LA BOSCOC General Meeting Outcomes - April 1, 2019

Overview

The general membership of the LA BOSCOC met in person in Baton Rouge on April 1, 2019.

Attendance

VOTING ATTENDANCE [LISTED AS ORGANIZATION ONLY]

  • Alexandria Veterans Administration Medical Center

  • Amerihealth Caritas

  • Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

  • Calcasieu Parish School Board

  • Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless

  • Capital Area United Way

  • Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana

  • Empower 225

  • Education and Treatment Center (ETC)

  • HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART)

  • Healthy Blue

  • Joseph Homes

  • Liberty Dwelling

  • Laurant-Lewis Consultancy

  • Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • Louisiana Department of Education

  • Louisiana Housing Corporation

  • Maison des Ami

  • O’Brien House

  • Options Villa

  • Our Lady of the Lake

  • Particular Council of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge, the

  • Salvation Army of Baton Rouge

  • Start Corporation

  • St. Bernard Battered Women’s Place

  • South Central Louisiana Human Services Association

  • Southwest Louisiana Law Center

  • Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government

  • United Way of SWLA

  • Veterans Administration

  • Youth Oasis

Governance Charter v4.0

The general membership voted unanimously to approve the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter v4.0. Significant changes include:

  • Clarifies and provides additional structure for LA BOSCOC voting;

  • Added several sidebars to answer common questions in plain language (e.g. “Who Actually Belongs to the CoC?”);

  • Requires each Regional Subcommittee to develop a street outreach plan;

  • Explicitly clarifies the authority of each of the CoC’s governing authorities (the general membership, the committees, and the Board); broadly:

    • General membership: approves the Governance Charter, which defines the powers of the committees and the Board;

    • Committees: complete tasks specified in the Governance Charter; review and approve policies to recommend to the Board for final approval;

    • Board: complete tasks specified in the Governance Charter; provide final approval for policies recommended by the committees;

  • Board Chair and Board Vice Chair are now elected from the Board’s membership.

The full text document can be found here: https://laboscoc.org/policies-and-procedures

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes - April 1, 2019

Overview

The Board met in person to discuss a variety of issues on April 1, 2019.

Attendance

VOTING ATTENDANCE [LISTED AS NAME, ORGANIZATION (SEAT) (ROLE, IF ANY)]

  • Winona Connor, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Louisiana Housing Corporation) (Chair)

  • Eric Gammons, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (HMIS Lead)

  • Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education (Louisiana Department of Education)

  • Addie Duval, Start Corporation (Baton Rouge Region)

  • Brooke Guidry, Start Corporation (Houma Region)

  • Tarek Polite, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury (Lake Charles Region)

  • Gail Gowland, St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program (Plaquemines/St. Bernard Region)

NON-VOTING ATTENDANCE (LISTED AS NAME, ORGANIZATION, (ROLE, IF ANY)]

  • Aundrea Braniff, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Acting Secretary)

  • Gordon Levine, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Continuum of Care Manager)

  • More than a dozen members of the CoC sat in on the meeting; roll was not taken

PIT Count

The CoC Manager provided an overview of the Point in Time (PIT) Count, both the January 2019 count and the LA BOSCOC’s PIT Count in general.

Strengths highlighted included:

  • Baton Rouge’s count is improving its methodology every year;

  • Lake Charles implemented an innovative single night shelter option to collected sheltered data;

  • Starting next year, each Region will have a CoC Program-funded Coordinated Entry Access Point to help develop the PIT Count capacity.

Vulnerabilities highlighted included:

  • Natchitoches/Sabine continues to conduct no count;

  • Plaquemines/St. Bernard continues to conduct no unsheltered count;

  • Lake Charles needs to conduct a more comprehensive unsheltered count;

  • No Region is conducting an effective rural count;

  • Planning needs to start earlier (September/October rather than December/January) to build capacity;

  • Baton Rouge count needs to identify a new PIT Captain for January 2020, as the previous PIT Captain (Joe Keegan) is retiring).

Coordinated Entry

The CoC Manager provided an overview of the Coordinated Entry System (CES) after its first 12 months of operation.

The key finding is that while the CES is ensuring the CoC is serving people in order of their level of need, the CoC’s ratio of referrals to successful intakes is very low (approximately 10%). This is primarily due to poor or incomplete contact information collected by Coordinated Entry Access Points and outreach workers, particularly regarding people experiencing chronic homelessness.

As a remedy, the Board unanimously authorized funding from the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA for a Coordinated Entry Navigator, whose job will be to (1) establish and record the required documentation for people experiencing homelessness who are high on the LA BOSCOC’s Prioritization List and (2) ensuring contact information is correct and current. The authorized funding is up to $80,000 and will be drawn from the Baton Rouge Region’s annual allocation.

