1.6: Addressing Family Homelessness in Rural Communities


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  • compared to 13.5% in urban areas
  • 1.6: Addressing Family Homelessness in Rural Communities

    1. 1. 2011 National Alliance to End Homelessness National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness Conference Oakland, CA February 10, 2011 Addressing Family Homelessness in Rural Communities
    2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Christy Hahn </li></ul><ul><li>Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia Department of Community Affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Office of Special Housing Initiatives </li></ul>
    3. 3. GA Department of Community Affairs <ul><li>Administers Bond Finance (single family), HUD CPD, Tax Credit, Section 8, Homeless, and other related programs </li></ul><ul><li>Administers the $3 Million State Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless </li></ul><ul><li>Co-leads the Georgia State Interagency Homeless Coordination Council </li></ul><ul><li>Staffs the Governor’s Georgia Rural Development Council which, in part, facilitates public and private initiatives to strengthen rural communities </li></ul><ul><li>Leads a 6-CoC HMIS Coalition (includes 158 of 159 counties) </li></ul><ul><li>Operates 67 S+C programs state-wide with 1300 units under contract </li></ul><ul><li>Over 200 grants each year, state-wide, for homeless housing and service programs </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsors www.georgiahousingsearch.org ; a free database for renters and landlords </li></ul><ul><li>Balance of State HPRP and other ARRA programs </li></ul>
    4. 4. About Georgia <ul><li>Largest state in the Southeast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>57,906 square miles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Population of over 9.5 million </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 1.3 million people living in poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>159 Counties – 2 nd only to Texas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 100 Counties are Rural </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Almost 1.8 million people live in rural Georgia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty rate of 20% in rural areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Source: USDA – ERS, Georgia Rural Health Association </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. In 2009, over 21,000 people estimated to be homeless in Georgia at a point-in-time www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/specialneeds/programs/homeless_count.asp Actual and Estimated Counts of Unsheltered Homeless by County Sheltered - Census 8,994 Unsheltered -Predictive Model 12,101
    6. 6. From DCA’s “2009 Report on Homelessness” This analysis clearly demonstrates that the percent of need within rural areas of Georgia is significantly higher than the percent of need within urban areas of the state.
    7. 7. Rural Homelessness in GA – Ongoing Overall Challenges (half empty) <ul><li>Poverty / availability of good ( truly ) affordable housing </li></ul><ul><li>Jobs … this recession! </li></ul><ul><li>General limitations of mainstream services, exacerbated by … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distances to DFCS, DOL, job training, employment, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No or limited transportation – personal and public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child Care – limited public, private is cost prohibitive </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Rural Homelessness in GA – Ongoing Challenges (half empty) cont. <ul><li>Many counties lack dedicated homeless housing and service programs </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of accessibility to, and lack of capacity of existing service providers </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of awareness of rural homelessness and available services </li></ul><ul><li>Many current HUD programs, best practices models, and research focused on urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>Limited resources vs. magnitude of the job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>*Funding, staff, size of state, and large number of local governments (159 counties, and 529 cities) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Rural Homelessness in GA – Promising Next Steps … (half full) <ul><li>Continue to implement “strengths” </li></ul><ul><li>Learn and, through HEARTH, implement HPRP best practices going forward … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevention / shelter diversion / rapid re-housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Piloting state-wide, toll free screening / intake / referral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional programs that support efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forget the arguments about ‘who’s homeless’ … expansion of HUD’s definition is serving to enhance participation by mainstream providers in outreach, assessment, referral and case management </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Rural Homelessness in GA – Promising Next Steps … (half full) <ul><li>Improved measurement (outputs/outcomes) through HMIS </li></ul><ul><li>Universal online resource referral </li></ul><ul><li>Improved planning and research to support new strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening interagency councils and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Other strategies include capacity building for agencies, improved access to state funding, technology advances </li></ul>
