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Please note that the agenda is subject to change. Session titles and descriptions are now available. Read more below.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2020
- Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
San Francisco Site Visits • 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.READ MORE
Visit some of San Francisco’s nationally recognized programs serving adults experiencing homelessness. Visit a Navigation Center constructed using a Sprung Structure and operated by Five Keys and a permanent supportive housing site serving formerly homeless adults with disabilities operated by Community Housing Partnership. Talk about what you learned at a happy hour sponsored by Sprung Structures. Easily accessible by public transportation from Oakland. To RSVP and for more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up today because space is limited.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2020
- Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Oakland Site Visits • 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.READ MORE
In 2017, the City of Oakland embarked on several new strategies to address the growing number of unsheltered residents in the City. Join Oakland Staff on a tour of three interventions designed to address tent and vehicle encampments.
- Community Cabins are a geographically based intervention designed to reduce the impact of a large encampment on both unsheltered and housed residents. Sites are selected based on proximity to large street encampments. Each site typically has 20 two-person cabins, with a goal of serving 80 residents a year (40 for 6 months each). Cabins are fully insulated with double-paned windows and locking doors. They have interior and exterior lights and offer enough electricity to charge mobile phones. Participants may bring their pets, possessions, and partners. The program is extremely low barrier and 100% voluntary. All sites are managed by service providers who are on the premises 24-7. Housing navigators help residents work toward self-sufficiency and housing exits, utilizing a budget of flexible rapid rehousing funds. Sites have controlled entry, portapotties, overnight security guard, two hot meals a day, a common area with TV, coffee and microwave, dog run, pet food, and shower truck visits weekly. Between December 2017 and February 2020, the City has opened a total of 6 Community Cabin sites of which 5 remain open.
- RV safe parking sites are outdoor parking lots that accommodate anywhere from 17-60 RVs depending on the lot size. The safe RV Parking model is focused on increasing people’s health, stability, dignity, and safety. The intervention addresses the significant safety and sanitation impacts to both RV dwellers and their sheltered neighbors. The program is 100% voluntary, and people can come and go 24/7. The sites are designed to be extremely low barrier, with minimal rules designed to maintain a healthy and safe community. The sites include: porta-potties, handwashing stations, garbage service, on-site shower service weekly, 24/7 site security, low voltage electricity to each RV, and drinking water. By February 2020 this City will have opened 3 RV safe parking sites with additional sites planned.
- Health and Hygiene Interventions are a package of interventions provided to an encampment to improve the health and hygiene of residents. It usually includes portable toilets, wash stations, mobile showers, and regular garbage pickup. Drinking water may also be included. 31 unduplicated curbside Health and Hygiene intervention sites have operated since March 2017 with approximately 20 open at any given time.
If you are interested, tour buses will pick you up at or near the conference hotel.
Space is limited to no more than 2 people per organization. To reserve a space on the bus please e-mail Blanca Leggett at email@example.com with the following information:
- Oakland Tour Registration in the subject line
- Agency/Organization name
- Number of attendees (no more than 2 per organization)
- The number of additional waitlist slots your organization is requesting
- Lunch on Own • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
- Opening Plenary with
- The Honorable, Libby Schaaf, Mayor, City of Oakland
- Nan Roman, President and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness • 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
BREAKOUTS I • 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.READ MORE
1.01 Responding to Encampments and Unsheltered Homelessness in the Context of Prioritization
Unsheltered homelessness and encampments can give rise to health emergencies and other factors leading to increased vulnerability and require immediate resolution from the homeless system and political leaders. Participants and panelists will explore how homeless response systems should think about the status of unsheltered homelessness and encampments within the context of prioritization and established system functions to shape effective system responses.
1.02 Using Problem-Solving Strategies to Avert and End Homelessness
Implementing problem-solving strategies such as diversion and rapid-exit practices to avert and end people’s homelessness at the access points to your homeless response system is critical. These problem-solving strategies reduce the in-flow of people into your system, stops people from experiencing homelessness, and helps conserve resources for people who have no other housing alternatives. Learn the core components of diversion and rapid exit practices and how communities operationalize these system-wide strategies within their Continuums of Care to serve individuals, families, youth, and veterans.
1.03 Racial Equity and Homelessness: What’s Happening in the Field
Learn about historical and structural barriers to housing and economic stability and how minorities have been impacted by them, with an emphasis on minority overrepresentation in the homelessness system. Hear from leaders in the field about their work to address racial equity in their systems, including LAHSA’s groundbreaking report on the drivers of black homelessness in Los Angeles.
