The Cost of Criminalizing Homelessness Just Went Up by $1.9 Billion

HUD Funding Requirement Building on Department of Justice Enforcement

By: National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (

WASHINGTON, DC September 18, 2015 - Today, September 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) added to the growing federal pressure against criminalization of homelessness by incentivizing communities to take steps to end criminalization in its $1.9 billion grant program for federal homelessness funding.

HUD’s new requirement for applicants of federal homelessness funding follows on the heels of the Department of Justice’s announcement in August that criminalizing individuals for being homeless is unconstitutional.

Every two years, HUD issues its Notice of Funding Availability to local Continuums of Care (local partnerships of public and private agencies that address homelessness in a given geographic area). In this year’s application for the $1.9 billion in funds, for the first time HUD is asking Continuums to “describe how they are reducing criminalization of homelessness.” In the extremely competitive funding process, Continuums’ ability to fully respond to this question can determine up to two points in the funding application, and in many cases could be the difference between receiving funding and not.

“We welcome the federal government’s direction of limited tax dollars to the places that will most effectively use that money to address homelessness,” said Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. “The federal government cannot sustainably meet its goals of ending veteran’s homelessness this year, chronic homelessness next year, and all homelessness by 2020 if communities continue to waste scarce tax dollars on failed policies that perpetuate homelessness.”

The Law Center has published multiple reports on the criminalization of homelessness, including No Safe Place, which showcased the dramatic increase in criminalization in the past few years as well as case studies of communities engaging in constructive alternatives, and its No Safe Place Advocacy Manual, which shows that when criminalization ordinances are challenged in court, most often they are struck down. The Law Center has also garnered condemnation of criminalization as cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and Human Rights Council, who made specific recommendations to the federal government to adopt funding incentives to abolish the practice. This question on the Continuum’s funding application is the first step in implementing those recommendations.

“Criminalization of homelessness is already more expensive than providing housing, but those costs—from keeping people in jail to increased emergency room visits—are often hidden,” said Eric Tars, Senior Attorney at the Law Center. “We hope HUD’s new question on their funding application brings are least one cost—the cost of lost federal dollars coming into the community—into full view. When added to the potential costs of losing litigation, there’s really no reason for communities to ignore the overwhelming data that shows housing is more effective than criminalization.”

“The Law Center is happy to provide technical assistance to communities in reviewing their policies to conform with the Department of Justice brief and HUD incentives,” said Tars, “We will be hosting a webinar on October 6 at 2pm ET to help communities understand criminalization and more constructive alternative approaches, and we hope many communities will take advantage of this opportunity to reverse and eliminate these harmful, unconstitutional practices.”

To sign up for the webinar, click here:

September 2015 NCHV eNewsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
September 2015
HUD Secretary Castro to Address 2015 NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit, Registration SOLD OUT
"The Drive to December" Oct. 5-6 in Washington, D.C. 
The 2015 NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit, "The Drive to December", will be held Oct. 5-6 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. Due to overwhelming demand, registration for this event is now CLOSED. NO walk-up registrations will be accepted.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro will be on hand to help us kick off two days of intense working sessions with an update on national policy and progress on ending veteran homelessness. 
This year's Summit will gather Federal agencies involved in ending veteran homelessness, technical assistance partners for the major homeless veteran service programs, and experts from around the country to help you set a high-speed plan for the final 100 days of the Five-Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness.

No matter your community's target date for ending veteran homelessness, it must be treated as an emergency situation. This event will equip you with tools and strategies to increase the urgency and efficiency in your area to effectively identify each individual homeless veteran and guide them to the most effective solution available to get them stably housed.

Stay tuned to the NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit webpage for the latest updates, including the full Summit schedule!
HUD Releases FY 2015 CoC NOFA
$1.89 billion available, applications due Nov. 20, 2015
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the FY 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. HUD is making available approximately $1.89 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 for the CoC Program. The CoC Program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; to promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and to optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Applicants should review and follow the steps as outlined in the NOFA to ensure that applications are complete and submitted on time.

