PSAs Support Community Mental Health


SAMHSA PSAs Support Mental Health in Our Communities

One in five people in the United States has a mental health condition, so it's important that we learn the five signs of emotional suffering and how to help individuals in need. SAMHSA, along with its partner Give an Hour, is proud to release a new collection of public service announcements (PSAs) for the Campaign to Change Direction. These PSAs aim to change the culture of mental health in America by raising awareness about the signs of emotional distress and addressing common barriers to understanding these conditions.
collage of people
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Subscribe to SAMHSA's YouTube Channel
Visit the SAMHSA Dialogue Blog

VA Announces SSVF Funding Availability

VA Announces SSVF Funding Availability
Grant funding available for services supporting at-risk and homeless veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) regarding the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. This NOFA announces the availability of funds for supportive services grants including renewal of existing SSVF grant programs as well as opportunities for new grants in targeted communities.

The deadline for submissions under this NOFA is Feb. 7, 2017. To read the full NOFA, click here.

Legislative Alert from NCHV

Hill Watch: Congress Considering Passage of Veterans Bill with Homelessness Provisions
Call Congress to show your support today! 
Last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6416, the “Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016”. This package, named after the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, respectively, has been long in the making. As Congress approaches the end of the year, it is making one last try at passing these important provisions. It is likely that the Senate will vote on the bill today or Thursday.
The provisions relating to homelessness are contained in Title VII of the bill, available here. They address several issues in the current system that directly impact our work with veterans. We are running out of time in this Congress to help homeless veterans get the services they need and deserve – call your Senator today.
If passed, H.R. 6416 would:
  • Permanently authorize the use of VA homeless programs by veterans with “Other Than Honorable” discharges,
  • Finally update the VA’s definition of homelessness, to include the McKinney-Vento updates which allow individuals fleeing domestic violence to be considered homeless,
  • Authorize a higher Per Diem rate to be paid to Transition in Place programs,
  • Create a program to allow for follow-up case management for veterans who have successfully completed a GPD program,
  • Ease the transition for any GPD that wishes shift units to permanent housing provider, and
  • Permanently authorize the National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans.
NCHV fully endorses the passage of this bill and strongly encourages you to call or email your Senators to express your support as well. The stakes are high for this bill. Please take a few moments today to contact your Senators; let them know this is important to their communities and that they should pass H.R. 6416 this week. If you would like to contact your Senators, you can find their contact information by clicking here.  
Representative Miller and Senator Blumenthal have both supplied leadership and tenacity to this project, as they have to all veteran issues. NCHV thanks both of them for their work and support over the course of the 114th Congress, as we thank all legislators who have been involved. 
NCHV wants to thank in particular Chairman Jeff Miller, who is retiring at the end of this Congress. He has steadfastly supported services for homeless veterans through his eight-term congressional career. Since he became Chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee in 2011, he has increased that support and created real reforms and investments which have directly improved the lives of tens of thousands of homeless veterans. He was deservedly awarded the NCHV Congressional Leadership Award in 2012, and has been as equally deserving of our thanks since then.

HUD Publishes Integrity Bulletin: Documenting the Life Cycle of a CPD Grant

Community Planning and Development (CPD) grantees and subrecipients endeavor to meet program requirements as they use grant funds for housing and community development activities. While carrying out program activities should be the main focus, grantees must remember that documentation provides the evidence that grant funds were spent and activities completed appropriately. Grantees and subrecipients are custodians of federal funds and should take special care to document—at every phase of the grant life cycle—how use of these funds complies with applicable federal requirements. 
When grantees and subrecipients fail to create, gather, and retain necessary documentation, justifying what was done or how much it cost becomes a significant challenge. As a result, audits and monitoring reviews frequently cite lack of documentation and questioned costs in findings. For fiscal years 2011 to 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted 269 audits of CPD programs, and questioned nearly $2.8 billion for ineligible or undocumented program costs. When audit findings cite questioned costs, grantees must redirect time and resources from program execution to locating or reproducing the appropriate documentation. When such documentation cannot be produced, grantees must reimburse the federal funds associated with the questioned costs. The purpose of this bulletin is to make grantees and subrecipients aware of the impact that insufficient documentation can have on their grant programs and offer guidance on how to avoid these findings through the life cycle of a CPD grant.
The states, local governments, and nonprofits that use CPD program funds are encouraged to review this Integrity Bulletin and apply lessons contained herein to current and upcoming grant documentation responsibilities. We would also like to get your feedback on the usefulness of the Bulletin. If you have comments to share please direct them to Alexa Rosenberg at
For more information on documentation or other CPD program related issues we encourage you to utilize HUD’s Technical Assistance website, the HUD Exchange.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

Bowman Systems NewsFlash: Message From VA Regarding SSVF Repository

Having problems viewing this message? Click here to view it in your browser.

