March 2018 NCHV Newsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
March 2018
2018 NCHV Annual Conference: Register Now to Secure Your Spot at the Top Training Event of the Year
May 30 - June 1 in Washington, D.C.
The 2018 NCHV Annual Conference, Progress. Practice. Perseverance., is right around the corner, and this year's event will deliver the same intensive, applicable training, networking, and program updates you expect mixed with new offerings to make the experience even more powerful in helping you serve the homeless veterans in your community.
Don't wait to register, as space is limited and the event is expected to sell out early for the sixth straight year. Stay tuned for announcements providing more information on special guests, session tracks, and more starting next week.
We've reserved a discounted room block at the Grand Hyatt for Conference attendees, but this room block sells out quickly every year. Be sure to make your reservations ASAP!
For more information, and all of the latest updates, visit the NCHV Annual Conference page.
Hill Watch: Omnibus Spending Bill for FY2018 Becomes Law
Contains good news for homeless veteran programs
Last week, the president signed a full funding bill for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs from Oct. 1, 2017 until Sept. 30, 2018.
Contained within the text of this omnibus funding package (H.R. 1625) is an array of good news for veteran homeless programs – not just at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but also at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The omnibus proposes the following funding levels for our current fiscal year:
  • $340 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program (an increase of $20 million over last year),
  • $257 million for the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program (flat funding from last year),
  • $50 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) at DOL (an increase of $5 million over last year, and the first time the program has received a full appropriation of its current authorized spending limit), and
  • $40 million for new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers (good for roughly ~5,500 new vouchers).
But the good news is not contained only to budgetary numbers. Contained within the accompanying explanatory reports are instructions to VA on two deeply important issues relating to the HUD-VASH program.
The first is a direction that VA supply case management funding for the new HUD-VASH vouchers created in this bill. Since the President did not request new HUD-VASH vouchers, VA did not request case management funding for new vouchers. However, Congress has acted to create the aforementioned $40 million worth of new vouchers. This direction ensures that these new vouchers will be case managed – and directs VA to supply a new budgetary projection for case management of all new vouchers. This effectively ends the unfortunate one-year delay between the creation of vouchers and the provision of case management funding we have experienced since 2016.
The second is a direction from Congress that will protect HUD-VASH case management funding from diversion to other purposes in FY2019. Following the confusion of the proposed conversion of HUD-VASH case management funding from “Special Purpose funds” to “General Purpose funds” within VA last year, Secretary Shulkin promised no conversion would be carried out during this fiscal year. He made no such promises for FY 2019, however. This language from Congress directs VA to propose any changes of this type in an annual budget submission; as that submission for FY 2019 has already been made, this should protect HUD-VASH funding at least through the upcoming Fiscal Year.
NCHV thanks those of you who have advocated for these programs over the past year. Even in a difficult budgetary environment, your hard work has paid off.
Call for Nominations: 2018 Annual NCHV Awards
Nominations must be submitted by April 17
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 17, 2018.
Exhibitor and Sponsor Opportunities at the 2018 NCHV Annual Conference
Support efforts to end veteran homelessness while putting your organization or products in the spotlight!
The 2018 NCHV Annual Conference will feature new and expanded opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors. Support the premier training conference for homeless veteran service providers and other stakeholders, AND get your organization's name in front of 700 attendees and 14,000 social media followers. The event also garners local and national traditional media coverage. This is the best opportunity for those looking to interact with homeless veteran service providers from across the country.

