Agenda

 

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.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2020

  • Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Lunch on Own • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Opening Plenary with Nan Roman, President and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness • 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

BREAKOUTS I • 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.

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1.01 Ensuring the Health and Safety of Unsheltered Adults 

What can homeless service providers and partners do to promote the health and safety of individuals living without shelter?  Explore the benefits of close coordination with public health providers, first responders, and other medical professions.  Strategize about how to keep unsheltered individuals - particularly highly vulnerable groups such as women, youth, older adults, and people living with disabilities - safe from violence.  

1.02 The Core Components of Diversion

Implementing diversion and problem-solving practices to prevent people from falling into homelessness at the access points to your homeless response system is critical.  It reduces in-flow, stops people from experiencing homelessness, and helps conserve resources for people who have no other housing alternatives. Learn the core components of diversion practice and recommendations on how to implement it across your system. 

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 At the Intersection: Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness 

We can not end youth homelessness without the partnership of the child welfare system. Learn how communities are improving the child welfare response to reduce homelessness among youth aging out of foster care and ramping up child welfare’s role in housing young adults with foster care histories who are currently experiencing homelessness. 


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.

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2.01 Building Capacity in Permanent Supportive Housing to Meet New Challenges 

Permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are having to respond to growing challenges related to people who are aging, have increasing vulnerability, social isolation and lack of community connections, and tri-morbidity. Explore strategies on how to be more intentional about program and services design and how to utilize other system partners’ resources to better equip 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 Resources and Leadership Leveraging Change 

Philanthropy, business leaders, and faith communities can spearhead broad changes in how localities respond to individual adult homelessness. Examine how private sector leaders build support for controversial initiatives, such as overcoming opposition to siting homeless service programs or introducing new service delivery models or practices. Identify strategies that can be introduced in your locality to improve progress in ending homelessness for individual adults. 

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.

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3.01 Homelessness Is a Health Issue: Addressing Tri-Morbidity Among Unsheltered Populations 

People experiencing homelessness demonstrate worse physical and emotional health than the general population. Unsheltered populations disproportionately face tri-morbidity: They experience co-occurring mental, physical, and substance use disorders. At the same time, they are less likely to be able to access the health services they need. Hear about efforts to integrate care across often segregated silos to promote better outcomes.

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. Explore strategies for lowering construction costs, reducing local zoning barriers, ramping up alternative housing options like Single Room Occupancy (SRO) and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), navigating NIMBYism, and increasing subsidies to make housing affordable for people with no or extremely low incomes. 

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.

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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 change, homeless service providers are unsure how to protect and serve vulnerable non-citizen clients. Understand the current state of the law, the best options for ensuring safety and stability for immigrants experiencing homelessness, and how to advocate for change. 

4.03 Racial Equity and Assessment Tools 

Assessment tools that measure health and social vulnerability have become popular options for prioritizing housing resources. How well do they work from a racial equity lens, meaning do they assess all races and ethnicities without biases? Hear from communities that have analyzed outcomes and integrated racial equity in their vulnerability assessments. 

4.04 Creating and Implementing Flexible Housing Subsidy Pools 

Federal funding is critical to end homelessness, but local, state and private philanthropic funding can provide much-needed flexibility and leverage to supplement those federal resources. Learn about innovative efforts around the country to combine funding streams to create more flexible options that house and stabilize different populations, build capacity, and fill gaps. 

4.05 For Prevention, Diversion, or Rapid Re-Housing: 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.

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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 safe-parking, courtyards, low-barrier and housing-focused shelter, navigation centers, tiny houses, 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 Creative Ways of Financing Rent and Stretching Incomes for Housing Stability 

People exiting homelessness may face significant challenges in sustaining rent on their own. Explore creative ways - like flexible financial assistance, income supplements, shared housing arrangements, and shallow housing subsidies - to help people stretch their incomes and maintain their own housing.

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 other homeless service providers, leaders, advocates, and funders to explore how to improve services for this highly vulnerable group. 

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 Guardianship? When Older Adults Are No Longer Able to Self-Determine 

What is in place to help when vulnerable adults are no longer able to make decisions about their own care? When should guardianship be pursued? What can be put in place to ensure they have maximum say over their own lives and care? 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.
  • Name Badge Pick-up and Registration • 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

BREAKOUTS VI • 8:15 – 9:30 a.m.

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6.01 Responding to Encampments and Unsheltered Homelessness in the Context of Coordinated Entry and the Rest of the System 

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 Do? 

Increasing homelessness, particularly unsheltered homelessness, puts enormous pressure on mayors 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, including their housing and health needs; different subpopulations within this diverse demographic; and policy recommendations for improving outcomes. 


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.

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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 to Become a Provider 

Medicaid-funded services can play a critical role in helping clients maintain stability. However, organizations that want to provide Medicaid-funded services are often daunted by the program’s regulations. Hear from organizations that have navigated the system to become established Medicaid providers.   

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.

POST CONFERENCE SESSIONS • 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

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