Register Today To Shape The Future of Coordinated Entry in Eastern PA

You are invited to attend one of our half-day Eastern PA Coordinated Entry Planning Summits in August. To register, please copy and paste or click the following link in your web browser:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pacoordinatedentrysummit

The Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care (CoC) is developing a strategic plan for the coordinated entry for all housing and homeless services in its thirty-three county service region. The planning process is made possible through the generous support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Capacity for Change, LLC, a public interest strategy firm, is providing consulting and design services to the CoC and its five Regional Homeless Advisory Boards (RHABs).

By centralizing intake and program admissions decisions, a coordinated entry process makes it more likely that families and individuals will be served by the right intervention more quickly. In a coordinated system, each system entry point (“front door”) uses the same assessment tool and makes decisions on which programs people are referred to based on a comprehensive understanding of each program’s specific requirements, target population, and available beds and services.

The agenda for both Summits is identical. Attendees will participate in creative conversations and planning activities to help design a coordinated entry system that is consumer-driven, effective and financially sustainable. In order to allow as many voices as possible to help shape the plan for coordinated entry, you may register for one Summit but not both.

Please register for whichever date and location work best for you, regardless of whether you live or work closer to Allentown or Harrisburg.  And please extend the invitation to others who may have an interest — especially consumers or individuals who have had past experience with homelessness.

 

Kathi Krablin, Chair

Eastern CoC Coordinated Entry Work Group

PIT Count 2015 for Eastern and Western CoCs

2015-PIT-Count-PosterThe Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. HUD requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night. Continuums of Care also must conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons every other year (odd numbered years). Each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally. The Housing Inventory Count (HIC) is a point-in-time inventory of provider programs within a Continuum of Care that provide beds and units dedicated to serve persons who are homeless, categorized by five Program Types: Emergency Shelter; Transitional Housing; Rapid Re-housing; Safe Haven; and Permanent Supportive Housing.

The 2015 PIT count took place on Wednesday, January 28 of those individuals and households who were unsheltered Wednesday night through Thursday morning. The shelter count is conducted by each individual program while the unsheltered count is conducted by a county coordinator.

For more information on the PIT count, visit the Housing and Urban Development website at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/hdx/. Resources for the regional PIT count in Eastern and Western PA can be found at www.dma-housing.com/resources/pits/

The Western PA CoC is soliciting Notices of Intent to apply for NEW projects to be submitted as part of the 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) Application.

We are currently awaiting the release of the FY2015 Notice of Availability of Funds (NOFA). We expect this to occur in late June/early July, with applications due later in the summer. At this time, we do not know if there will be funding available for new projects but want to provide adequate time for potential grantees to plan.

Based on available information, eligible program types will be limited to:

  • Permanent Supportive Housing Projects serving Chronically Homeless Individuals and/or Families; and
  • Rapid Re-Housing for Homeless Families with Children and/or individuals; and
  • Coordinated Entry, the CoC will entertain applications for Coordinated Entry covering the entire CoC

Who are considered eligible as Chronically Homeless?

An individual or family with a disabling condition (Head of Household) who has been either continuously homeless (on street or other unsheltered location, or in shelter) for one (1) or more years, or has at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years.

What is Rapid Re-Housing?

Rapid Re-Housing is a model of housing assistance that is designed to assist the homeless, with or without disabilities, move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. Rapid re-housing assistance is time-limited, individualized, and flexible. While Rapid Re-Housing can be used for any homeless person, preliminary evidence indicates that it can be particularly effective for households with children.

What is Coordinated Entry?

A Coordinated Entry system means a centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake, assessment and provision of referrals. A centralized or coordinated assessment system covers the geographic area, is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, is well advertised and includes a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool.

How can funding be used?

Both Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Households and Rapid Rehousing are considered permanent housing programs. The funding can include Rental Assistance/Leasing, Supportive Services and Administration. Projects can serve a single county or multiple counties. Allowable expenses for Coordinated Entry will be determined upon release of the NOFA. In 2012, the last time funds were available for this purpose, funds could be used for “operating a centralized or coordinated assessment system”.