Click here to view the Exhibitor and Sponsor application with more details.
Housing First Implementation Resources Now Available
From the Department of Housing and Urban Development
In a continued effort to encourage Continuums of Care (CoCs) and providers to implement and strengthen Housing First approaches, HUD has recently published Housing First Implementation Resources. As communities are implementing the Housing First Approach in their homeless crisis response systems, they sometimes struggle with transitioning the approach from a set of guiding principles to policy and procedures in their projects. This set of resources can assist communities and agencies in implementing Housing First in their projects. Regardless of project type, the Housing First approach can be utilized to reduce barriers to access for project participants and to maintain project participation.
The resources are separated into the following categories:
  • Housing First Implementation
  • Working with Project Participants in a Housing First Approach
  • Housing First in Specific Project Types
  • Trauma-Informed Care
View the CoC Responsibilities and Duties toolkit to access the Housing First Implementation Resources and other resources related to CoC governance and structure, including the Housing First Assessment Tool which was recently released to assist providers and CoCs in documenting how closely their projects align to the Housing First model.
Funding Opportunities
The Anthony Robbins Foundation is committed to make a difference in the quality of life for children, the homeless, the prison population and the elderly through its various programs. Only 501(c)(3) organizations that have been active as a nonprofit for at least one fiscal year are eligible to apply. Letters of intent are accepted online throughout the year. For more information, click here.

The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust supports organizations across the United States that offer opportunities to foster youth, elders, veterans, and the disabled and critically ill. Within these populations the Trust seeks to enrich the quality of life, promote self-sufficiency, and assist individuals in achieving their highest potential. Letters of inquiry are accepted throughout the year.  For more information, click here

UFA Discussion Guide Now Available

HUD released a discussion guide to help Continuums of Care (CoCs) that are considering whether to apply to become Unified Funding Agencies (UFAs). This discussion guide outlines the benefits of being a UFA and walks through several key considerations for CoCs, including governance and financial management requirements. The discussion guide includes two checklists CoCs can download and use to help understand the unique CoC governance and financial management aspects of being a UFA.
Visit the CoC Responsibilities and Duties toolkit to access more resources related to governance and structure.
         
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

Housing First Implementation Resources Now Available

In a continued effort to encourage Continuums of Care (CoCs) and providers to implement and strengthen Housing First approaches, HUD has recently published Housing First Implementation Resources. As communities are implementing the Housing First Approach in their homeless crisis response systems, they sometimes struggle with transitioning the approach from a set of guiding principles to policy and procedures in their projects. This set of resources can assist communities and agencies in implementing Housing First in their projects. Regardless of project type, the Housing First approach can be utilized to reduce barriers to access for project participants and to maintain project participation.
The resources are separated into the following categories:
  • Housing First Implementation
  • Working with Project Participants in a Housing First Approach
  • Housing First in Specific Project Types
  • Trauma-Informed Care
View the CoC Responsibilities and Duties toolkit to access the Housing First Implementation Resources and other resources related to CoC governance and structure, including the Housing First Assessment Tool which was recently released to assist providers and CoCs in documenting how closely their projects align to the Housing First model.
         
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

NCHV Welcomes Three New Directors to Board

NCHV Welcomes Three New Directors to Board
New Board Directors bring years of expertise in ending veteran homelessness
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, the only national organization solely focused on ending veteran homelessness, has selected three new members of its Board of Directors, adding leaders from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and Volunteers of America of Florida.
Matthew Leslie, Cathrene “Cat” Nichols, and Janet Stringfellow will be joining the nonprofit’s board. Leslie is the Director of Housing Development for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and was a key player in Virginia declaring a statewide functional end to veteran homelessness on Veterans Day 2015. Leslie has also worked in the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and holds an MSW degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Nichols is a U.S. Army Veteran and the Eastern Washington Strategic Operations Manager for Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. She is the administrator of WDVA’s Eastern Washington Regional Veterans Service Center in Spokane, and also serves as the Spokane County Veterans Services Director and Bureau of Justice Grant Manager. Nichols’ background includes managing the local Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP), as well as a number of other programs to prevent and end veteran homelessness.
Stringfellow serves as the President and CEO of Volunteers of America of Florida, the largest provider of supportive housing for homeless veterans in Florida. Stringfellow has been with VOA of Florida since 1998, previously holding positions in marketing, fundraising, and leadership roles in client care. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with 20 years of experience serving veterans, including counseling, PTSD training, brain injury with cognitive re-training, employment rehabilitation, leadership, and strategic planning.
NCHV Board Chairman Chick Ciccolella said: “NCHV welcomes these three dedicated professionals as our newest Board Directors! We are fortunate to have such highly accomplished and dedicated individuals as Cat, Janet, and Matt join us. Each of them has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to ending homelessness among veterans. Their backgrounds, knowledge, and expertise will add greatly to our organization.”
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a 22-member board of directors – is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.
NCHV also serves as the primary liaison between the nation’s care providers, Congress and the Executive Branch agencies charged with helping them succeed in their work. NCHV's advocacy has strengthened and increased funding for virtually every federal homeless veteran assistance program in existence today.
For more information, visit http://www.nchv.org.