1.04 Promoting Successful Reentry: Criminal Justice and Homelessness Partnerships
People leaving jails and prisons are at greater risk of homelessness, and homelessness increases the odds of their recidivism. Hear about communities that are building partnerships to benefit both systems by improving outcomes for re-entering people.
1.05 Implementing the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative
We can not end youth homelessness without addressing the housing instability of those of those with a history of child welfare involvement. Thus, last year, HUD announced the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative (FYI) to target housing assistance to this group. Learn how communities are implementing FYI and how their efforts can inform work in other parts of the country.
1.06 Trans Inclusion: Promoting Safe, Affirming, and Equitable Services
Are transgender individuals experiencing homelessness in your community safe? Do they have equal access to affirming and dignified shelter? Equitable access to permanent housing services? Learn how localities are transforming their systems to improve safety, access, and outcomes for transgender people.
1.07 Making Rapid Re-Housing Work for Individual Adults
Rapid re-housing provides housing search, financial assistance, and services to people experiencing homelessness. Discuss how to use best and innovative practices to navigate the challenges associated with rapidly re-housing individuals, including those with no steady income or employment history, criminal justice involvement, treatment needs, service connections, fixed incomes, and living in challenging housing markets.
1.08 Impactful Outreach
Outreach is a crucial part of an effective systemic response to homelessness among individual adults. How are localities, both urban and rural, organizing outreach services to maximize geographic reach, avoid duplication of effort, and create meaningful connections that result in more people getting connected to the housing they need? Explore what works to get results.
BREAKOUTS II • 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.READ MORE
2.01 Building Capacity in Permanent Supportive Housing to Meet New Challenges
Permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are being asked to prioritize the most vulnerable people through coordinated entry systems. How can PSH better respond to growing challenges related to people who are aging, have increasing vulnerability, social isolation and lack of community connections, and health issues? Explore strategies on how to be more intentional about program and services design and how to utilize other system partners’ resources to better equip and fund PSH to respond to these issues.
2.02 Reducing Arrests and Incarceration for People Experiencing Homelessness
People experiencing homelessness can become caught in an endless cycle from streets to jails and back. Learn how police can become partners to end this cycle, harm reduction alternatives to addressing illegal substance use, improved court practices for reducing negative consequences, and the vital role legal services can play in improving outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.
2.03 Preventing Substance Use-Related Fatalities: Harm Reduction Is the Key
Substance use-related deaths are too common among homeless individuals. Join the discussion to hear about harm reduction strategies such as access to Naloxone, safe injection sites, and low-barrier housing that can help prevent mortality among homeless populations.
2.04 Rural Homelessness: Balance of State Approaches
What are the most effective ways for Balance of State (BoS) and large regional Continuums of Care (CoCs) to make progress in ending homelessness among single adults? How should they balance funding across different geographic areas with widely varying needs? How can federal and state homeless assistance resources leverage local funding in rural areas? Explore how leaders are overcoming challenges to making an impact in reducing rural homelessness.
2.05 Understanding Senior Care Services and Resources
Senior care service systems are often foreign entities to homeless service providers. What tools and resources do they have an offer to help vulnerable older adults? How can they be accessed? Learn how bridges are being built across programs and systems to expand access to care for homeless and formerly homeless adults.
2.06 Private Sector Partnerships that Build Support for Solutions to Homelessness
Private partners can spearhead broad changes in how localities respond to homelessness, initiate policy reform, and site homeless programs and supportive housing. Panelists will examine how private sector leaders (such as philanthropy and public-private partnerships) build political will and grassroots support to reduce barriers and build bridges among diverse stakeholders to more effectively implement solutions to homelessness.
2.07 Building Connections to Improve Outreach and Services to Indigenous Populations
Indigenous groups have the highest rate of homelessness in the nation. Lack of cultural understanding and awareness of issues particular to Indigenous people are some of the reasons service providers have struggled to serve them. Learn why Indigenous groups are more likely to be overrepresented in the homelessness system and ways to address their unique needs through service provision.
2.08 Funding and Improving Housing Interventions for Survivors of Violence
Federal funding, from dedicated Continuum of Care (CoC) and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) resources, among others, is expanding national capacity to house survivors. It is also fueling innovation. Explore how localities are accessing and using federal resources to meet survivors’ housing needs and what they are learning.
- Meet & Mingle Networking • 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Join the Alliance and conference attendees at this networking event with light fare and a cash bar.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020
- Continental Breakfast • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
- Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
BREAKOUTS III • 9:15 – 10:30 a.m.READ MORE
3.01 Overcoming Barriers to Reaching Unsheltered Individuals
People experiencing unsheltered homelessness experience greater challenges than those in shelter. Hear about recent research one community did to determine why individuals aren’t connecting to available beds. Learn how communities are developing new initiatives and partnerships to address barriers.