Scoring Committee

Historically, the LA BOSCOC’s project applications to the CoC Program NOFA have been scored by members of the Governor’s Council on Homelessness using exclusively information present in those project applications.

The Board voted unanimously to include a mechanism in the LA BOSCOC’s project application scoring process by which Scoring Committee members could ask clarifying questions of the project application’s organization and adjust the project’s score as appropriate.

Board Meeting Frequency

The Board voted unanimously to meet on a bimonthly basis. (Previously, the Board was convened approximately quarterly on an ad hoc basis and in response to specific needs.)

Next Board Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held in person in Baton Rouge with a dial-in option. Some portion of the Board meeting will be open to the public. The Board has not yet set a date for this meeting; however, it will be scheduled for early June.

Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 Approved and Released

Overview

The LA BOSCOC Board has unanimously approved for release the LA BOSCOC Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0.

This document significantly revises the LA BOSCOC’s Coordinated Entry System (CES). The LA BOSCOC urges all organizations that receive funding through the CoC Program, ESG, PATH, and SSVF to read the new policy in full.

This document goes into effect April 1, 2019.

The LA BOSCOC Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 can be found here.

Training

The LA BOSCOC will provide comprehensive training on the new CES policies and procedures to all organizations that receive funding through the CoC Program, ESG, PATH, and SSVF, and to any other agencies that use CES to refer people experiencing homelessness to housing or to receive referrals for housing.

Organizations are STRONGLY encouraged to send outreach workers, case managers, etc. to training (in addition to manager- and director-level staff).

Training will be provided by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless, and the Coordinated Entry Committee. Training will include:

  • “Mini guides” for each project type that is required to interact with CES (e.g. CoC Program PSH, ESG Emergency Shelter, etc.) summarizing each project’s CES process in simple-to-understand language;

  • Updated HMIS workflows for Diversion, Intervention, and other elements of the updated CES process;

  • Louisiana Housing Corporation staff will provide on-site training to each CoC Program-funded Coordinated Entry project as requested (as soon as possible, schedule permitting);

  • Louisiana Housing Corporation staff will provide some level of online training via webinar in March;

  • Louisiana Housing Corporation and Coordinated Entry Committee staff will provide training during the Baton Rouge Subcommitee meeting on March 12, 2019 in Baton Rouge;

  • Louisiana Housing Corporation staff will provide training during the LA BOSCOC General Meeting on April 1, 2019 in Baton Rouge.

Additional training and materials may be available. If you have a specific need that isn’t addressed by the list above, please submit a training request to Gordon Levine, CoC Manager, at glevine@lhc.la.gov or Laura Martinez, Coordinated Entry Committee Chair, at laura.martinez@startcorp.org.

Changelog

This document is a comprehensive rewrite of the v1.X Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures; the LA BOSCOC encourages you to read the entire document.

A selection of core changes include:

  • Document has been rewritten to provide specific guidance to each project type (broken down by funding source) regarding which components of the Coordinated Entry System it is required to implement;

  • The Coordinated Entry process has been broken down into several stages (“components”), each of which has specific actions and requirements;

  • A new component, Diversion, has been added:

    • Diversion occurs at the time a person initially presents for housing to a Coordinated Entry Access Point or outreach worker;

    • All Access Points and outreach workers are required to provide Diversion;

    • Diversion means “a one-time service, recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database, in which a case manager or outreach worker attempts to return a person to housing before enter an emergency shelter or spend the night on the streets or in place not meant for human habitation”;

    • Diversion is intended to be our CoC’s first response to people experiencing homelessness; it will reduce the number of people experiencing first time homelessness by ensuring people who can return to housing with few barriers do so as quickly as possible;

  • A new component, Intervention, has been added;

    • Intervention occurs any time after a person initially presents for housing to an Access Point or outreach worker;

    • All Access Points and outreach workers are required to provide Intervention;

    • Intervention means “a service, recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database, in which a case manager or outreach worker attempts to return a person to housing via their existing support networks and/or other non-permanent housing benefits before they are referred to the Coordinated Entry Prioritization List”;

  • The Coordinated Entry Prioritization List will be kept in a database outside HMIS and will draw referrals from HMIS, HMIS-comparable databases, the RRH to PSH Bridge, and the Emergency Transfer Plan;

    • HMIS referrals will be taken directly from HMIS by the LA BOSCOC’s HMIS Specialist (i.e. our current practice);

    • HMIS-comparable databases will need to refer participants by email or fax to the HMIS Specialist using a dummy name for participants to ensure confidentiality is maintained;

