March 2016 NCHV eNewsletter


NCHV eNewsletter
March 2016
Call for Nominations: Annual NCHV Awards
To be presented at the Annual NCHV Awards Ceremony, June 2 in Washington, D.C.

Each year, NCHV honors the commitment and service of a few of the many deserving organizations and individuals helping homeless veterans across the nation. We are now accepting nominations for the following awards:

  • Outstanding Member - to an NCHV member organization whose programs, partnerships, and people combine to create extraordinary results
  • Partnership Award - to an organization or individual whose work building effective partnerships exemplifies creativity and collaboration
  • Public Policy Award - to an elected official whose record shows strong commitment and action in measures to help homeless veterans
  • Unsung Hero Award - to an individual whose efforts go above and beyond expectations, who expects nothing in return and demonstrates a hero's heart for homeless veterans
  • Federal Agency Staff Award - to a Department of Veterans Affairs, Labor, or Housing and Urban Development staff member on the local, state, regional, or national level who exhibits extraordinary commitment to homeless veterans and service providers

Please submit a one- to two-page letter of nomination including the nominee's name, title, and which award you are nominating for by email to rbrown@nchv.org no later than April 18, 2016.
Register Today: 2016 NCHV Annual Conference
June 1-3, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. 

Register today! Join service providers, government agency representatives, nonprofit partners, VSOs, and other stakeholders from around the country on June 1-3, 2016 when the 2016 NCHV Annual Conference will take place at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

You will want to be in attendance for three days of training sessions, plenary sessions featuring distinguished speakers, policy updates from Federal agencies and Congress, the Annual NCHV Awards, and more!
Have you renewed your NCHV membership? Interested in becoming a member? NCHV members receive discounted rates for the Annual Conference. Click here to renew or become a member today! For more information about NCHV membership, email Anna Kaminski at akaminski@nchv.org. Your NCHV membership must be current to receive the discounted rate.

Stay tuned to www.nchv.org for updates as they become available.
Hill Watch: Public Policy Engagement Opportunites at NCHV Annual Conference
Join the NCHV Advocacy Team!
The Public Policy Session at this year's Annual Conference will be a chance to get attendees up to speed on what is happening on Capitol Hill, and to prepare them for meetings with Congress. Will you help yourself and fellow providers across the country to better serve homeless veterans, by walking the halls of Congress? Even if you have never spoken to your congressional offices before, NCHV will be able to prepare you for your first meeting. Are you already planning on taking these meetings? Let us know!
For more information, or to express your interest in setting a "Hill Meeting", email our Director of Policy, Joshua Stewart, at jstewart@nchv.org.
Women Veterans and Homelessness Roundtable
May 4, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. EST
The VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans will be hosting its third Homeless Evidence and Research Synthesis (HERS) Roundtable virtual research symposium on May 4, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. This HERS Roundtable symposium will focus on Women Veterans and Homelessness and is being co-sponsored by the Office of Women's Health. The symposium will consist of presentations from researchers and subject matter experts on women's issues and the impact of homeless for this cohort. A roundtable discussion will be held upon completion of the presentations, and virtual attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the research presented and strategies for the delivery of services to homeless women Veterans. A document summarizing the information provided in presentations and the round table discussions will follow the symposium. 

For more information, click here
FCC Chairman Proposes Rules to Modernize Lifeline Program to Provide Affordable Broadband for Low-Income Americans
Focused on ensuring Lifeline meets 21st century users' needs
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, working closely with fellow Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, is circulating for consideration by the full Commission an Order to modernize the FCC's Lifeline program to efficiently and effectively meet a critical 21st Century need: making broadband more affordable for low-income consumers.
Congress directed the FCC to ensure that all Americans have access to advanced telecommunications and information services. Since 1985, Lifeline subsidies have helped make phone service affordable for low-income Americans.
Now, Lifeline must evolve to meet today's most pressing communications need: access to broadband.
With affordability still the largest single barrier to broadband adoption in low-income households, the draft Order would reboot Lifeline to enable all Americans to share in the opportunities broadband connectivity provides, while building on recent reforms to the program. The proposed Order will be voted on by the full Commission at the March 31 Open Meeting.
To view a blog post on the proposed rules from Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn, click here. To view a fact sheet on the proposed rules, click here
Understanding the Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness Q&A
From the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness recently posted a Q&A document from their webinar "Understanding the Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness". The document clarifies various details and definitions from the Federal criteria and benchmarks, to help communities stay on target to reach functional zero.
To view the document, click here
Service Provider Survey on Food Insecurity
Responses requested by March 26
Service providers working with homeless veterans know that access to food is essential for stability. Veteran food insecurity within the homeless population is unfortunately under-reported and under-researched. Responses to these surveys from providers and homeless veterans will assist in developing an understanding on the issues from both perspectives. 
Funding Opportunities
The Moody's Foundation focuses its giving on education, mathematics, economics and finance, health and human services, economic development, arts and culture, and civic categories. The Foundation accepts letters of inquiry through its online platform at all times. Please allow eight weeks for your submission to be reviewed. For more information, click here.
The Richard and Mary Morrison Foundation provides grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, as well as municipalities and educational institutions. Focus is placed on providing help, hope, guidance and empowerment to those in need. Applications are accepted online throughout the year. For more information, click here
This eNewsletter is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
For the latest news, resources and grant information, visit our website at www.nchv.org.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
333 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003
202-546-1969 or toll-free 1-800-VET-HELP