3.02 Understanding How to Measure Inflow and Design Appropriate Responses
Many communities are housing more people than ever before and yet still seeing increases in their point in time counts. Why? Because more people are becoming homeless – inflow. Explore how measuring and contextualizing inflow can help system leaders and funders better plan what resources are needed and advocate to other feeder systems for stronger partnerships and more assistance.
3.03 Dissecting the Data: Why Might Returns to Homelessness Be Higher Among African Americans?
Some CoCs that have analyzed their HMIS data for racial disparities have found a common trend: African Americans may be more likely to return to homelessness than Whites. Hear from local leaders working to understand why this disparity exists is their homelessness systems and what they can do about it.
3.04 Finding the Middle Ground on Unsheltered Homelessness
Criminalizing homelessness is unfair, costly, and unproductive, but sanctioning encampments may not be the best solution. Explore the consequences of both these positions and hear about alternative responses to rising unsheltered homelessness that can both address community concerns and treat homeless people with dignity and respect.
3.05 Affordable Housing Challenges and Strategies
The best solution to homelessness is ensuring there is enough affordable housing. But if the demand is so high, why does the supply lag so far behind. Increase your understanding of the impediments to the development of affordable housing and strategies for reducing those barriers, including reducing local zoning barriers. Hear about actions you can take in your own community to begin to reduce those barriers and increase the supply of affordable housing.
3.06 Making Homeless Service Interventions Work for Older Adults
How do you target homeless prevention resources for older adults? Can diversion work? What about rapid re-housing? When re-housing older adults, what community services will help them maintain housing stability? Examine how programs and localities are adapting interventions to better serve older adults and what they are learning.
3.07 Service Providers Who Are Peers
How can people experiencing homelessness benefit from service providers who have their own histories of homelessness? How can our field support those with lived experience so they have opportunities to develop their skills and build a viable and rewarding career? Explore what programs across the country are trying and learning.
3.08 Coordinated Community Responses to Youth Homelessness: Lessons from YHDP
The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is creating a groundswell among communities that want to adopt proven systemic approaches for youth experiencing homelessness. Explore the transformative power of partnerships with young people, the challenges and benefits of mainstream partnerships, the impact of ramping up permanent housing resources, and other lessons learned from the first two rounds of YHDP.
- Plenary with Lunch • 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be served after the program.
BREAKOUTS IV • 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.READ MORE
4.01 Being Part of the Solution: Health Care Settings and Innovation in Housing Provision
Health care services are more effective when a person is stably housed; and, in turn, maintaining housing is more likely if vulnerable populations have proper access to health care services. Learn about innovative health and housing partnerships and how they achieve better health outcomes and prevent and end homelessness.
4.02 Protecting and Serving Immigrants Experiencing Homelessness
As federal immigration policies and practices change, homeless service providers are unsure how to protect and serve vulnerable non-citizen clients. Hear about recent research, the current state of the law, and the best options for ensuring safety and housing stability for immigrants experiencing homelessness.
4.03 Racial Equity and Coordinated Entry Processes
Coordinated entry and assessment processes are meant to promote more fair access to homelessness resources, especially for those who were historically least likely to be able to access housing and services. But how do we make sure that coordinated entry is equitable across races and ethnicity? Learn from communities that are addressing this complex issue about questions to consider and actions to take to improve equitable access for all people experiencing homelessness.
4.04 Creating and Implementing Flexible Housing Subsidy Pools
The goal of a Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP) is to secure quality housing for people who are experiencing homelessness and leverages private and public funding sources, including philanthropic investments. An FHSP operates with a range of different funding streams to provide individualized rental subsidies, housing search, move-in costs, and intensive case management services provided by local community organizations, using a “whatever it takes” approach. This advanced conversation will draw on lessons from LA’s FHSP and similar efforts around the state of CA as well as focus on key elements of success: innovative thinking, nimble government partners, and streamlined contracting processes.
4.05 Shared Housing Works!
Shared housing is a vastly under-utilized way to achieve housing affordability in tight markets. It can be used to ramp up prevention, diversion, and permanent housing interventions. Learn how to make shared housing work by building strong community connections and facilitating good roommate matches, including for seniors, people experiencing chronic homelessness, and young adults.
4.06 Modifying Shelter Facilities and Permanent Housing for Older Adults
As the homeless population ages, emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are adapting. This may entail building renovations, integrating new safety features, or buying more suitable furniture. It may also require re-evaluating staffing needs, including training required and appropriate caseload ratios. Explore how some programs are responding to this changing population and what they are learning.