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Message From VA Regarding SSVF Repository

The VA issued the following communication on 11/30/2016 regarding an issue with the repository that a few of our customers are reporting:
"The EmploymentEducation.csv file in your data validation report is not being accepted. No action is needed on your part for this error. This will not cause an upload rejection issue."
We are passing this message along in case it was overlooked in the communication from the VA to SSVF grant recipients.
Please contact your CSS if you have any questions.
Copyright © 2016 Bowman Systems
Our address is 333 Texas Street, Suite 300, Shreveport, LA | 71101, US

SSVF Program Update December, 2, 2016


1.      Register Now: SSVF National Webinar on December 15, 2016  at 2PM EST
2.      FY 2017 SSVF SOAR and Legal Survey:  Due by December 21, 2016
3.      Reminder: Final FY16 HHS Account Transfer
4.      Notice: New URL for Payment Management Services

Register Now:   SSVF National Webinar on December 15, 2016 at 2PM EST

Topic:  SSVF FY 2017 Program Updates

This webinar will cover items related to grantee operations including a review of the FY16 SSVF Participant Survey results and new tools for FY 17. The new Critical Incident reporting process that is being converted to the SSVF online grants management system (GIFTS) will also be reviewed. Please register at:

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

FY 2017 SSVF SOAR and Legal Survey:  Due by December 21, 2016

The new SOAR & Legal Survey aims to provide a more in-depth picture of how SSVF grantees are utilizing the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) model and legal services to connect Veterans and their families with Social Security disability benefits, when eligible. It builds on the individual SOAR and legal surveys released by the SSVF Program Office in prior fiscal years to document the progress of community collaborations in increasing access to mainstream benefits and can lead to further efforts in establishing technical assistance with specific communities based upon their stated needs.

Survey Goals:
•       Obtain an update on SOAR model and legal service utilization among SSVF grantees;
•       Document grantee success in increasing access to SSI/SSDI using SOAR;
•       Document success resolving legal cases via direct SSVF provision of legal services;
•       Assess future SOAR training needs;
•       Determine barriers to SOAR  and legal service implementation and technical assistance needs;

How to submit:   Similar to the previous survey the SSVF Program Office can only accept one survey submission per grant award.  Do not access the survey link unless you are designated to complete the survey and are ready to submit your answers. The survey link is contained in the Nov 2016 SOAR & Legal Survey Companion Guide, available on the SSVF Website at

Tools: The SSVF Program Office has prepared several materials to assist with this process: These tools are also available on the SSVF Website.

1.)     Companion Guide (pdf)
•       This guide provides an in-depth description of each question, the question format, and response options and should be used as grantees are preparing their responses.
2.)     Blank Survey Question Document (Word document)
•       This document includes each question and the responses. It is expected that grantees use this as a worksheet to prepare their answers prior to accessing the Survey Monkey link. This way, grantees will have a copy of what they submitted and it should streamline the process for entering data into the survey, since the survey software does not allow users to save drafts of the survey or to save a copy of the final submission.
Survey Deadline:  All survey responses must be submitted no later than December 21, 2016

Final FY16 HHS Subaccount Transfers

Please be reminded that HHS Subaccount Transfers for FY16 grants will be processed on the 1st and 15th of December 2016. Grantees that require a final transfer of funds among the HHS subaccounts in order to complete the grant close must use the HHS Subaccount Template to prepare the transfer request.  Submit this form to your Regional Coordinator for review and processing.  Please do not submit to the SSVF general inbox.  To avoid denials of the subaccount transfer requests, please access your HHS grant account within the Payment Management System and carefully review the authorized subaccount balances, as any Program Changes granted throughout the year may have resulted in changes to these authorized balances.  If you have questions about how to complete the template or verify your authorized subaccount balances (prior to submitting your request) please contact your Regional Coordinator.  The template is available at

Notice: New URL for Payment Management Services Starting on December 3, 2016, the URL to access the Payment Management Services' homepage and the Payment Management System will be The previous URL will still be active and redirect you to the new URL. Please save the new URL to your favorites.  As part of the update, the webpage will have a new and improved layout. The goal with this updated webpage is to provide a website that is interactive and easy to navigate. The functionality and access to the Payment Management System will remain the same. Click the below URL for a preview of the new page

Thank you,

SSVF Program Office

NOTE:  If you are receiving this email in error, please disregard.  We request your patience as the SSVF Program Office continues to address system issues with the grants management database.