Updated 2016 Chronically Homeless Definition Clarification by HUD TA


QUESTION #1: For many years, HUD seems to have strongly encouraged CoCs, and perhaps awarded more points for those of us that annually increased our PH dedicated and prioritized CH beds.  However, this updated 2016 definition of CH seems to decrease the population of those that meet the new definition, thus most likely resulting in lower utilization rates, especially for our dedicated CH beds.  How are we supposed to address this matter?

ANSWER: HUD did not change the definition of chronic homelessness as a way to reduce the number of persons that are considered chronically homeless. The decision to include a final definition, to include the definition that was included in the final rule was made back in 2012 really at that convening and we’ve been working towards that ever since. And we also don’t know for sure that it will actually reduce the overall number especially in the first point in time in which it’s implemented, which will be in 2016. Because the point in time count is based entirely on self-report this may result in a person being counted as chronically homeless but once they are actually referred to a program an eligibility is being determined they may not be able to verify eligibility at that point. So yes it’s true that some people that were previously considered chronically homeless will no longer meet the definition it is also possible that some persons that previously did not meet the definition will now meet it such as persons with multiple short stays in institutions.

QUESTION #2: If dedicated or prioritized beds for chronically homeless persons were not filled by chronically homeless persons, are we supposed to document our process that we tried to fill with chronically homeless persons first?  If so, how?

ANSWER: First, HUD understands that in order to implement the definition outlined in the Final Rule on Defining “Chronically Homeless,” it will require that communities exercise due diligence to identify and engage all persons experiencing homelessness with chronic homelessness within the CoC’s geographic area. If there were no chronically homeless persons identified as chronically homeless at that point in time through the coordinated entry process and/or by outreach workers within the CoC's geographic area, it would be acceptable to serve a non-chronically homeless household in a vacant unit. At no point should beds be held vacant waiting for people to age into chronicity. Serving a non-chronically homeless household in a vacant unit would also be acceptable if there are individuals that are not ready or willing to be housed in PSH. In both situations, however, you will need to document very carefully what attempts were made to locate persons that met the definition of chronically homeless, and what the outreach strategy was (e.g., if your community has a by-name list or prioritized list through your coordinated entry). 

The CoC and recipient of PSH must maintain records to document what efforts have been made to locate persons experiencing chronic homelessness. Ideally, the CoC should have a list of all households that are currently presenting for assistance within the CoC which should include whether or not the household meets the definition of chronically homeless. If there are no households that meet the definition of chronically homeless on a regularly updated list at the time in which a vacancy is available, this will serve as sufficient documentation to demonstrate that there are no identified chronically homeless households within the CoCs geographic area.

The following FAQ clarifies that recipients of dedicated or prioritized PSH funded under the CoC Program are not required to hold beds vacant indefinitely while trying to identify persons that meet the highest priority: https://www.hudexchange.info/faqs/1895/are-recipients-of-dedicated-or-prioritized-psh-funded-under-the-coc-program/

HUD does not expect recipients of dedicated or prioritized CoC Program-funded PSH to hold vacant beds open indefinitely while waiting to locate chronically homeless persons with the longest histories of homelessness and most severe service needs. Recipients are only expected to exercise due diligence and should document the efforts they have undertaken to locate persons that would be considered the highest priority. HUD does not have a specific time frame that a recipient must hold a bed vacant.

This is also the case when there are no persons identified within the CoC that meet the definition of chronically homeless in general. Where the orders of priority have been adopted by a CoC, if there are no persons within the CoC’s geographic area that meet the definition of chronically homeless per 24 CFR 578.3, recipients of dedicated and prioritized CoC Program-funded PSH may serve households that are not experiencing chronic homelessness and in the order of priority described in the Prioritization Notice for non-dedicated and not-prioritized PSH beds. Should the bed turnover and become vacant again, the recipient must start by first seeking households that meet Order of Priority 1 for dedicated and prioritized CoC Program-funded PSH.