Thinking beyond toy drives

Best Practices A practical newsletter for people ending homelessness.

What Will Your Organization Ask for This Holiday Season?

This time of year, many people rightfully turn their attention to their neighbors experiencing homelessness. This represents an excellent opportunity for providers to demonstrate what they know about ending homelessness — that it takes a home.

Alliance expert Ben Cattell Noll explains that the ways in which providers engage their communities during the holidays can change how people think about homelessness. What if instead of only asking for toys and turkeys, providers asked for donations for security deposits, first month's rent, or move-in supplies? Read More»
Webinar: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern • Register»
Webinar: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern • Register»

From the Alliance Blog

Homelessness in the News

Featured Alliance Resource

The Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness is a resource dedicated to synthesizing and explaining the key research insights needed to end homelessness.

NHSDC Spring 2019 Conference - Call for Session Proposals (Corrected email)


NHSDC Spring 2019 Conference:
Increasing Capacity and Building Connections -
Bridging to the Future


NHSDC is requesting proposals for the 2019 conference in Nashville, TN, taking place April 15-17, 2019. The conference will be co-sponsored by the HUD SNAPS office, and will be a 3-day event featuring tracks of HUD content in the mornings and NHSDC sessions in the afternoons. We are looking for experienced speakers and presenters who are excited to share their human services data experience with attendees from across the country. We anticipate a larger conference than usual, and so are looking for sessions to fill 6 exciting content tracks: 
  1. Data Integration and Sharing
  2. Data Visualization and Storytelling
  3. Advanced Applications to Bridge HMIS
  4. Performance Management and Planning
  5. When Data and the Client Story Meet
  6. Building Partnerships to Increase the Homeless Response System's Capacity
Note that for each track we are interested in at least one session that addresses racial and ethnic disparities in homeless populations, and one session addressing HMIS response to natural disasters. Learn more about ideas for each track and find the proposal submission link in our Call for Conference Session Proposals PDF.

Book Your Hotel Now! 

This year's conference will be held at the Sheraton in Downtown Nashville. The conference rate is a reasonable $219 per night. Please use this link to book your room. We usually sell out so we advise reserving your room early!
Conference registration will open in January - watch for the announcement!

About the National Human Services Data Consortium

The NHSDC provides information, assistance, peer education, and lifelong learning to its membership and other interested parties in the articulation, planning, implementation, and continuous operation of technology initiatives to collect, aggregate, analyze, and present information regarding the provision of human services.

Our conferences highlight the good work that you and your community are doing to leverage data in the fight to end homelessness. All communities employ different strategies and creative means to tackle the social services issues.

We look forward to seeing you in April!

Grant Announcement

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Grant Announcement

National Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Application Due Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for National Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE-IECMHC) grant. The purpose of this program is to advance the implementation of high quality infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) across the nation through the development of tools, resources, training, and mentorship to the infant and early childhood mental health field. The primary goals of the CoE are to promote the healthy social and emotional development of infants and young children, and to prevent, to the greatest extent possible, the onset of serious emotional disturbance (SED). The CoE has been and will continue to be instrumental in helping states, tribes, and communities to support early childhood providers and help them to achieve their goals of healthy children and families, school readiness, and success in school and beyond.
SAMHSA plans to issue 1 grant of up to $1,000,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant

HMIS NOFA Office Hours for CoCs and HMIS Leads – December 7, 2018 - 3:00 PM EST

Home Programs Resources Training
HMIS NOFA: Office Hours Discussion Session December 7, 2018 - 3:00 - 5:00 PM EST
Don’t miss out – Add a calendar appointment to your calendar and join the meeting at the correct time and date!
On November 21, 2018 HUD released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Applications are due January 31, 2019. This NOFA provides $5 million in one-time funding to help communities improve their Continuum of Care's (CoC) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
Improvements can mean different things for different communities. It may mean:
  • Consolidating HMIS implementations to gain economies of scale and expertise
  • Modifying software to better support communities to meet HUD HMIS regulatory requirements
  • A concerted effort to increase the HMIS knowledge base among the HMIS system administration staff and CoC leadership
Please join us on December 7, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST to hear the latest about the NOFA from HUD staff, and to have your NOFA questions answered during the office hours. The session will cover questions received through HUD’s Ask A Question (AAQ) portal since the release of the NOFA, as well as any community questions posed during the office hours session.

Training Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants should be able to describe the timeline and process for CoCs and HMIS leads to submit HMIS NOFA Applications.

Who Should Attend?

This training is intended for all CoC members and HMIS leads and anyone with responsibilities involving HMIS implementation.

Registration Instructions

There is not a registration process for the HMIS NOFA Office Hours. Please click on the link when the office hours begin.
Meeting Link:
Call In Information: (877) 223-6370
Conference Code: 7186877411

Questions and Additional Information

Participants can submit their questions for the office hours in advance by using HUD’s AAQ portal.
  1. Complete required information in Step 1
  2. Select “HMIS: Homeless Management Information Session” from the “My question is related to” drop down list on Step 2
  3. For the subject line, enter “HMIS NOFA Office Hours” to ensure your question is flagged for the event
If you have additional questions pertaining to the HMIS, please submit your questions through the AAQ portal following the steps outlined above.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

January Deadlines Approaching for Grant Applications

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

January Deadlines Approaching for Grant Opportunities

Statewide Family Network

Application Due Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for the Statewide Family Network grant program. The purpose of this program is to better respond to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance and their families by providing information, referrals, and support; and to create a mechanism for families to participate in state and local mental health services planning and policy development. SAMHSA expects that this program will be a catalyst for transforming mental health and related systems in the state by strengthening coalitions among family organizations and between family members, policy makers, and service providers.
SAMHSA plans to issue 15 grants up to $95,000 per year for up to 3 years. 