Airbnb, Test Your Hosts for Bias

Also: Using Business as a Force for Good ● Who Is Unbanked, and What Can We Do About it? ● Reweaving America's Social Fabric With Art
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
USC Sol Price


Connecting Communities® | Investing in the Frontline: A Lesson from the Health Care Sector | Dec. 15, 3 p.m. ET

The share of middle-skill jobs has fallen while the share of frontline, service sector, and lower-skill jobs has increased. In addition to lower wages, these jobs often have irregular hours, limited benefits, and limited opportunity. Join this one-hour webinar, sponsored by the Federal Reserve System, to learn how health care employers are investing in frontline workers.

Subscribe to
It's free! Click here! 


Airbnb, Test Your Hosts for Bias
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
Now that the issue of racial discrimination has reared its ugly head in the peer-to-peer, "disruptive" tech industry, Airbnb might be wise to take a page from the fair housing playbook . . . More

Come Together: Reweaving America's Social Fabric Using the Arts
Joyce Fernandes, archi-treasures
When used strategically, the arts offer very effective tools for bringing people in and across communities together, especially those with differences. Here are some guiding principles that might lead organizations to success . . . More

Who Is Still Unbanked, And What Can We Do About it?
Bob Annibale, Citi Community Development
2015 marked the country's lowest unbanked rate since rates have been recorded. This is great news, but it still means the unbanked population roughly matches the size of Australia. What financial hurdles must this population overcome to achieve stability, and why are rates dropping among all groups of people of color except one? More

Lillian M. Ortiz

Using Business as a Force For Good
Lillian M. Ortiz, Shelterforce
If all companies behaved like B Corps, over 12 million more Americans would be earning a living wage. Many companies are, and they're doing just fine. Here's how. More

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You Said It!

New Jersey should look into the Speigel Act in New York state. If the apartment is subsidized by social services and there are documented health or safety violations, social services can . . . --Brent Sheldon, more

There should be a fund . . . that would be called the Tenant Escrow Repair Program. Tenants would have their rent placed in escrow and would be . . . --Ray Neirinckx, more

We have a landlord here in Baltimore who sues his Housing Choice Voucher tenants if they try to leave one of his properties, even if the lease has expired. The lawsuits are always for . . . --Carol Ott, more

As one of the co-authors of the recent Newark study on the use of the warranty of habitability by tenants to improve their living conditions; it is heartening to see comments which reveal that many still have faith in the process . . . the most serious drawback to code enforcement efforts is the lack of belief in . . . --Abbott Gorin, more

Cabinet Secretaries make, with help from their assistant secretaries, policies. Assistant secretaries make the policies happen, including lining up support for funding in Congress. Regardless of the chosen secretary of HUD, there will be . . . --Martin French, more

There is tragic irony on an operatic scale in so many of the Obama administration's policies. He tried so hard to be . . . --Bill Vandivier, more

The latest count update shows a total of 62,634,907 for Trump . . . Clinton has 65,147,421 . . . I would be curious to see the updated data on the urban areas you cite . . . --Robert Cox, more

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In This Issue

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Shelterforce Weekly 
with your colleagues

Black Stripes

Featured Bloggers
Interfaith Worker Justice

Murtaza Baxamusa
Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC

Housing Assistance Council

Michael Bodaken
National Housing Trust

Raphael Bostic
USC Price School of Public Policy

Janis Bowdler
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

HOPE Credit Union

Burlington Associates

Gamaliel Foundation

Jamaal Green
Portland State University

Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

Lisa Hodges
Hodges Development, LLC

Planner, Louisa County, Va.

National CAPACD

Rick Jacobus
Street Level Advisors

Daniel Kravetz
Freelance Writer


Center for Community Progress

Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
City University of New York

Tulane University

Habitat for Humanity

National Urban League


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  


San Francisco Community 
Land Trust

Shelterforce Weekly

Senior Editor, Lillian M. Ortiz

Associate Editor, Keli Tianga

Publisher, Harold Simon

Assistant Publisher, Terri L. Clegg