Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care News
Dear Partners,

We have included a lot of information in this newsletter. Some highlights include:
  • New CoC Board and Staff Members
  • Upcoming Events
  • Opportunities for Member Participation
  • Public Comment
  • Coordinated Entry
  • PIT Count
Texas Homeless Network is the lead agency for the T exas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC) . The T X BoS CoC is a group of stakeholders charged with carrying out the CoC responsibilities to 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.
New Leadership on the TX BoS CoC Staff

We are excited to announce that Kristin Zakoor has been promoted to Assistant Director of Data and Jim Ward has been promoted to Assistant Director of Planning! If you have worked with them in the past, you know this promotion is well deserved. We are excited about accomplishing more with them in these positions.
New Leadership on the CoC Board

Congratulations to the newly elected Board members for 2018-2020!

  • Seat 2 -- Homeless Veterans: Melissa Escamilla
  • Seat 4 -- Homeless Families: Arturo Garcia
  • Seat 6 -- Victim Services: Daisy Lopez
  • Seat 8 -- Health/Medical: Luis T. Cerda
  • Seat 10 -- Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program: Marcela Cervantes
  • Seat 14 -- Faith Community or Faith-Based Organization: Daphne Adams

Thank you to everyone who ran for Board seats and everyone who voted in the election. We value your participation in the CoC!
PIT Lead Training

If your community will be participating in the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, or you would like to learn more about the PIT process, please join us for the PIT Lead training. We will cover how to set up a successful count in your area and how to utilize the mobile app to conduct PIT surveys. The training will be held on Thursday, November 8th, from 12:30-2:00 PM. Click here to register.  For any questions, please contact  kristin@thn.org .
Coordinated Entry Unplugged

Coordinated Entry Unplugged will be happening Tuesday, November 13th from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. This is the first of the ongoing monthly calls to bring together our 17 regions across the CoC to have peer sharing and learning about Coordinated Entry. Coordinated Entry Planning Entity Members and Participating Agencies will be contacted directly regarding this opportunity. Click here to register. For any questions, please contact tiffany@thn.org .
Coordinated Entry Research Survey

Coordinated Entry Planning Entity (CEPE) Members, please lend me your ears! Doctor Mary Jones,  a Professor of Information Systems at the University of North Texas   and the Chair of the   Denton County Homeless Coalition , has been very interested in Coordinated Entry as she has seen it unfold in Denton. Because she was so interested, she developed a research project to study it further. The study looks at how these types of inter-organizational systems unfold in the non-profit world, specifically the human services sector. The goal is to better understand how they evolve in order to develop a set of lessons learned or best practices for those who are on the front lines of implementing them and those ensuring that they are effectively used. The survey still has to pass the Institutional Review Board, but we expect that it should be released by the beginning of November. Keep your eyes peeled!
UDQ Reports

Requests for Universal Data Quality Reports (UDQs) are going out for HMIS-participating agencies. High data quality is important all the time, but it is particularly important now that we are going into the Longitudinal Statistical Analysis (LSA), aka the new Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). Reach out to the HMIS Team at  hmis@thn.org  if you have any questions!
Rebuild Texas Fund

Texas Network of Youth Services , Texas Homeless Network , and Texas Homeless Education Office are working in partnership with Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey (excluding Harris County) to support schools and community-based organizations to better meet the needs of homeless youth and families displaced by the hurricane. Funds were generously awarded through the Rebuild Texas Fund , a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation.

The goal of this Project, Safety Net for Texas Families, is to build capacity of Community Based Organizations that provide safety net services, including counseling and crisis intervention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rental assistance, and more, for children, youth, and families, to meet the needs of those who are experiencing homelessness, as defined by the McKinney Vento Act , because of Hurricane Harvey.

Support includes:

  • Training and technical assistance offered to school personnel and community service providers
  • Grants to help community-based organizations increase their capacity to better meet the need (More information will be provided as it is available!)

In order to inform the support we provide, we are conducting a Needs Assessment. If you live or work in Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, or Wharton County, please take 15-20 minutes to complete this Needs Assessment: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YKJFBBS .

Seeking Public Comment on CoC Governance Documents

The CoC is requesting public comment on proposed changes to the Governance Charter and CoC Policies and Procedures. A public comment period allows for stakeholders to review proposed policy, procedure, and statutory compliance implementation and provide feedback based on experience and expertise.

These documents with proposed changes can be found here:

The public comment submission form can be found  here .

This Public Comment Period closes on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 11:59 P.M.

Governance Charter: Substantive proposed changes include:

Member Input and Public Comment, page 3
THN, as the CoC Lead Agency, will seek input from general members about policies and procedures, then present that input to the Board as part of their consideration to approve new policies and procedures and changes to existing policies and procedures.

CoC Board Elections, page 5
CoC Board elections will be held in the fall of each year but not necessarily at the CoC General Meeting. In the past two years, elections have been held by online balloting, to allow general members more time and opportunity to vote.

Board Member Conflict of Interest Statement, page 17
Add language to clarify that “No Continuum of Care board member may participate in or influence discussions or resulting decisions concerning the award of a grant or other financial benefits to the organization that the member represents (24 CFR 578.95(b)) or on any item in which they have a vested interest.”

Other proposed changes clarify existing concepts but do not change their meaning.

CoC Written Standards:

The proposed changes to the Written Standards are generally limited to the sections below. The appendices and Indexes may change with the final document, but they were not modified for the public comment period.

Coordinated Entry, pages 11 and 12
The CE section was updated to reflect the system after January 23, 2018, and to provide guidance to projects selected for conditional award that are required to participate in Coordinated Entry, in an area where a Coordinated Entry System does not currently exist.

Rapid Re-Housing - Rental Assistance, pages 38-39
Proposed changes allow for greater flexibility for agencies when calculating participants’ portions of the rent. These changes support the CoC’s efforts to align with Progressive Engagement, a national best practice in Rapid Re-Housing, guided by the understanding that funds are most efficient when tailored to the needs of the participant, not by a prescribed length of stay or a cap on the length of stay.

Permanent Supportive Housing – Prioritization, pages 47-49   
Proposed changes to the Prioritization Standards for Permanent Supportive Housing beds dedicated to those experiencing chronic homelessness were approved by the CoC Board of Directors after the release of Notice CPD 16-11. These changes impact only the second order of priority, or prioritization for non- chronically homeless persons. 

Note: 100% of PSH beds in the Balance of State are dedicated to serving chronically homeless persons. These changes do not effect current prioritization standards for those beds; rather, if an eligible chronically homeless person cannot be identified, the updated prioritization standards would take effect. This should be an exceedingly rare occurrence, and there are additional steps that must be taken in this situation.
Upcoming Events
November

Thursday, 11/8, 12:30-2:00 PM - PIT Lead Training. Click here to register.

Tuesday, 11/13, 10:00-11:00 AM - Coordinated Entry Unplugged. Click here to register.

Wednesday, 11/14, 2:00-3:30 PM - TX BoS CoC General Meeting
Topic: Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and Data
Click here to register.

Thursday, 11/22, and Friday, 11/23 - THN Offices closed for Thanksgiving

Friday, 11/30 - Longitudinal System Analysis (LSA) report due to HUD

December

Wednesday, 12/12, 2:00-3:30 PM -- TX BoS CoC General Meeting
Topic: Coordinated Entry
Click here to register.

Friday, 12/21 through Friday, 1/4/2019 -- THN Offices closed for winter break
If you are a representative of a project that is interested in receiving United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program funding, please contact txboscoc@thn.org .
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!
The TX BoS CoC is a focus area of the Texas Homeless Network.