October 2018 NCHV eNewsletter

October 2018 NCHV eNewsletter
NCHV is ending homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and building the capacity of service providers
Hill Watch: Risk of Delayed Funding – Ask VA to Award Newly-appropriated SSVF Funds
Congress recently made an additional $40 million available for the use of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program in this fiscal year (FY 2019). VA has the option to disperse these funds through the current FY 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), otherwise it would be held until a new round of applications. Your help can convince VA to get this money into communities as fast as possible.
Veterans at risk of homelessness and those literally homeless are in desperate need of the assistance this funding offers – especially in the communities that recently experienced a cut to SSVF services.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) urges VA to award this new money as quickly as possible, by using the existing FY 2019 NOFA to determine grantees to fund.
To wait for a new round of applications would mean an up-to-11-month wait for veterans who are in need today. This is unacceptable.
You can do your part by helping NCHV convince VA to do the right thing:
Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, today. Tell Congress to ask VA “What are you waiting for?”
To locate your Representative click here. To locate your Senator click here.

To learn more, or for an information sheet to share with Congress, click here.
If you would like a little help with your call to Congress, click here for a sample text.
Using HUD and Other Data Resources to Help End Homelessness
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been stressing the importance of using data to inform local decision making and to make changes to local systems of care. However, to understand the full scope of what is going on in each community we need to use traditional Continuum of Care (CoC) data in concert with other homeless data sources.
People experiencing homelessness often touch several public systems and a subset continuously cycle through a variety of costly emergency interventions (i.e. shelters, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, arrests, etc.). These different systems often lack effective methods for identifying persons who are homeless and connecting them to the most appropriate services and housing. Integrating data across these sectors helps target and coordinate care for vulnerable populations and allows communities to better track outcomes to answer key policy questions and inform practice.
As you look at these broader data sources, you should be aware of a few that may help your CoC better understand your local story. In this announcement, you will find HUD data resources and homeless data resources from national and federal stakeholders.
HUD Data Resources:
The most obvious data that should be at the fingertips of each community is your own Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) data, especially the system performance measures. CoCs also have their Point-in-Time (PIT) count and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) data to help them understand who is homeless on a given night and the resources available to serve them.
If CoCs want to compare their local data to other CoCs, HUD publishes CoC-level HIC and PIT count data back to 2007. HUD recently updated the system performance measures data to include FY 2017 system performance measures data by CoC.
Starting in October, CoCs will be able to run Longitudinal System Analysis (LSA) reports from their HMIS. The LSA reports were designed to reduce the data submission burden for CoCs for the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) and to provide much greater access to granular data for local data analysis. HUD is confident that LSA reports will be a necessary and effective tool to drive the kind of system change needed for each community to end homelessness. In the future, HUD will provide tools that will help communities use their LSA data for system performance analysis and modeling.
Broad Homeless Data Resources:
Many communities are using their local school data which broadens the population to include children in school who are doubled up (“Doubling up” can mean many things and sometimes refers to multigenerational households or to people who share housing on a long-term basis in order to save on housing costs). More partnerships are forming to show the intersection of health care and homelessness. Communities across the country continue to see that permanent supportive housing more effectively meets the needs of persons living on the street – especially those who are chronically homeless – and costs less. Similarly, communities are sharing homelessness and criminal justice data to better target people exiting the corrections system before they become homeless.
On the USAspending website, you can view all federal funding dedicated to homelessness coming into your communities. This website breaks down funding in your CoC by federal agency and the dollar amount provided. It also allows you to look at communities similar to your own for comparison purposes. Another great resource is the Understanding Homelessness website, which allows you to contextualize homelessness data against other community attributes like average bedroom rent, welfare spending, and population density. Adding new layers and facets to your local data helps to understand factors that are impacting homelessness in your communities.
Geographic or location-based analysis tools are helpful in the effort to end homelessness. ArcGIS tools provided by ESRI, for example, offer an untapped resource for communities. Nearly every county in the country subscribes to this suite of tools that contains map-based tools as well as a webpage platform and a variety of mobile applications that could help with the PIT count, street outreach, and other methods of identifying people who are sleeping outside. A recent article highlighted how the County of Los Angeles is using this tool to inform their efforts to end homelessness.
To help communities better understand what ESRI resources are available and how to identify who in your community already has access, HUD recently conducted a webinar on these topics. You can download materials from the webinar here.
Webinar Series from the VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
Throughout FY 2019, the VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans will host webinars on topics identified as pressing issues in veteran homelessness. After each webinar takes place they will continue to be available online. They will all take place at 1:00 p.m. ET on the following dates:

