Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care News
January 2019
Texas Homeless Network is the lead agency for the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC) . The TX BoS CoC is a group of stakeholders that collaboratively plan and operate the CoC and a range of housing and services to prevent and end homelessness. The TX BoS CoC covers 215 counties and includes 24 Local Homeless Coalitions (LHCs) that plan, deliver, and evaluate local systems.
Hello everyone,

I assure you that we are closely monitoring the federal shutdown. Please click here for more information about the impact of the government shutdown on affordable housing programs. We wish we could tell you that it is going to end soon, but we are neither President Trump, Members of Congress, nor individuals who can see into the future.

FY2018 CoC Program Competition awards have not been announced and will not be announced during the federal shutdown. The shutdown will also impact when the Special Needs Assistance Office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases the FY2019 CoC Program Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA). Additionally, the Field Offices are not currently operating; therefore, grant agreements cannot be executed for new grants. We encourage you not to panic. We encourage you to get prepared in the instance that your grant ends prior to the shutdown ending. What can you do?
  • Providers across the country are reaching out to local foundations and/or city and/or country governments to provide stop gap funding. We encourage you to start these conversations early. Please let us know how we can provide assistance.
  • Contact your Mayor and have him/her advocate through the United States Conference of Mayors. Community development and housing are major issues for the entity.
  • Contact your local news about the impact the shutdown is having on your project and on the population you serve. Talk about the impact that instability has on the lives of people who have formerly experienced homelessness.
  • Contact your Members of Congress. The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) have great resources that make that process very easy. (Having done it in my free time, it's not as scary as you think!)

Most of our staff are paid from the CoC Planning grant funded by the CoC Program. Our project end date is February 28, 2019. We are working on contingency plans should the shutdown extend into February. Please know we understand your concern and are here to support you however we can. Please email txboscoc@thn.org or sophia@thn.org for support during this time.

Thank you,

Sophia
Director of CoC Programs
TX BoS CoC Point-in-Time (PIT) Count is January 24, 2019!
Be a Leader in the CoC!
CoC Board

The CoC Board is the decision-making body for the CoC. Nominations for CoC Board Seat 1 and Seat 12 are open.
  • Seat 1 is represents persons with lived experience of homelessness (who are currently or formerly homeless).The term is January 2019 to October 2019. 
  • Seat 12 represents law enforcement/criminal justice. The term is January 2019 to October 2020.
See more details about the nomination process and serving on the Board in the  Nomination Information  document. Submit a nomination using the  online form by January 22nd at 5:00 P.M.
Coordinated Entry (CE) Steering Committee

Overseeing a Coordinated Entry system needs direct input from the communities operating the system. This diverse CE Steering Committee will be formed by representatives of each of the 17 Coordinated Entry Planning Entities (CEPEs) in the CoC. Nominations may only come from the CEPE in your region. Nominations will be accepted through January 18th. For more information, read the  details, reach out to your CEPE, or contact Tiffany Hart, Systems Change Coordinator, at  Tiffany@thn.org.
Built for Zero Learning Collaborative--Apply to Participate

THN has launched a Learning Collaborative in conjunction with Community Solution’s Built for Zero collaborative. The Learning Collaborative helps participating communities adopt proven best practices, deploy existing resources more efficiently, and use real-time data to improve performance. Participating communities, with assistance from their peers and national experts, will establish their own goals for how to improve their Housing Crisis Response System.

The CoC will be able to support one more community to participate
in the Collaborative this year. This means paying for the initial cost of participating in the Collaborative for a year; communities are responsible for funding their travel.

A call for interested applicants is scheduled for January 22nd from 3:00-3:30 P.M. Click here to log in to the call. See the application for more information . Applications are due February 1st. 
Experiences from Communities Currently Participating

Abilene and Denton have been participating in Built for Zero for the past year. The communities worked together to design a pilot project on diversion and the HMIS workflow. Diversion helps people to access their support networks to find housing rather than entering a homeless shelter. CoC staff traveled to Denton and Abilene with Zach Brown from OrgCode to provide in-person training on Diversion and the HMIS workflow. The new Diversion/CE Workflow went live in HMIS on December 12th.  
Youth Homelessness Resource

Point Source Youth h as published a Host Homes Handbook version 2.0. " Short-term host homes are an intervention for youth who are currently experiencing homelessness for any variety of reasons, including but not limited to family conflict, poverty, gender identity and sexual orientation. The goal of short-term host homes is to provide a safe, temporary, welcoming space for up to six months where the young person has time to repair their relationships with self-identified family or make decisions about other housing options with the support of a caring housing case manager." Click here to learn more about Point Source Youth and host homes.
Funding Opportunities

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)

The VA has released a new funding opportunity for the SSVF Program. The program's purpose is "to provide supportive services grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives, who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families who: (i) Are residing in permanent housing and are at risk of becoming homeless; (ii) are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period; or (iii) after exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income veteran family’s needs and preferences. SSVF prioritizes the delivery of rapid re-housing services to homeless veteran households."

