In this year’s NOFA Registration Notice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is strongly encouraging Continuums of Care (CoCs) to reallocate funding to interventions that more effectively reduce homelessness.
In 2015 you can reallocate funds from existing eligible renewal projects to create new rapid re-housing projects for homeless individuals and families, including unaccompanied youth, who are coming directly from the streets, emergency shelters or who are fleeing domestic violence. If your CoC decided to reallocate funds to fund rapid re-housing through the NOFA process or if you work for a foundation or a local government that wants to fund rapid re-housing, you will probably need to write a Request for Proposals (RFP) and figure out a way to evaluate applications.
America places a lot of value on a story. A good story can top the New York Times Best Seller List or rake in millions at the box office. A good story can change the world.
At the True Colors Fund, we hear a lot of stories – from young people who have experienced homelessness, from the service providers who work with them, and from supporters across the country who want to make a difference. To the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community, an important form of storytelling is “coming out.” Living authentically in one's affirmed sexual orientation or gender identity often means sharing that story time and time again. And it isn’t always easy.
Coming out as LGBTQ shouldn’t be a shameful thing. But, to many, it is. Experiencing homelessness shouldn’t be a shameful thing. But, to many, it is.
Earlier this year, New Orleans, which once had one of the highest per-capita rates of veteran homelessness in the nation, created serious buzz by becoming the first major city to effectively end veteran homelessness. With Houston following suit earlier this month, and more cities poised to make similar announcements, it is worth taking a look at New Orleans “six months on” to get a sense of what happens after the press conferences and a visit from the First Lady. In other words: what happens after you reach zero?
It is no secret that even after announcing an end to veteran homelessness, the work around re-housing homeless veterans and keeping veterans in housing never really ends. New Orleans is currently working very hard to sustain the progress that was made. The city, in partnership with UNITY, the lead agency for the homeless Continuum of Care, has set up a rapid response system to quickly locate and house homeless veterans, with the goal of housing them within 30 days. The rapid response system has been the cornerstone of maintaining a “functional zero.”
One of the most heart-breaking experiences I had as a case manager was with a lesbian client who was invited, with her biological children, to stay at the family shelter where I worked. But because the faith-based shelter’s rules excluded same-sex couples, her female partner was not allowed to join them, even though they were, undeniably, a family unit. That family, understandably, elected to continue living in their car rather than being broken up.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, and we at the Alliance (and I personally, as a proud L) want to use our blog this month to highlight issues around LGBT housing and homelessness. A good place to start is the basics of the fight for fair housing: ensuring that everyone has equal access to housing opportunities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Once again, NOFA season is just around the corner!
One of the more anxiety-producing aspects of recent NOFAs is the requirement that CoCs rank projects in the CoC Priority Listing section of the application. As a refresher, in recent years, CoCs have had to prioritize new and renewal projects by dividing them into two tiers, which may jeopardize funding for lower-ranked projects. Though we don’t yet know exactly what Tier 1 and 2 will look like until this year’s NOFA comes out, we know that this “CoC Priority Listing” will be a requirement of the 2015 application and that reallocation is available.