last five years, towards making SOAR the overwhelming success that it is around the country.

Sharing Our Successes

SOAR Community Welcomes Three New State Team Leads!
Florida: Gloria Henderson, MPA, has been with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program, for some time and brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table. We are very excited that she has agreed to take over the SOAR and PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) projects.
We would like to extend our best wishes to outgoing SOAR State Team Lead (STL), Ute Gazioch, in her new role as Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program. We are very thankful for Ute's tremendous SOAR leadership and dedication to SOAR trainers. Ute was a pleasure to work with and although she is no longer the SOAR STL, she is still a valued SOAR champion!
New Hampshire: Patricia Jackson, with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Homeless and Housing Services, is the state PATH contact and would like to bring SOAR to all PATH grantees. We welcome Patricia to the SOAR Community!
Minnesota: Barbara Williams, Housing Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Community Living Supports, is adding SOAR Advocacy Coordinator to her responsibilities. We wish Barbara best of luck, and we look forward to supporting her in her new role!
SOAR News and Accomplishments
Springfield, IL: Fifth Street Renaissance/SARA Center announced the hiring of their first SOAR Case Manager for Sangamon County, who will be stationed at Helping Hands in Springfield. The city of Springfield is funding this position.
If you have a SOAR-related success story to share, email pheine@prainc.com.
Job Announcement
Nevada is seeking a statewide SOAR coordinator. Visit http://soarworks.prainc.com/content/soar-job-postings for more details.

SOAR Tip of the Month

Top 10 Reasons for Submitting an SSA-1696 with All SOAR Claims
10. SSA-1696 keeps line of communication open with SSA and DDS
9. SOAR Case Manager is copied on all notices
8. Applicant has knowledge he/she is not going it alone
7. DDS will call the SOAR case manager for medical information
6. SSA and DDS are less likely to make a “technical denial”
5. SSA is more likely to apply appropriate flags (e.g., Homeless, Rep)
4. Applicant can ask SSA/DDS staff to contact their Legal Rep, if phoned
3. Top eight SOAR States all submit claims with SSA-1696
2. Submitting SSA-1696 is a SOAR Critical Component
1. It’s the “Key to the City”!
We would like to share your SOAR Tips in future e-newsletters. Please send your tips to soar@prainc.com

SOAR Activities

Homeless Veterans Webinar
On August 5th, the SOAR TA Center partnered with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans for a webinar encouraging providers to connect Veterans to SSA benefits using the SOAR model. The training highlighted the differences between SSA and VA disability criteria, SSA fast track programs for Veterans, how SSA and VA benefits impact one another, and how organizations can get started with SOAR. The archived webinar can be accessed here: http://nchv.org//index.php/connect/story/connection_to_income_benefits_payments_through_va_and_ssa/
SOAR Fundamentals Webinars
As a reminder, SOAR TA Center resources have transitioned this year to the development and ongoing support of SOAR community leaders through training and mentorship at SOAR Leadership Academies. SOAR local leads and trainers will conduct one-day SOAR Fundamentals trainings for individuals who have completed the online course (or 2-day training) to include a refresher of the SOAR core elements as well as training on the state/local SOAR process. This webinar series is intended to invest in our existing SOAR trainers and offer you additional educational experiences to enhance your current efforts.

If you missed any, we encourage you to we encourage you to view the recordings and review the materials presented at http://soarworks.prainc.com/article/soar-leadership-academy-webinar-series

Social Security Updates

New Social Security Administration Tool: The my Social Security Account
The Social Security Administration is highlighting the many benefits of creating a my Social Security account, a personalized online account people can establish at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn Colvin said recently, "A my Social Security account is a convenient, cost-effective, and secure way for the public to do business with us from the comfort of their home, office, or library." Many SOAR providers have helped beneficiaries open bank accounts for direct deposit; helping SOAR applicants to create my Social Security accounts is similar. You will want to discuss the benefits of the accounts and assist with the process. The accounts are useful to those who return to work for tracking earnings and any changes in income or resources. These accounts also may help to avoid suspension or termination of benefits. We would like to hear about your early challenges or successes with this new SSA tool. Please contact us at soar@prainc.com