Who is eligible to apply?

The applicant for these funds may be a non-profit, a unit of local government, or a Public Housing Authority.

What to do if you are interested in being considered for the submission of a 2015 New Project:

By noon Friday June 19, 2015, send an e-mail to PA_CoC@hotmail.com and the RHAB chairs (kstucke@stairwaysbh.org tknouse@fccaa.org lathompson@mckeancountypa.org and afeltenb@co.butler.pa.us) indicating your interest in submitting an application for these funds as follows:

In the Subject: Western PA CoC New Project

Provide the following information:

  • Agency Name
  • County(s) to be served
  • Whether you are requesting funding for:
    • Permanent Supportive Housing project to serve Chronically Homeless Individuals or Families or
    • Rapid Rehousing for Homeless Families with Children and/or individuals or
    • Coordinated Entry
  • Need for the type of project proposed in the geographic area to be served. This should include data from the 2015 Point in Time Survey (county level data attached) as well as other information that indicates the need for this project.
  • Your experience performing the proposed activity
  • Contact information:
    • Name
    • Phone number
    • E-mail address

What is the next step?

Additional information, including funding availability, HUD priorities, and CoC priorities will be provided after the release of the NOFA.

If I have questions about this who should I contact?

Send an e-mail to PA_CoC@hotmail.com and DMA will get back to you as quickly as possible.

HUD Announces Issuance of the ESG Notice for Additional Public Comment on the Interim Rule

Reposted from the HUD Exchange: https://www.hudexchange.info/

HUD is announcing the issuance of the ESG Notice for additional public comment on the interim rule, entitled: Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program; Solicitation of Comment on Specific Issues.”

This is the second time HUD is opening the ESG interim rule for public comment, before issuing the final rule. The first comment period for the interim rule ended on February 3, 2012. HUD has carefully reviewed all comments received in response to the interim rule through the first comment period. However, because recipients and subrecipients have now had more experience implementing the interim rule, HUD recognizes that they may have additional input and comments for HUD to consider in its development of the ESG final rule. HUD greatly appreciates and values the feedback that commenters provide—and especially seeks feedback that draws on their experience with the interim rule. Therefore, HUD is issuing this Notice to re-open the public comment period for an additional 60 days. The comment period will close on Monday, August 3, 2015.

HUD requests that commenters not resubmit any comments already submitted in the first public comment period unless they provide new information or insights based on research or experience with the program as HUD will consider comments from both comment periods when drafting the Final Rule.

The instructions for submitting comments are outlined in the beginning of the Notice. Please review this section carefully; note that all comments must be submitted in the manner outlined in the Notice in order for HUD to consider the comment. Do not submit questions or comments about the Notice to the Ask A Question help desk on HUD Exchange (AAQ) as the AAQ cannot answer questions about the Notice. If a requirement in the Notice is unclear, please submit that as a comment.

In this Notice, HUD is seeking additional feedback and comment on certain, limited provisions of the ESG interim rule. In many instances, HUD proposes specific language for comment. Many of the specific areas on which HUD has identified for additional comment are based on feedback HUD has received via the AAQ, at conferences, and in discussions with recipients, subrecipients, and other stakeholders. HUD has published an outline of the Notice, to provide an at-a-glance overview of the content to readers. Readers can use the outline to help them follow along and as a tool to organize the final comments that they will submit.

In general, as you are reading the Notice and considering comments to submit to HUD, HUD asks you to think about the following questions for each of the changes being considered:

  • How will it affect individuals and families who are homeless and at risk of homelessness, who this program is designed to serve?
  • Will it assist with ease of administering the program?
  • Will it help improve compliance with the regulation?
  • What effects could it have in your community – both positive and negative?

Finally, please note: this Notice does not establish any new requirements. The ESG interim rule is in effect until the ESG final rule is published. All of the proposed language and topics are presented only for consideration at this time.

HUD greatly appreciates your time and attention to providing helpful and constructive comments to improve the ESG program for the final rule.