Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care News
July 2020
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 28 Local Homeless Coalitions (LHCs) that plan, deliver, and evaluate local systems.
Announcements
CoC General Meeting
The next CoC General Meeting will be held on August 12th, at 2:00 P.M., by webinar. Everyone is invited!

  • Hear the latest details about the 2021 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count and Housing Inventory (HIC), and see the 2020 data. 
  • Participate in the "community conversation" and tell us about COVID-19 in your community and how to make meetings more accessible. 
  • Get committee updates and hear announcements. 

Register to attend at

If you have accessibility needs, please contact Mary Stahlke, Asst. Director of Engagement, at  mary@thn.org  or 512-861-2180.
Welcome Our New Team Members
Please join us in welcoming Marliza, Jaynna, and Cindy! Y'all will learn more about Cindy in next month's newsletter.
Marliza Anahi Marin (she/her/hers) is the Ending Veteran Homelessness Specialist at THN. Her duties include working with local stakeholders from around the Balance of State Continuum of Care to ensure a plan is in place to end Veteran homelessness. Marliza was born and raised in El Paso, TX. She holds three Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, History, and Psychology from Texas State University. Prior to Marliza’s work at THN, she worked with several nonprofit organizations focused on uplifting the voices of underrepresented communities, civic engagement, and reproductive justice. She is excited to be in a position where she can use her public speaking skills and passion for advocacy.
Jaynna Sims (they/them/theirs) is the Emergency Solutions Grant Specialist. They grew up in rural East Texas and are excited to work with rural communities across the state to address homelessness. After getting their Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Computer Science in 2001, they worked in software for some years. In that time, they started program for refugee youth and were on the Board for the refugee organization, worked to improve 9-1-1 response to mental health crises, and spent years doing anti-racist community organizing, among a number of other volunteer community work.

Once Jaynna achieved their Master of Science in Social Work with a concentration in Administration and Policy Practice in 2018, they worked in mental health policy and spent 2019 in Guatemala learning Spanish to better serve Texas communities. Jaynna is passionate about impacted individuals and communities being leaders in finding and implementing solutions, and they know that truly ending homelessness is rooted in eliminating systemic oppression. Nature is Jaynna’s medicine for the soul, and they seek daily how to spend more time communing with nature.
Voting for the North, West, and Southeast Members of the Community Investment Committee is still open!  

Voting for CoC Board Opens Soon
Nominations have been submitted, and voting materials are being prepared. Voting is scheduled to occur from July 27th through August 14th. Any general member of the CoC (that is, anyone who lives or works in the TX BoS CoC and has an interest in preventing and ending homelessness) may vote in the elections. Keep an eye on the  website  and on your Inbox for more details coming soon.
TX BoS CoC Public Comment Portal

Did you know that the TX BoS CoC has a  Public Comment Portal ? (It's brand new so it's okay if you didn't. :) ) Public comment allows members of the CoC to provide input on Policy or Governance Documents that will affect the provision of services or how the CoC operates. The Public Comment Portal conveniently links all of the items available for public comment in one place. All public comment is welcome! 
 
There are several policies that are open for public comment:
 
  • Anti-discrimination and Equal Access Policy 
  • Review and Scoring Policies and Procedures for Continuum of Care Program Funds in the Texas Balance State Continuum of Care
  • Ranking Policy and Procedure for Continuum of Care Program Funds in the Texas Balance State Continuum of Care
  • Reallocation Policy and Procedure for Continuum of Care Program Funds in the Texas Balance State Continuum of Care
  • Conditional Inclusion Policy and Procedure for Continuum of Care Program Funds in the Texas Balance State Continuum of Care
 
The Public Comment Portal lists the submission deadline for each item up for consideration.
 
For questions about any of the policies listed above contact Jim Ward, Assistant Director of Planning, at  jim@thn.org  or (512) 861-2165. 
New TX BoS Data Committee

Texas Balance of State (TX BoS) is looking for individuals interested in data! TX BoS wants to work hand in hand with community members to establish expectations around data collection, use, and upkeep. In order to do this, TX BoS has established a Data Committee to focus specifically on Texas Balance of State HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) data.

The purpose of the TX BoS Data Committee is to provide data-driven insight and education to multiple groups/stakeholders about homelessness in the Texas Balance of State. The TX BoS Data Committee would also be a way of providing feedback from HMIS end users on specific data matters such as HMIS Policies and Procedures, the HMIS Data Quality and Management Plan, data security, Point In Time Count information, and the TX BoS HMIS implementation.

The Data Committee had previously been put on hold due to COVID-19. We understand that this turbulent time means many people are stretched thin, and they may not have the capacity to participate like they might in normal times.  We want to be transparent that committee members should be able to commit to 1-3 hours a month to the committee.  This time would include webinars, calls, and reviews of data and policy documents.

If you are interested in participating in the Data Committee,  please fill out this interest form .  