    • The RRH to PSH Bridge allows RRH projects to — rarely — request that the CoC Manager approve transferring an eligible participant from RRH to PSH;

    • The Emergency Transfer Plan allows participants who are fleeing domestic violence and who are already enrolled in a TH, RRH, or PSH project to be quickly transferred to another TH, RRH, or PSH project in a different Region;

  • Participants cannot be added to the Coordinated Entry Prioritization List until they meet BOTH of the following criteria:

    • The participant has received at least one instance of Intervention (recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database);

    • At least 30 days have passed since the participant initially presented for housing (measured as 30 days from the participant’s date of entry into the Coordinated Entry project in HMIS or using an equivalent measure in an HMIS-comparable database);

      • RRH to PSH Bridge and Emergency Transfer Plan participants do not need to meet either of the above criteria.

FY 2018 CoC Program Funding Awards

Overview

The LA BOSCOC is pleased to announce new and renewal funding for Continuum of Care (CoC) Program projects for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

The full list of projects can be found here under LA-509: https://www.hudexchange.info/onecpd/assets/File/2018-louisiana-coc-grants.pdf

Congratulations to every organization that received funding! This funding recognizes that you submitted competitive grants to fund necessary, exceptional projects. The LA BOSCOC looks forward to working with all of you this coming year and in years to come!

Project Awards by Type

Renewal Projects

All renewal projects submitted received full funding.

In addition, those projects that provide housing tied to fair market rent values received small increases (above what was requested) to compensate for changing fair market rent values.

In total, the LA BOSCOC received $16,786,308.

New Projects

All new projects submitted under the Permanent Housing Bonus received full or nearly full funding. One of two projects submitted under the Domestic Violence Bonus received full funding.

In total, the LA BOSCOC received $1,093,851 in new funding (excluding planning project funding).

Those projects are:

DV Coordinated Entry Access Point - St. Bernard/Plaquemines

Organization: St. Bernard Battered Women’s Place
Funding Amount: $100,000
Project Type: Coordinated Entry
Service Area: Plaquemines/St. Bernard Region
Project Description: Funding for Coordinated Entry activities, including access, intake, assessment, and diversion, for people fleeing domestic violence in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish.

HMIS Expansion

Organization: Louisiana Housing Corporation
Funding Amount: $77,178
Project Type: HMIS
Service Area: LA BOSCOC
Project Description: Additional funding for the LA BOSCOC’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), the statewide database of information and services for people experiencing homelessness. This expansion project primarily funds another full time staff person to provide monitoring and technical assistance to the LA BOSCOC’s growing roster of HMIS-compliant organizations.

HP Serve RRH for Individual Youth

Organization: Empower 225 (formerly HP Serve)
Funding Amount: $231,470
Project Type: Rapid Re-housing
Service Area: Baton Rouge Region
Project Description: This project provides short- to medium-term scattered site rental assistance to 12 single-person households of youth experiencing homelessness aged 18-24. It also funds 20 hours/week of street outreach to better identify youth experiencing homelessness and to connect them with resources, including diversion case management.

Louisiana Housing Corporation-RRH Expansion

Organization: Louisiana Housing Corporation
Funding Amount: $242,787
Project Type: Rapid Re-housing
Service Area: Baton Rouge Region
Project Description: This project provides short- to medium-term scattered site rental assistance (estimated at 9-12 months of assistance for each household) to 5 single-person households and 3 families of people experiencing homelessness, focusing on families, people with mental illness, and people experiencing chronic homelessness. It also funds 40 hours/week of street outreach to connect the project’s target population with resources, including diversion case management.

Partners in Health & Housing for Baton Rouge

Organization: Start Corporation
Funding Amount: $297,588
Project Type: Permanent Supportive Housing
Service Area: Baton Rouge Region
Project Description: This project provides open-ended, scattered site permanent supportive housing to 20 single-person households of people living with severe and persistent mental illness who are experiencing chronic homelessness. It also funds 20 hours/week of street outreach to connect the project’s target population with resources, including diversion case management.

TPCG Rapid Re-housing

Organization: Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government
Funding Amount: $144,828
Project Type: Rapid Re-housing
Service Area: Houma Region
Project Description: This project provides open-ended, scattered site permanent supportive housing to 5 single-person households 8 families of people experiencing homelessness. It also funds 20 hours/week of street outreach to connect the project’s target population with resources, including diversion case management.

Request for Proposals - Coordinated Entry - FY 2019

Overview

The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), as the Collaborative Applicant for the Louisiana Balance of State Continuum of Care (LA BOSCOC), has released this Request for Proposals (RFP) in advance of the anticipated Funding Year 2019 (FY 2019) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Under the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA, LHC expects to apply for up to $450,000 in funding for a new project under the Coordinated Entry project type. This funding will be used to create and operate Coordinated Entry Access Points in three Regions: Houma, Natchitoches/Sabine, and Plaquemines/St. Bernard.