"Priority 4" applicants--those entities that do not currently receive SSVF funding, including organizations in the TX BoS CoC--are eligible to apply. Applications are due February 22 nd. The NOFA requires letter of support from the CoC. Request letters from ESG and SSVF Coordinator, Mollie Lund, at Mollie@thn.org or 512-861-2119. Read the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for more information

Broadband Pilot Program

Broadband is an essential ingredient to ending homelessness in rural communities. According to the Housing Assistance Council's, " Rural Voices: What Broadband Means for Rural America, " broadband brings opportunity through tele-working, tele-case management, tele-healthcare, and online schooling, which support the housing stability of households across rural America. B roadband access in rural communities is a strategic priority of the  United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) . Their broadband pilot program provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. 

Application due dates:
  • April 29 for the 100% Grant funding category
  • May 29 for the 50% Loan/50% Grant funding category
  • June 28 for the 100% Loan funding category

Click here for more information about applying.

New Access Points

The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration released a funding opportunity on January 11, 2019, to support the development of New Access Points (NAP) under the Health Center Program. The purpose of this funding is to provide operational support for new service delivery sites to improve the health of the nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations (migratory and seasonal agricultural workers and families, individuals experiencing homelessness, and/or individuals living in public housing and areas immediately accessible to such public housing) by expanding access to affordable, accessible, quality, and cost effective primary health care services. Your organization must be a domestic public or private, nonprofit entity, as demonstrated in Attachment 11: Evidence of Nonprofit or Public Center Status in the application packet. Tribes, tribal organizations, faith-based organizations, and community based organizations are eligible to apply.

Click here for more information about applying.
Request For Proposals for CoC Training and Technical Assistance

THN, as the CoC Lead Agency, is requesting proposals to enhance Equal Access in the CoC. In 2016 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expanded the Equal Access protection in HUD programs with the "Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual's Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs Rule" Final Rule (Gender Identity Rule). The rule ensures that  housing shall be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. 
 
This Request for Proposals (RFP) enables THN to provide robust technical assistance and training to homeless service providers in the CoC, strengthening services, reducing the harm associated with homelessness, and increasing access to assistance. 

Proposals are due January 21st at 4:00 P.M. Click here to learn more.
...Across the TX BoS CoC

South Texas
Letter sent to THN staff:

G ood Morning. Thought I'd share a bit of good news. I work for Good Neighbor Settlement House and yesterday we had a small resource fair. I put together a Point In Time table to recruit volunteers. I appear in the picture as "Lead" along with Martin Longoria "Co-lead" for Point in Time Cameron County. One of many ways to recruit volunteers. Hope you like the board we made of all the homeless persons.
 
Thank You,
Marisela Almeida

Thank you for organizing the Point In Time County in your area, Marisela and Martin! We appreciate you and all of your hard work.

East Texas
The Kirbyville Housing Authority in Jasper County has made 5 acres of its property available for the nonprofit local homeless coalition, Southeast Texas Coalition for the Homeless (SETCH), to construct and operate a tiny-homes community for people experiencing homelessness. The property will house two "villages" - Phase I, Veterans Village, will be reserved for veterans and Phase II, Home Safe, will be open to anyone temporarily un-housed. Plans for a single administrative office onsite will serve both, providing access to mental health services, financial counseling, legal services, case management, and transportation to services. The building will also house a food pantry, clothes closet, and communal laundry facility. The complex will largely operate as transitional housing though a few qualified individuals, namely those requiring permanent supportive housing, e.g., elderly persons and those with severe health issues, will be considered for eligibility to stay indefinitely. The complex will be built by community volunteers. Individuals can inquire about volunteer opportunities by calling SETCH's headquarters at 409-594-5266.

If you have articles about your community's efforts to prevent and end homelessness that you want highlighted in our next newsletter, please email the articles to txboscoc@thn.org.
TX BoS CoC Lead Staff Recommend...

The following are resources TX BoS CoC Lead Agency staff have found that we believe would be beneficial to your local efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time:





Your CoC Team

We look like the Brady Bunch when all our video cameras are turned on during CoC General Meeting webinars. Join us on the second Tuesday of every month!
Important Dates

JANUARY

CE Steering Committee Nominations Due
Friday, 1/18

Coordinated Entry Unplugged
Tuesday, 1/22, 10:00-11:00 AM, by webinar

CoC Board Seats 1 and 2 Nominations Due
Tuesday, 1/22, 5:00 PM

Point-In-Time (PIT) Count
Thursday, 1/24, across the CoC

FEBRUARY

Built for Zero Learning Collaborative Applications Due
Friday, 2/1

TX BoS CoC General Meeting
Wednesday, 2/13/2019
Topic: Outreach
Click here to register.

Coordinated Entry Unplugged
Tuesday, 2/12, 10:00-11:00 AM
Topic: What is the by name list and how do we use it?

SSVF Applications Due
Friday, 2/22

See more events on THN's Training and Events calendar for winter break
Anyone who works or lives in the CoC's geographic area, and all housing and homeless services projects in the CoC's geographic area, are considered to be members of the CoC. The CoC has an open invitation process, so members may join at any time.

THN invites members to participate in the CoC's activities. Learn more on the email list , the website , and social media .

Share this email with anyone you think may be interested!
CoC General Meeting Schedule

Stay informed about CoC happenings by participating in the monthly webinars. Each meeting will feature a topic that is important to preventing and ending homelessness. See the schedule for dates, topics, and registration links.
CoC Program Funding

If you are a representative of an agency that is interested in applying for United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program funding, please contact txboscoc@thn.org .
The TX BoS CoC is a focus area of the Texas Homeless Network.