It is a generally acknowledged truth that kids can be difficult, particularly teenagers. Homeless kids are difficult, too—but I’m not talking about mood swings or rebellion. I’m talking about data. Counting homeless unaccompanied children (below age 18) and youth (ages 18 to 24) is one of the many challenging tasks that homeless advocates face.
Each January, communities across the country conduct Point-in-Time Counts. These counts give a national snapshot of homelessness on a single night, and are a valuable tool in monitoring trends in homelessness. Point-in-Time Counts are challenging, and they became even more so in 2013 when the federal government mandated that communities begin counting homeless unaccompanied children and youth.
Communities that have achieved significant reductions in veteran homelessness generally have something in common: the key stakeholders responsible for addressing the issue meet on a very regular basis.
You may have noticed in a lot of the Alliance materials around veteran homelessness we talk a lot about getting together on a weekly basis with your partners to address the issue. In turn, we have heard a lot of feedback about whether or not such frequent meetings are necessary. Our response is pretty simple: yes, they are. Regular, frequent meetings serve numerous purposes, including keeping everyone on task and allowing for regular assessments of the problem in your community.
It is possible to use rapid re-housing successfully in high cost, low vacancy markets. We’ve learned from the innovative rapid re-housing programs that creativity and flexibility are the key to making this work.
There are three Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing: housing identification, rent and move-in assistance (financial), and rapid re-housing case management and services. I’ve listed some tips that successful rapid re-housing programs in challenging rental markets have shared with us in conferences and webinars below. (I recommended reading through the core components first before reading this blog post, if they are new to you.)
The FY 2015 CoC Program Registration opened Tuesday, April 28, and will close on Monday, May 18. The Registration Notice from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contains crucial information to help communities prepare for this year’s competition, including requirements of the registration process for Collaborative Applicants, HUD’s policy priorities, and directions to all project applicants to continue implementing effective interventions that reduce homelessness.
How many homeless children are in there in America? This may seem like a simple question to answer. I bet some of you are thinking, “Just look at point-in-time count data,” while others are musing, “That can be answered from annual shelter counts.” Others, still, may be thinking, “The number can be found in a report from the Department of Education.” With so many data sources to choose from, this question isn’t as straightforward as you might assume.
Every time we at the Alliance rely on data, we have to decide which data source will give us the best approximation of the figure we seek. This involves a high level of knowledge and understanding about how each of these data sources collects and compiles numbers. For example, we used five different data sources in our most recent report, The State of Homelessness in America 2015, because no single source captured all the information we needed.