4.07 Harm Reduction: Making It Real
How are providers staying true to harm reduction principles while retaining a safe, peaceful environment for everyone? How do you help staff and other key stakeholders embrace policy and practices that lower barriers to assistance for some of the most vulnerable people? Learn from those who have made the transition in their own programs.
4.08 Sex Workers without Housing: Crisis Assistance and Housing Support
What are the best ways to reach out to unsheltered sex workers? What resources and tools are required to help them stay safe and escape homelessness? What is the appropriate role of the homeless service system in addressing their needs? Explore lessons from localities that are working to design interventions that meet the needs of this too often overlooked population.
BREAKOUTS V • 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.READ MORE
5.01 The Pros and Cons of Different Crisis Responses
With unsheltered homelessness a growing crisis, communities are grappling with the need to get a roof over people’s heads right away. But what works and for whom and at what consequence to the larger homelessness system? Explore the benefits and challenges of navigation centers, tiny houses, safe parking, and more. Learn about the considerations necessary to determine the most effective ways to get people off the street and into permanent housing.
5.02 Spurring Creativity: Innovative and Flexible Interventions to Increase Housing Stability
People experiencing often face significant challenges in paying their rent and increasing income to achieve housing stability. The increased number of unsheltered and sheltered individuals in West Coast cities and the understanding that not everyone experiencing homelessness needs or will receive traditional homeless program interventions is spurring innovations to address housing instability. This exploratory session will highlight flexible financial assistance, income supplements, shared housing arrangements, and shallow housing subsidies that help people maintain their housing. Attendees will also engage with panelists to discuss innovations working in their communities and ideas for innovations that should be further explored.
5.03 Data-Driven System Transformations That Result in Reductions
Many communities are reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness, despite growing challenges. Learn from places that have seen significant reductions after having transformed their systems based on data. Explore the data they used, and the program, policy, and funding decisions that resulted.
5.04 Helping Unsheltered Women
New data provides an alarming picture of the vulnerability of women living without shelter. Their homeless episodes are longer, they are far more likely to have multiple disabilities, and they face more incidences of coercion and violence than their unsheltered male counterparts. Join others in exploring how to bring more women inside, best serve them in shelter, and ultimately help them realize greater stability.
5.05 Learning about Racial Equity from People with Lived Experience
Looking at HMIS data is an important step in assessing whether racial disparities exist within your system. Equally important to assessing your performance is feedback from people with lived experience. Learn how to develop questions related to racial equity that capture the needs of your clients, how to interpret the data, and how to align qualitative and quantitative findings to improve the experiences of people of color in your programs.
5.06 Partnerships for Ending Homelessness: Prioritizing Employment
Continuums of Care (CoCs) have always been evaluated on their success in increasing people’s employment and income. And most people who experience homelessness will need a job to pay the rent. Recently, employment has also been prioritized in the CoC Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Learn how to improve partnerships between your CoC, local employers, and workforce boards to ensure that priority is met in your community.
5.07 Supporting Older Adults with Diminished Mental Capacity
What strategies exist to help vulnerable older adults with diminished decision-making capacity and ability to provide self-care? What is guardianship, when is it required and what other options exist for those with diminished cognitive functioning? Join this exploratory discussion and share your own experiences and ideas.
5.08 Supporting Recovery in Homelessness Programs and Systems
Supporting recovery need not conflict with embracing harm reduction or Housing First principles. Explore how programs and systems are helping adults achieve their own recovery goals while maintaining a housing-focused systemic response that works for everyone.
- HUD SNAPS Q&A • 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020
- Continental Breakfast • 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
- HUD Listening Sessions • 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
- Unsheltered Homelessness
- CoC Competition Feedback
- Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
BREAKOUTS VI • 8:15 – 9:30 a.m.READ MORE
6.01 Promoting the Health and Safety of Unsheltered Adults
Unsheltered homelessness and encampments can give rise to health emergencies requiring an immediate response. Dedicating shelter and housing resources to helping people exit encampments are often necessary but can conflict with established system functions such as coordinated entry system prioritization. Discuss ways to respond with appropriate urgency and resource capacity while considering the rest of your system.
6.02 Bridging the Gap: Approaching White Leadership about Racial Equity and Inclusion
Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organizational values is a way to intentionally create space for positive outcomes. However, work discussions about racism, implicit bias, and lack of opportunities can be uncomfortable, considering the imbalance of White leadership in the homelessness field. Hear from directors about their transition to build racial equity as a core value into their programs.