  • Oct. 17, 2018:  Ethics
  • Nov. 21, 2018:  Housing Homeless Sex Offenders 
  • Dec. 19, 2018:  Safety 
  • Jan. 16, 2019:  Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
  • Feb. 20, 2019:  Understanding of Evidence Based Practice and Practice Informed Care
  • March 20, 2019:  Competency Development? Panel of Pilot sites
  • April 17, 2019:  Race and Homelessness
  • May 15, 2019:  Understanding of the Principles of Leadership and their Use for Working with the Community and in programs
  • June 19, 2019:  Opioid Abuse 
  • July 17, 2019:  Money Management for Veterans
  • Aug. 21, 2019:  Whole Health revisit
  • Sept. 18, 2019:  Understanding of Service Era Culture as it Relates to Homelessness and Providing Care 

Find more information on how to view these webinars by clicking here.
Funding Opportunities
The Henrietta Lange Burk Fund was established in 1994 to support and promote quality arts, cultural, educational, health care, and human services programming for underserved populations. Special consideration is given to charitable organizations that address the health concerns of older adults, through either direct programming or research. The Fund prioritizes organizations serving the Chicago metro area. Deadlines for applications are June 1 and Nov. 1 each year.

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

Headlines: Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator Available

October 25, 2018
SAMHSA Headlines—Your one-stop source for the latest from SAMHSA.


Cómo Promover La Salud Emocional y Prevenir El Suicidio: Una Guía para Centros de Atención de Adultos Mayores (Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Centers)

Este kit de herramientas ayuda a los centros para personas mayores a integrar la prevención del suicidio en actividades que apoyan el bienestar. Describe actividades que aumentan los factores de protección y explica cómo reconocer las señales de alerta del suicidio.


Webinar: The Intersection of Opioids and Suicide

October 25, 2018 2–3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
The first webinar in the National Prevention Week 2019 webinar series will feature a discussion about the relationship and intersection of two growing public health challenges, opioid misuse and suicide, as well as what prevention strategies and approaches can be used to address them at the national and state levels.

Webinar: Active Engagement and Services for Crisis Outreach and Warm Handoffs

October 25, 2018 2–3 p.m. Eastern Time
Join SAMHSA's Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) for a Recovery LIVE! virtual event. Learn from national experts about services for people experiencing serious mental illness or substance use disorders who have recently had a personal and potentially life-threatening emergency. During this webinar, presenters will describe warm handoff programs, such as those in hospital emergency departments.

Recent SAMHSA Blogs

New Tool Offers Hope to People Experiencing Early Serious Mental Illness and their Families

One of the most important advances in treating serious mental illness in recent years is improving care for people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness. We know that early phases of psychosis can be identified, and that team-based coordinated specialty care treatment reduces the likelihood of long-term disability. SAMHSA's new Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator will help connect people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness to effective care.

Using Data to Improve Effective Responses to Individuals in Crisis

Crisis Intervention Teams have shown effectiveness in decreasing the number of mental-health related arrests while increasing public safety. To support communities in creating and evaluating their own crisis intervention teams, SAMHSA has published a new report titled Crisis Intervention Team Methods for using Data to Inform Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide.