Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care News
June 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
Our Team is Growing!

Please join us in welcoming Princess, Giovanna, and Quiana!
Princess Murchison (she/her/hers) has been on our team since Monday, May 4th, so the force is extra strong with her. She is the Data VISTA. In this role, Princess works in partnership with the Data Coordinator (Kyra Henderson) to ensure that Point-In-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) data is presented to communities to use for advocacy. She is passionate about eliminating inequalities on every level, the environment, and using data to provide solutions to important issues.
Giovanna DiNapoli (she/her/hers) will be joining our team on Monday, June 15th, as the Racial Equity Intern. She is currently studying Pre-Law at Saint Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She will be joining us remotely from El Paso, her hometown, due to COVID-19. Giovanna blew us away with her response to, "How do you define social justice?", and we are confident her experiences and skills will lend well to her responsibilities as Racial Equity Intern.
Quiana Fisher (she/her/hers) will be joining our team on Monday, July 6th, as the CoC Performance Coordinator. She will evaluate the performance and outcomes of projects funded by the Continuum of Care Program. She is an energetic, politically driven social worker dedicated to improving the lives of those experiencing homelessness in our community. Quiana has worked in homeless services since 2013 and has experience with Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Homelessness Prevention.
And We're Still Hiring - Barriers Fund Coordinator
THN pleased to announce that we will soon establish a Barriers Fund for households experiencing homelessness in the Texas Balance of State CoC as part of our COVID-19 relief efforts. The Barriers Fund Coordinator will be responsible for developing and operating the Barriers Fund. The right candidate will have a solid understanding of systemic inequities and barriers that prevent people from accessing housing, as well as a mind for the analytical, the desire to tackle pervasive challenges, and the ability to create a system that removes barriers to housing as quickly as possible. 

Learn more and find out how to apply here .
2020-22 CoC Board Nominations Period is Open
Do you have expertise or experience in homelessness or homeless assistance? Are you interested in preventing and ending homelessness across the state? If so, run for a seat on the CoC Board!
 
The CoC is accepting nominations for seven Board seats to guide the CoC for the next two years (October 2020-September 2022):
 
Seat 2 - Homeless Veterans
Seat 4 - Homeless Families
Seat 6 - Victim Services
Seat 8 - Health/Medical Services
Seat 10 - Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program Recipients/Entitlement Jurisdictions
Seat 12 - Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Organizations
Seat 14 - Faith Community or Faith-Based Organizations

The persons filling these board seat must represent the stakeholder groups designated for those seats in one of the following ways:
 
  • Being a member of that group (for example, Seat 2 could be filled by a currently or formerly homeless veteran);
  • Working for an agency/organization that serves the designated group; and/or
  • Clearly representing the interests of that group, as evidenced in the nomination form.
 
Serving on the CoC Board requires:
  • Attending an orientation in October and
  • Meeting once per month for two hours by webinar.
 
The primary responsibility of the CoC Board is to determine the policy direction of the CoC and ensure that the CoC fulfills its responsibilities in preventing and ending homelessness. The CoC Board needs members with varying skills, expertise, and backgrounds to represent the diversity of people experiencing homelessness in the CoC.
 
Anyone who lives and/or works in the TX BoS CoC’s geographic area is a general member of the CoC and may run for a seat on the Board. (See the  CoC map  or  https://tinyurl.com/y8vfk397 .)

Complete the nomination form online  here .
 
The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 19, 2020, at 11:59:59 PM.
 
Voting will take place in August. Terms will begin in October.

Public Comment Center

THN now has a Public Comment Center on the website. Interested members of the CoC (those who live or work in the TX BoS CoC  coverage area ) can find all things Public Comment  here .

THN will open Public Comment for the CoC Anti-Discrimination and Equal Access Policy on Friday, June 12, 2020 . For more details on this policy, and future policies please visit the website. 

For questions about, or assistance with, public comment, please contact,  mary@thn.org  or  jim@thn.org
Housing Survey 2020

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is seeking input on the housing needs of people with mental health conditions, substance use histories and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities. HHSC is seeking input from people in this target population, their families/caregivers, providers, service agencies and organizations. You can take the survey yourself online at  https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5381252/Housing-Survey-2020  from May 15, 2020 to June 15, 2020.  Please also distribute the survey link and encourage other people to participate.

Answers will be anonymous and will help HHSC plan and improve access to affordable housing. Questions can be emailed to  OMHCHousingChoicePlan@hhsc.state.tx.us .

HHSC understands that most people are currently focused on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), but we believe it is important to distribute the survey at this time because housing is a critical component of a person’s health and well-being. Keeping this in mind, we encourage you to take the time to complete this important survey.
Important Dates
JUNE

June 2020 CESC Meeting
Tuesday 23 June 2020, 10:00 AM - 11:30 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.


June 2020 TX BoS Board Meeting
Wednesday 24 June 2020, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
*Closed Meeting

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 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 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 TX BoS Board Meeting
Wednesday 26 August 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
Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program

The 2020 ESG Annual Allocation for State ESG funding through Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Application can be found  here  under 2020 ESG Annual Application Materials. 

*This is a separate funding opportunity than ESG CV Funding .

Find out more here
COVID-19 Assistance for Veterans

Endeavors is an agency in the TX BoS CoC that provides Financial Assistance for Veterans in need of housing assistance. The $3.25 million in CARES ACT funding Endeavors received allows the organization to serve Veterans who have fallen behind in their rent, utilities, and other payments. Endeavors continues to provide one-on-one case management services to obtain the necessary VA benefits, mental health, employment, and financial assistance. Endeavors' top priority with this additional funding is to quickly respond to Veterans and their families who have urgent housing needs. As the state of Texas begins to reopen, they are committed to helping Veterans get back on their feet.
 
Endeavors' intake, outreach, and case managers continue to serves homeless Veterans and their families in the following 54 counties in the TX BoS CoC: Aransas, Atascosa, Bandera, Bee, Blanco, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Comal, Cooke, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Ellis, Erath, Frio, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson, Guadalupe, Hays, Hidalgo, Hood, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, La Salle, Lavaca Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Nueces, Real, Refugio, San Patricio, Sutton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, Wilson, Zapata, and Zavala.
 
To learn more go about Veteran eligibility and how Veterans can apply, go to:  https://www.endeavors.org/ssvfcares/ .

To find out about other SSVF coverage in the TX BoS CoC click  here
Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Low-income Texas families can apply for $285 in federal aid per child to make up for the free and reduced-price meals they missed while schools were closed because of the coronavirus  pandemic .

Families that were on the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in March  don’t need to apply for the program known as  Pandemic-EBT , short for electronic benefits transfer. These benefits were automatically deposited on their Lone Star Card — the debit-like card Texas uses to distribute SNAP aid — earlier this month.

Other families, including those that enrolled in  SNAP  after March, have through the month of June to submit applications for the food benefits program.

Learn more here
Across the TX BoS CoC...
North

South

East

West

These articles were gathered from Google Alerts and emails sent directly to us. 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.
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 recommendation comes from Sophia Checa, Director of CoC Programs:

Rural Counties Lack Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness
"The first  National Estimates  report from Chapin Hall’s Voices of Youth Count initiative showed that about 1 in 10 young adults, and 1 in 30 teens, experience some form of homelessness within a 12-month period. New analysis shows that these rates are consistent in rural parts of the country."
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.