If you have any questions about the committee, feel free to reach out to  data@thn.org .  
ESG CARES Act Recommendations Submitted

The TX BoS CoC Board has approved the final recommendation to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) CARES Act (CV) Round 1 Funds.

Recommendations are conditional. Recommendations will be presented to the TDHCA Governing Board, pending the completion of the previous participation and recommendation of the TDHCA Executive Award Review Advisory Committee. TDHCA makes the final decision regarding awards. Once TDHCA informs THN of their final subrecipient selection for agencies in the TX BoS CoC we will share that information with all of you.

The 14 agencies who are being recommended will provide ESG CV Funds to 46 counties in the TX BoS CoC, 32 or 70%, of these counties are counties that are not currently served by ESG funding. The recommendation can be found  here.
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2020 Census Workers to Count Population Experiencing Homelessness in September

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the new schedule for counting people experiencing homelessness in the 2020 Census. The operation was originally scheduled for March 30, March 31 and April 1, but health and safety concerns with COVID-19 forced us to delay these activities.

Between September 22 and 24, the Census Bureau now plans to send specially trained census takers to count people at shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, and locations previously identified by the Census Bureau where people are known to sleep outdoors (like under bridges) and at all-night businesses (such as transit stations and 24-hour laundromats). People experiencing homelessness will be counted where they are staying when census takers visit between September 22-24.

For more information, visit  2020census.gov .
Important Dates
JULY

*No CoC General Meeting in July

July Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday 2 July 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting

July 2020 CESC Meeting
Tuesday 14 July 2020, 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
The TX BoS CoC will be hosting a virtual meeting for the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee (CESC). The CESC provides direct support and guidance to the CoC’s systems change efforts.
*Closed Meeting. Please email  ce@thn.org  for more information.

FREE Fair Housing Training
Wednesday 15 July 2020, 10:00 AM
The Corporation for Supportive Housing will host a live interactive training on fair housing for providers and interested parties in the TX BoS CoC. This training is FREE.
Event Password: Fairhousing

July 2020 TX BoS Board Meeting
Wednesday 22 July 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting


AUGUST

August Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday 6 August 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting

August 2020 CESC Meeting
Tuesday 11 August 2020, 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
The TX BoS CoC will be hosting a virtual meeting for the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee (CESC). The CESC provides direct support and guidance to the CoC’s systems change efforts.
*Closed Meeting. Please email  ce@thn.org  for more information.

August 2020 CoC General Meeting
Wednesday 12 August 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Topic: 2021 Point-In-Time Count (PIT) and Housing Inventory Chart (HIC)
Register Here

August 2020 Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Thursday 13 August 2020, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
*Closed Meeting

August 2020 TX BoS Board Meeting
Wednesday 26 August 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting


SEPTEMBER

September 2020 Ex. Committee
Thursday 3 September 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting

September 2020 CESC Meeting
Tuesday 15 September 2020, 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
The TX BoS CoC will be hosting a virtual meeting for the Coordinated Entry Steering Committee (CESC). The CESC provides direct support and guidance to the CoC’s systems change efforts.
*Closed Meeting. Please email  ce@thn.org  for more information.

September 2020 TX BoS Board Meeting
Wednesday 23 September 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting


Opportunities
Open Funding Opportunities

We are currently in the process of adding a new section to our website to help collect all funding opportunities made available to Texas including city, state, and federal programs.

In the meantime check out this PDF of all current available funding options here
HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Voucher NOFA

This notice announces the availability of $50 million in HUD-Veterans Affairs
Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) funding that will support approximately 6,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers. These vouchers are administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and enable homeless veterans and their families to access affordable housing with an array of supportive services. Public Housing Authorities are the only entities eligible to apply.


Please contact  txboscoc@thn.org  if you need assist interpreting the NOFA. 
Across the TX BoS CoC...
Staff Recommendations


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:
This month's recommendations come from Sophia Checa, Director of CoC Programs, and Mary Rychlik Stalhke, Assistant Director of Engagement.

New Validated Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Shelters Released

Children make up 29% of the population of people experiencing sheltered homelessness in the TX BoS CoC. The Administration for Children and Families recently released a self-assessment tool for shelters. The purpose of the tool is "to guide shelter staff in creating safe, developmentally appropriate environments for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families who are experiencing homelessness." Find out more here .

Submit a Comment to Shape Federal Priorities on Homelessness

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is currently gathering public input to revise the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The Alliance encourages readers to participate in USICH's public comments effort to provide your perspective on what USICH can and should be prioritizing in the next vision of its strategic plan. Submit a comment by tomorrow.
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 . CoC General Meeting minutes and recordings are posted on THN's website, in the TX BoS CoC "Get Involved" page at  https://www.thn.org/texas-balance-state-continuum-care/get-involved/ . Presentations by and conversations between CoC members and staff on relevant topics keep members informed and up-to-date.

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

Stay informed about CoC happenings by participating in the bi-monthly webinars. Each meeting will feature a topic that is important to preventing and ending homelessness. See the Get Involved page 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.