Weekly Roundup 3.14.18

Weekly Roundup 3.14.18: HMIS Changes, AmeriCorps Week, NAEH Conference, Shelter Rules, and more!

HMIS Lead Agency designation - Metro Denver Continuum of Care

Significant changes are underway for the Colorado Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Last week, the MDHI Board of Directors voted to designate MDHI as the HMIS Lead Agency for the metro region.

The MDHI board determined that bringing the administration of HMIS in-house will lead to a more direct, streamlined approach in management of the system and will lead to improvements in the quality, reliability, accessibility, and usefulness of the data. The board also believes that this change will strengthen accountability and result in cost savings.

For the last nine years, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has has functioned as the HMIS Lead Agency and HMIS team at CCH is a committed group that has an incredible history with and knowledge of HMIS. MDHI is indebted to the HMIS lead agency team for their work with HMIS and supporting the overall work of MDHI.

We are grateful to CCH for their work and look forward to partnering closely with them and all HMIS users to help make a smooth transition. This transition will occur by September 1, 2018, at the conclusion of the current HMIS contract between CCH and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read the full letter

VISTA Members #GetThingsDone for Metro Denver

It's AmeriCorps Week across the U.S! MDHI has hosted a VISTA team to support OneHome and regional homeless planning groups since 2014. We are grateful for their contributions and dedication to service in our community.

As OneHome developed and evolved, the VISTA team has also been leveraged to support the integration of the system regionally. In the past year, the focus has been on being a supportive liaison between OneHome and the regional communities as well as supporting each of their plans working towards ending homelessness.

Since 2014, our VISTA team has also provided integral support to the Point in Time count and have provided assistance to over 100 organizations through regional VI-SPDAT trainings and other capacity building supports.

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Bon Voyage, Jared Kebbell - MDHI VISTA

A big thank you to Jared Kebbell, our MDHI VISTA for the past 12 months. Jared’s last day is March 23rd and we are grateful for his year of service. As a VISTA, Jared has been learning about the work MDHI and its outstanding partners do on ending homelessness across Metro Denver.

Jared’s main focus was supporting OneHome communications, training on VI-SPDATs, building out the website onehomeco.org and coordinating meetings. In addition, Jared helped facilitate the Homeless Prevention Affinity Group, create a database to catalog HUD 811/202 properties, garner incentives for the 2018 Point in Time Count and develop opportunities for advocacy.

Wish him well


Even if you couldn’t make it to Los Angeles last week, you can still see highlights from the 2018 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. Check out the Alliance’s Facebook page to see Nan Roman’s opening keynote address; as well as a Q&A with Sean Baker, director of The Florida Project; and remarks by Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; and Richard Rothstein, professor and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

naeh: Changing Punitive Shelter Rules to Simple Community Expectations

On February 15, NAEH kicked off the 2018 Emergency Shelter Learning Series with a brand new webinar to answer your most challenging and frequently asked questions. Emergency shelters are a critical part of an effective crisis response system that ends homelessness. Through resources like the Emergency Shelter Learning Series and the Five Keys to Effective Shelter, the Alliance supports providers, funders, and system leaders to strengthen emergency shelter practices. 

Recent webinars in the series featured shelter providers who shared strategies for retooling shelter policies while still maintaining health and safety. One important aspect of this effort is to turn overly complicated or restrictive rules into simple and respectful community expectations. Rather than getting bogged down in compliance and monitoring, this allows staff and participants to build on people’s strengths and focus on the most important need: getting participants housed as quickly as possible.

Watch the webinar series

HUB for Urban Initiatives: Homeless Admission Preference in The 20 Continuums of Care with the largest homeless populations

There was an annual decrease in the total number of persons counted as homeless in the United States during the seven years between 2011 and 2016. However, there was a slight increase in 2017.

As a promising practice, a homeless admission preference has the potential to reverse the increase and save millions of dollars spent on managing homelessness instead of ending it as noted below. It also has the potential of saving thousands of lives of people sleeping on the streets for too many have experienced tragic and gruesome deaths also noted below.

The 20 CoCs were asked to provide the following information for up to five of the largest PHAs in their geographic area:

  • identify the percentage of new admissions to the Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs in the PHA’s last fiscal year that were homeless at the time of admission; and
  • indicate whether the PHA has a homeless admission preference in its Public Housing and/or HCV program.

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