Learn More About This Grant

Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program

Application Due Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for the Tribal Behavioral Health grant program (Native Connections). The purpose of this program is to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native youth through the age of 24 years.
SAMHSA plans to issue 51 grants up to $250,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant

Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Family Treatment Drug Courts

Application Due Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Family Treatment Drug Courts (FTDC). The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing family treatment drug courts, which use the family treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment to parents with a SUD and/or co-occurring SUD and mental disorders who have had a dependency petition filed against them or are at risk of such filing. Services must address the needs of the family as a whole and include direct service provision to children (18 and under) of individuals served by this project.
SAMHSA plans to issue 25 grants of up to $425,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant

Application Due Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC) and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. The purpose of this program is to expand SUD treatment services in existing adult problem solving courts, and adult Tribal Healing to Wellness courts, which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide SUD treatment (including recovery support services, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination) to defendants/offenders.
SAMHSA plans to issue 25 grants of up to $400,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant

SNAPS-Shots: ESG Activity Closeout Checklist

Home Programs Resources Training
SNAPS-Shots: ESG Activity Closeout Checklist
HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) has posted a new SNAPS-Shot for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program on the HUD Exchange: ESG Activity Closeout Checklist.
This SNAPS-Shot provides step-by-step instructions on closing out an ESG activity in the Integrated Disbursement and Information System Online (IDIS). ESG Program recipients use IDIS to create activities and draw program funds. This SNAPS-Shot details the criteria ESG recipients use when completing activities in IDIS, including:
  • Completing draws in IDIS
  • Reducing the Admin Activity (AD subfund), if necessary
  • Reflecting the correct activity component
  • Following the activity naming convention
  • Confirming activity details are accurate
  • Matching draws to internal financial records
  • Identifying subrecipients for funding and draws


If you have questions about the ESG Program or IDIS, please submit them through the HUD Exchange Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. On Step 2 of the question submission process, select “ESG” or “IDIS” in the “My question is related to” dropdown menu.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

Too Many Conferences Miss the Bus

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
In This Issue: A Pipeline for Vacant Building Rehab ● Prosperity Accounts: A Proposal to Bring Everyone Into the Financial Mainstream ● Too Many Conferences Miss the Bus ● Also: Jobs ● Shelter Shorts ● Events +
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
In my eight years of attending at least half a dozen conferences a year, there’s one thing I have almost never seen… Read Full Article
Tamara E. Holmes, writer and editor
Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program sparked revitalization block by block with a few key legal powers and partnerships. Read Full Article
Looking for a Job? Scroll Down...
Shelterforce Staff
The Country’s Political and Ideological Realignment | Taking Income Protections National | CVS Buys Aetna | Cities Can Learn From Nashville | And More Quick Takes From Our Editors
A Few Thousand Dollars, reviewed by Robert O. Zdenek, Public Health Institute
If the asset-building field is ready to move from comfortable “incrementalism” to a bold and systemic policy change that can begin to address the growing economic inequality that is tearing our society apart, this book offers… Read Full Article

TODAY! Tuesday, Dec. 4, 12 p.m. ET (Webcast) | SPARCC: Investment Without Displacement | This live event and webcast from the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) brings together national and community leaders working at the forefront of tackling residential, economic, and cultural displacement. The day-long convening will explore the strategies that can help cities and regions around the country achieve equitable, inclusive growth informed by the voices, needs, and interests of those communities most threatened by growing displacement pressures. There will be a webcast of the morning plenaries.
You Said It!

Profiteering [is] called price gouging when it’s gasoline, not called anything when it’s housing… —Yvonne Farrell, via Twitter

Just wanted to say in case I haven’t already that Shelterforce has been doing an *amazing* job on the connections between health equity and community development! —John Duda, Democracy Collaborative, via email

Help support Shelterforce, the original voice of community development!

Manager, Community Reinvestment Act—Federal Reserve Board of Governors The successful candidate will manage the division’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) team responsible for developing thoughtful CRA policy proposals for Board senior leadership and policy makers. Utilizing ideas that are informed by research/data and consultation with internal and external stakeholders, this… Read Full Listing
Equitable Development Policy Analyst InterIm CDA is seeking an individual to lead the organization’s policy, planning, and advocacy efforts to address displacement and housing issues impacting low-income, Asian and Pacific Islander, immigrant, and refugee communities in Seattle’s International District and beyond. This person will bring technical expertise in planning, policy, housing, and… Read Full Listing
Director, National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative ● The person in this role will create, strategize, execute, and monitor SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative; deepen SAGE’s relationships with existing housing partners; provide technical assistance to those across the country that are seeking to build/develop their own LGBT-friendly elder housing; and… Read Full Listing
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Shelterforce began in 1975 and is the oldest, national, independent, nonprofit community development publication in America. Whether you provide or support affordable housing, economic or workforce development, community organizing, arts and culture, community planning, health, or transportation, Shelterforce will help you do your work better tomorrow than yesterday.