Homelessness Update

New FY 2018 Budget Brings Good News
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The 2018 budget signed last week brings some good news: a $2.513 billion investment in U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Homeless Assistance Grants — an increase of $130 million over last year. Other highlights include:
  • Increased capacity — focused on domestic violence survivors and young people — that will help communities house an estimated additional 25,000 people
  • Section 8 renewals that are fully funded and new resources available to provide approximately 60,000 new vouchers for vulnerable Americans
  • New funding for HUD to build and rehabilitate affordable housing, including a 12.5% increase in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
There are many factors that influence each year's budget, but one thing is certain: this kind of investment is not possible without the active participation of committed advocates around the nation. Your voices made a difference! 
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Opportunity Starts at Home.
Our Advocacy Starts Now.
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The Alliance has joined the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, a diverse multi-sector coalition to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis. In a new blog post, the Alliance’s VP of Programs and Policy, Steve Berg, outlines the critical role of advocacy in the campaign’s long-term success.
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Rental Subsidies and Homelessness: Making the Connection
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A new resource from the Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness explores the role of “mainstream” assisted housing programs — such as Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 housing developments, and public housing — in efforts to reduce, prevent and end homelessness. Even though these programs are not formally part of the homeless service system, the report highlights important implications for policymakers, service providers, and system planners working to prevent and end homelessness in their communities.
cae0f05b-5782-49a3-b3a9-b4e9f599f778.png 121c0764-9b1a-42dc-8400-f1a8facd863f.png Read the Report »
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from the blog
Ending Homelessness Today
the official blog of the national alliance to end homelessness
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We Finally Have a FY 2018 Budget. And There's Good News.
d9aca708-079b-4719-b777-4689cb90b9f4.png 121c0764-9b1a-42dc-8400-f1a8facd863f.png by Steve Berg
Congress has now passed (and the president signed) a final government funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2018. It includes plenty of good news for people working to end homelessness. This bill implements the budget deal that was passed several weeks ago, making substantial new funding available for federal programs. This analysis will focus on […]
The post We Finally Have a FY 2018 Budget. And There’s Good News. appeared first on National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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A Mission that Matters: Why HUD Must Maintain Its Commitment to Fighting Discrimination
d9aca708-079b-4719-b777-4689cb90b9f4.png 121c0764-9b1a-42dc-8400-f1a8facd863f.png by Ben Cattell Noll
Last week, reports surfaced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was considering a change to the agency's mission statement. Among the potential changes: removing existing language about building "communities free from discrimination," and replacing it with a call for Americans to achieve "self-sufficiency." There are no indications at this time that […]
The post A Mission that Matters: Why HUD Must Maintain Its Commitment to Fighting Discrimination appeared first on National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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Changing Punitive Shelter Rules to Simple Community Expectations
d9aca708-079b-4719-b777-4689cb90b9f4.png 121c0764-9b1a-42dc-8400-f1a8facd863f.png by Ben Cattell Noll
On February 15, the Alliance kicks off the 2018 Emergency Shelter Learning Series with a brand new webinar to answer your most challenging and frequently asked questions. Throughout 2017, we were thrilled to see how many organizations across the country were making the shift to lower-barrier, housing-focused shelter models. Emergency shelters are a critical part […]
The post Changing Punitive Shelter Rules to Simple Community Expectations appeared first on National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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About Us

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonprofit, non-partisan, organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States.
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Join Us

The Alliance is online: on Facebook, on Twitter, on our blog, and on our website! Join the Alliance's online community, and stay up-to-date with homelessness and housing information.
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www.endhomelessness.org

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Need Technical Assistance?

Visit the Center for Capacity Building to learn more about the ways the Center can help your community end homelessness.
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