    11. 11. HPRP <ul><li>HPRP funds were granted to 11 local governments within GA </li></ul><ul><li>For the balance of Georgia's localities, DCA was granted $19 million </li></ul><ul><li>DCA issued awards to 7 nonprofit organizations to administer HPRP within 151 of 159 counties </li></ul><ul><li>DCA's 7 regional partners have served clients in 146 counties of 151 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Sub-grantee Selection <ul><li>Who are our partners? </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation Army --local Corps and Service Centers throughout the state </li></ul><ul><li>3 Community Action Agencies -- experience working with federal programs </li></ul><ul><li>2 large agencies, long-time partners </li></ul><ul><li>1 small, enterprising non-profit </li></ul>
    13. 13. HPRP Sub-grantee Coverage
    14. 14. HPRP Program Design <ul><li>Key factors: </li></ul><ul><li>2-Year program—short contracts with renewal potential, regular performance measures </li></ul><ul><li>Regional approach to service provision </li></ul><ul><li>Identify strongest providers in application process </li></ul><ul><li>*Do agencies have capacity to serve a wide audience? </li></ul><ul><li>*Do they have financial stability for reimbursement process? </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with statewide agencies: GA Interagency Council on Homelessness, Dept. of Human Services—GA COMPASS benefit screening, added HPRP criteria and referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Make HMIS integral part </li></ul>
    15. 15. Salvation Army-Key to Coverage <ul><li>Serves 91 of 151 counties </li></ul><ul><li>Corps offices and service centers throughout the state </li></ul><ul><li>Established relationships with local government offices and providers, MOUs with DFCS, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-screening for client eligibility and accurate referrals </li></ul><ul><li>800 # for public </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile case management (shared offices, locations open to the public) </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized data entry </li></ul>
    16. 16. HPRP Implementation <ul><li>Overcoming challenges due to distance: </li></ul><ul><li>Utilized our own website to communicate with providers and provide policies, procedures, and required documentation: http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/specialneeds/programs/HPRP.asp </li></ul><ul><li>GA Homeless Directory—information available by county </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia Housing Search website used by providers: http://www.georgiahousingsearch.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy reliance on HMIS to tell the client story </li></ul><ul><li>Constant contact with Sub-grantees: Monthly webinars—opportunities for distance learning and collaboration </li></ul>
    17. 17. HPRP Implementation <ul><li>Webinars: </li></ul><ul><li>*Various HMIS trainings (how-to, data cleaning, new functions, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>*Financial procedures training </li></ul><ul><li>*Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>*Case Management </li></ul><ul><li>*Monitoring policies and procedures </li></ul><ul><li>*Monitoring follow up—common issues </li></ul><ul><li>*4 APR webinars </li></ul>
    18. 18. HPRP Increased HMIS Support <ul><li>Reimburse costs of HMIS to agencies (annual membership and training) </li></ul><ul><li>Full-time Technical Assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly desktop data monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>On-site data monitoring annually </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to hire staff to handle HMIS requirements—not relying on case managers to complete all tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Reimbursement request data checks </li></ul>
    19. 19. What Works For Us <ul><li>ARRA cover </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-grantee selection </li></ul><ul><li>Buy-in from sub-grantee leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Being “demanding” from the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Having staff and resources (on all levels) </li></ul><ul><li>Having fewer sub-grantees </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping in regular contact through dialogue, webinars, regular reporting and deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Being active in shaping HMIS—designing and adding reports and data fields, follow-up mechanism </li></ul>
    20. 20. Maybe Next Time <ul><li>HPRP-Specific </li></ul><ul><li>Universal set of documents provided by grantee </li></ul><ul><li>More targeted outreach (homeless population) </li></ul><ul><li>Better follow-up planning and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Create more opportunities for in-person training and peer-to-peer communication </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate victories more </li></ul>
    21. 21. Maybe Next Time… <ul><li>Other Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Be more data driven </li></ul><ul><li>Support more training opportunities of all kinds </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more training on best practices and innovative solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Find funding opportunity for research, inform program design and implementation from data gathered </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building for sub-grantees </li></ul><ul><li>Target funding to underserved areas </li></ul><ul><li>Access HUD TA providers </li></ul>
    22. 22. Contact Info <ul><li>Christy Hahn </li></ul><ul><li>404.679.5293 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.dca.state.ga.us/ </li></ul>