The deadline for submitting applications to HUD for the FY 2015 CoC Program Competition is November 20, 2015 at 7:59:59 PM EST. 
To access the full NOFA, click here
DOL Releases New Webinar in "Promoting Employment for Homeless Veterans" Series 
New webinar recording available from DOL, NVTI series 
The Department of Labor (DOL) and National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI) have developed a series of webinars supporting employment for homeless veterans. This webinar series is supported by the NCHV TA Center.
The seventh webinar in the Promoting Employment for Homeless Veterans series has now been released. "Assisting Veterans to Obtain Employment" investigates techniques and tools that veteran clients can use to identify their capabilities and to leverage their personal networks to discover and pursue unadvertised employment opportunities. The webinar is available free of charge after completing a brief registration form.
Designed as an education tool for American Job Center Staff, the webinars are also a great resource for service providers. In addition to providing training on employment tools and interventions for new staff members and partner agencies, the webinars can provide a foundation to strengthen your relationship with local AJC staff.
The other webinars available through this series are: Promoting Employment for Homeless Veterans, Overcoming Barriers to Employment, Building Partnerships with Service Providers, Assisting Ex-Offenders, Employer Engagement, and Job Driven Training. The webinars are prerecorded and are available at Find your local AJC here:
Hill Watch: Public Policy and Legislative Updates
NCHV provides testimony at Senate hearing
August is over, and with it the congressional recess. Now that Congress has returned to Washington, they have until the end of this month to act on the funding of the federal government for the next Fiscal Year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2015 until Sept. 30, 2016.
The budget process has bogged down again this year, with the House passing six of the 13 required funding bills. The Senate has not passed any of its own versions. As we approach the deadline for funding, it seems increasingly unlikely that the two houses will come to an agreement in time. Therefore, we can expect to see a short term continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government at the current level for a number of weeks or months. This will allow Congress more time to come together on a final agreement.
As reported in prior NCHV communications, the numbers proposed for homeless veteran programs in the President’s budget request were inadequate for the needs of communities across the country. Unfortunately, the House version of the appropriation bills have adopted those numbers. However, the Senate bills – found only in final committee form – reversed some of those drastic cuts. Should the appropriations process go through a normal progression, we may see a compromise between the two positions.
NCHV is working to ensure that your programs are protected from the proposed cuts, and that you are able to help all the veterans in need of your services. Stay tuned to these pages for more information as it develops, and to see how the budget process will affect the world of homeless veteran programs.
Check our Policy and Legislation page for the latest updates. 
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Join #ThePowerOf1 Movement
Be a part of The Power of 1 by showing your support during Suicide Prevention Month this September. The Power of 1 is a Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) campaign that explains how one small act can make a difference in the life of a veteran in crisis.
Whether it’s simply letting a veteran know you’re there to listen, or encouraging those in your social networks to rally behind the veterans in your area, every little bit counts.
During Suicide Prevention Month, join us in showing how one act can encourage veterans, service members, and their loved ones to seek confidential crisis support from the Veterans Crisis Line.
Connect with NCHV on Social Media!
Share your messages with us to show how your local impact is changing the nation

Social media helps us all share the stories of our challenges and success with followers from across the country and even around the world! Be sure to like and follow NCHV on Facebook and Twitter, and share your organization's messaging with us so we can highlight the great work you do in your community. You can also share any content that NCHV posts to show your followers that there truly is a national coalition for homeless veterans, and that your organization is playing a major role in the national effort to reach functional zero in every community across the country!
Funding Opportunities
The Principal Financial Group provides support to its communities through the Principal Financial Group Foundation. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations whose core missions fall under the following focus areas: health and human services; education; arts and culture; and civic, community and environment. Grants are awarded to organizations serving certain communities in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska, Washington and Wisconsin. Deadlines vary by program focus and location. For more information, click here.
The Taproot Foundation makes grants of professional consulting services, called "Service Grants," through their Service Grant Program. Every Service Grant is delivered pro bono by a team of five to six business professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help a nonprofit in their community. Projects provide high potential nonprofits in the Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. metro areas with the tools and services they need to strengthen their organizations and serve their communities. For more information, click here.

EMPLOYMENT OPP: Data Analyst (Portland, Oregon)


Greetings all;

I am forwarding an HMIS job opportunity to my network, Please forward to anyone interested.

Multnomah County Department of County Human Services invites applications for a Data Analyst with the SUN Service System. This is a full-time position located in downtown Portland.

As always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Wendy Smith
HMIS System Administrator
Portland Housing Bureau
(P) 503.823.2386
This email and any attachments are confidential and may be privileged. If you are not the named recipient, or have otherwise received this communication in error, please delete it from your inbox, notify the sender immediately, and do not disclose its contents to any other person, use for any purpose, or store or copy them in any medium. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Kathy KNAPP []
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2015 11:32 AM
To: Smith, Wendy <>
Subject: New Data Analyst posting

Hi Wendy,

We have a posting for that position that closes on Friday, Sept. 25th that we would like to be seen nationally. Could you please help?


Katherine L. Knapp
Senior Data Analyst
Multnomah County Department of County Human Services
SUN Service System & Community Services