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1.Follow Up Question and Answer from “Moving Toward Coordinated Entry: Lessonsfrom Dayton/Montgomery County, OH” on June 9, 2011Please note: The questions below only include questions that were not answered during thewebinar presentation. Questions came from webinar participants – answers came from thefeatured speaker on the webinar, Joyce Probst MacAlpine.Question: We have Service Point in an open/shared HMIS system - do you see beingable to use HMIS for referral if the system is open?Answer: That is my understanding. In ServicePoint if our system was open all the userscould see the referrals because they are actually service transactions.Question: What was the moving force that created the cooperation and willingness of allagencies/organizations to develop and use the Front Door process?Answer: This community has had a collaborative spirit for a long time, since before theadoption of the Homeless Solutions 10 Year Plan in 2006. The Plan itself recommendsexploring the development of a single entry point. Through our Front Door Committeethat has been meeting since 2007 we have discussed many approaches to how to do thisso none of it was a surprise. We have included participating in the Front Door process inour funding process for several years. Providers had a lot of input into the developmentof the assessment tool, the referral process, the outcomes, and almost every step of theFront Door process. Overall I think that people are willing to do this because we allbelieve we will serve homeless families and individuals better through a process such asthis.Question: On the drug testing policy. Is this just for emergency shelters or fromtransitional housing or service enhanced affordable housing too?Answer: There is no drug testing in our main emergency shelters. Some of theprogrammatic shelters and transitional housing programs do drug test. Some of theseproviders have changed the tests they use so they can see if there are declining levels ofsubstance in the urine. Most of our permanent supportive housing is on a Housing Firstmodel that does not drug test.Question: What happens to/with those people that refuse to go into shelter or programs,prefer to live on the streets? We are in Florida, and it is possible to live on the streets orin woods and eat at soup kitchens or street feeding that refuse to participate in anything
- and the mayors and business people want them off the streets.Answer: We do not require that people enter shelter to receive services. We have aPATH outreach program funded through SAMHSA that does outreach to people livingoutside particularly people who are mentally ill. They can refer people to Safe Havensand permanent supportive housing directly from the street. We do not have largenumbers of people outside, the one summer we did have a small camp we used a rapidre-housing approach to house them.Question: Front door is for all housing, not just shelter?Answer: We consider our gateway shelters where people spend the first night they arehomeless and our street outreach program the ‘front doors’ to our system. The FrontDoor Assessment process determines where people need to go after shelter to get theservices and support they need to be stably housed.Question: Where did the money come from to pay for the consultants?Answer: We are lucky to have local property tax dollars that paid for the consultants. Ithink that the lack of money for planning and system capacity building is a big problemin the current Continuum structure. Hopefully with HEARTH there will be moreresources to invest in projects like this.Question: What is the average length of time a client waits for shelter placement? Andare you having problems with people not showing once referred to shelter?Answer: We do not have a waiting list for shelter, our main shelter provider has amission commitment to sheltering and they serve everyone who asks for shelterespecially if it is their first time homeless or if they are a family. We do a have a problemwith people coming in and out of shelter so that they are not there when there is aprogram or housing opening. We are tightening expectations so that when people entershelter they are told that they need to stay in shelter to get the services that are availablethere.Question: Why are long stayers a priority when there is substantial research on thebarriers they face to stay housed?Answer: Most of the long stayers are being referred to Safe Haven or permanentsupportive housing so they go to housing with services to keep them housed. We havehad success with our PSH programs being able to serve these clients although it can bechallenging and we are working on new initiatives to keep them housed. From a lengthof stay perspective we have to serve these people.Question: Do referrals consider type of housing, such as group home vs. scattered siteapartments, for safety of homeless individual?Answer: We have some single site programs in our Continuum but no real group homesexcept one holdover ACF that got a small amount of Continuum funding a long timeago. Our main consideration is whether people need on-site services to help them stay
stably housed. If the person is a safety risk to themselves or others we get our mentalhealth system involved.Question: How many county staff are involved with working for the CoC with this as apart of the CoC implementation?Answer: We have five County staff working on the Homeless Solutions Planimplementation – myself as Manager, a full-time Program Coordinator mainly focusedon housing and employment and contract monitoring, a three-quarter time ProgramCoordinator mainly focused on the Continuum and HMIS analysis, a full-time HPRPProgram Coordinator whose position will end when HPRP ends, and a full-time HMISsystem administrator mainly focused on data quality, training and writing reports. Weall work on the Front Door process in some way, right now I spend the most time on it.All together it does not equal 40 hours a week.Question: How long are people typically on the wait list for housing? What do peopledo while theyre waiting?Answer: We are working on getting this data out of HMIS. Mainly people are in shelterwhile they wait for a referral. We have chosen to prioritize people in shelter and on thestreet for any openings in programs even if the funding guidelines would allow theprogram to serve people in other housing situations (ex. at imminent risk ofhomelessness). Shelter case managers work on other housing exit strategies for peoplewhile they are on a waiting list for a specific program type.Question: What is the HMIS being used? Adsystech or some other vendor?Answer: We use ServicePoint from Bowman Systems.Question: How many shelters do you have in your area and how do you see thisworking in a community with one family shelter and one pregnant women’s shelter?Answer: We have a large shelter for single men, a large shelter for single women andfamilies who are served in separate areas, a runaway and homeless youth shelter, and adomestic violence shelter. All of these programs are in our Continuum and enter datainto HMIS except the domestic violence shelter which is prohibited from entering datainto HMIS.I think you could do this for your family system with your current shelter set-up. Not sure how homeless single men are served in your community but you couldadjust your approach to assessment to reach men outside or at meal sites.Question: How do you maintain a waiting list for rapid re-Housing programs where themandatory exit from shelter is within 21 days of entry?Answer: There is no waiting list for rapid re-housing, clients who are assessed asappropriate for that housing exit are referred directly to the program. The rapid re-housing program serves the client as quickly as their program resources allow.