6.03 Helping People Exit Shelter to Housing without RRH or PSH
Due to inadequate resources, most individual adults staying in emergency shelter will not get access to rapid re-housing (RRH) or permanent supportive housing (PSH). Yet, everyone staying in emergency shelter needs a place to live as quickly as possible. Discuss how shelters can provide housing-focused case management, rapid-exit services, flexible financial assistance, facilitated self-resolution, and creative housing plans.
6.04 What Can Mayors and County Executives Do?
Increasing homelessness, particularly unsheltered homelessness, puts enormous pressure on mayors, county executives, and other local leaders to do something (anything!), and quickly! Explore common pitfalls, effective responses, and how to promote informed decision-making among your elected officials in this interactive session.
6.05 Partnering with Providers of Mental and Behavioral Health to Support At-Risk and Homeless Adults
Learn about some of the mental and behavioral health challenges faced by individual adults who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Hear from homeless service providers who have forged partnerships with relevant agencies to address the clinical and therapeutic needs of their clients.
6.06 SOAR: Connecting People with Disabilities to Income
Individual adults experiencing homelessness often have disabilities that may limit their capacity to get and keep employment, leading to inadequate income to pay for housing. Understand the ins and outs of the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) system and learn how to ensure your clients are connected to this vital source of disability income that they need and deserve.
6.07 The Latest Research on Aging and Homelessness
The homeless population is aging, and communities must develop ways to respond to this demographic shift. Improve your understanding by learning about the latest research on homeless seniors (housing and health needs, demographic considerations, and related policy implications). And join us in exploring future research needs and directions.
6.08 Effectively Coordinating with Domestic Violence and Trafficking Providers
How are localities integrating domestic violence and trafficking providers into the homeless service system? How do they prioritize survivors for housing interventions and evaluate programs when survivors’ data are not included in HMIS? This workshop will examine what is working and where further progress is needed to streamline survivors’ access to the help each system has to offer.
BREAKOUTS VII • 9:45 – 11:00 a.m.READ MORE
7.01 How Much Shelter, How Much Housing?
How should a community balance its investment in shelter versus housing? Learn how to assess how many shelter beds are needed; how to improve the performance of existing shelters; and how much should be invested in new crisis beds. And understand options for constructing new and high-quality temporary housing quickly and cheaply.
7.02 Finding Landlords: Taking the Business Approach with Landlord Engagement and Retention
Finding and retaining landlords requires a business approach: smart incentives, real estate skills, strong partner relationships, and creativity. Learn from housing experts about finding and keeping landlords for all types of housing programs - including vouchers - and populations. Understand how to excel at matching individual adults experiencing homelessness with landlords, even in near-impossible housing markets.
7.03 Innovative Strategies to Increase Employment and Income for People Experiencing Homelessness
Many people experiencing homelessness are already working, and many more would like to be. And everyone could use more income! Learn about innovative approaches to income and employment for people experiencing homelessness, including social enterprises, employer engagement strategies, and unconditional cash transfers.
7.04 Connecting with Medicaid for Providers and Advocates
Medicaid is playing a larger role in ending homelessness. Providers will learn strategies for meeting the sometimes-daunting requirements for Medicaid funding. Advocates well learn about state-level issues that could either make Medicaid a more useful resource for ending homelessness, or could leave more of the most vulnerable people without help. Both will learn why Medicaid wants to make a connection: work on homelessness supports current health care sector strategies to improve health equity and address social determinants of health.
7.05 Are You Fully Leveraging the Expertise of People with Lived Experience?
The perspective of those with lived experiences of homelessness can have an enormous impact on improving homeless services. Explore how people with lived experience are influencing program design, systems, policy, and research. Examine how to engage individuals with lived experience in a way that honors their time and avoids tokenizing them.
7.06 Improving Responses for Clients Experiencing Mental Health Crises
People with serious and untreated mental health conditions often encounter barriers that prevent them from receiving services. The absence of appropriate services can cause mental health crises. Learn about appropriate responses to reduce mental health crises, from therapeutic de-escalation techniques to improved training for first responders.
7.07 Rapid Re-Housing: A Great Re-Entry Housing Option
Think rapid re-housing can’t work for people who are leaving jails and prisons? Think again by learning about programs that are implementing re-entry RRH and improving outcomes for both the homelessness system and the criminal justice system.
7.08 Providing Assistance to Veterans with Other-Than-Honorable (OTH) Discharge Status
Rates of trauma and mental illness are disproportionately high among veterans. Veterans who have other than honorable (OTH) discharge status typically do not qualify for Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits, even though they may have service-related trauma. Hear from service providers who have navigated the VA system to provide health and housing services to OHD veterans experiencing homelessness.
- Plenary with Lunch • 11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served after the program.