If LHC receives funding for this new project, it will select one sub-recipient from each of the above Regions to receive up to $150,000 (during the project’s first year and renewable each subsequent year) to operate the Coordinated Entry Access Point in that Region.

This RFP is intended to generate a list of eligible and interested organizations in Houma, Natchitoches/Sabine, and Plaquemines/St. Bernard. LHC expects to select three eligible organizations — one from each Region — to serve as sub-recipients under its proposed new project.

Click here to access the full RFP, including information about requirements and eligible expenses.

How to Apply

Proposals are created and submitted online through Google Forms: https://goo.gl/forms/lIfNnwBrmYTedrjt1

Applicants that cannot submit their proposal electronically may request a waiver to submit their proposal via postal mail instead. Waiver requests can be submitted to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, at glevine@lhc.la.gov or by postal mail:

Continuum of Care Manager
Louisiana Housing Corporation
1690 N. Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Timeline and Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted by March 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

The LA BOSCOC encourages potential applicants to attend its Coordinated Entry Request for Interest Webinar, which will be held on February 6, 2018 from 10 AM to noon. The webinar’s details, including its login information, will be announced via the LA BOSCOC email list and on the LA BOSCOC website at https://laboscoc.org/new-blog/.

Questions

Questions can be submitted to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, at glevine@lhc.la.gov.

Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 Released for Public Comment

Overview

The Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures Working Group voted unanimously by email on 1/11/19 to release the draft LA BOSCOC Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 for public comment and further review by the Coordinated Entry Committee.

The LA BOSCOC Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 can be found here.

Changelog

This document is a comprehensive rewrite of the v1.X Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures; you are encouraged to read the entire document.

A selection of core changes include:

  • Document has been rewritten to provide specific guidance to each project type (broken down by funding source) regarding which components of the Coordinated Entry System it is required to implement;

  • The Coordinated Entry process has been broken down into several stages (“components”), each of which has specific actions and requirements;

  • A new component, Diversion, has been added:

    • Diversion occurs at the time a person initially presents for housing to a Coordinated Entry Access Point or outreach worker;

    • All Access Points and outreach workers are required to provide Diversion;

    • Diversion means “a one-time service, recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database, in which a case manager or outreach worker attempts to return a person to housing before enter an emergency shelter or spend the night on the streets or in place not meant for human habitation”;

    • Diversion is intended to be our CoC’s first response to people experiencing homelessness; it will reduce the number of people experiencing first time homelessness by ensuring people who can return to housing with few barriers do so as quickly as possible;

  • A new component, Intervention, has been added;

    • Intervention occurs any time after a person initially presents for housing to an Access Point or outreach worker;

    • All Access Points and outreach workers are required to provide Intervention;

    • Intervention means “a service, recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database, in which a case manager or outreach worker attempts to return a person to housing via their existing support networks and/or other non-permanent housing benefits before they are referred to the Coordinated Entry Prioritization List”;

  • The Coordinated Entry Prioritization List will be kept in a database outside HMIS and will draw referrals from HMIS, HMIS-comparable databases, the RRH to PSH Bridge, and the Emergency Transfer Plan;

    • HMIS referrals will be taken directly from HMIS by the LA BOSCOC’s HMIS Specialist (i.e. our current practice);

    • HMIS-comparable databases will need to refer participants by email or fax to the HMIS Specialist using a dummy name for participants to ensure confidentiality is maintained;

    • The RRH to PSH Bridge allows RRH projects to — rarely — request that the CoC Manager approve transferring an eligible participant from RRH to PSH;

    • The Emergency Transfer Plan allows participants who are fleeing domestic violence and who are already enrolled in a TH, RRH, or PSH project to be quickly transferred to another TH, RRH, or PSH project in a different Region;

  • Participants cannot be added to the Coordinated Entry Prioritization List until they meet BOTH of the following criteria:

    • The participant has received at least one instance of Intervention (recorded in HMIS or an HMIS-comparable database);

    • At least 30 days have passed since the participant initially presented for housing (measured as 30 days from the participant’s date of entry into the Coordinated Entry project in HMIS or using an equivalent measure in an HMIS-comparable database);

      • RRH to PSH Bridge and Emergency Transfer Plan participants do not need to meet either of the above criteria.

Public Comment Period and Process

The LA BOSCOC is accepting comments on the LA BOSCOC Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.0 through 4 PM on Friday, January 25.

Public comments can be submitted by email to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, at glevine@lhc.la.gov and/or to Laura Martinez, Coordinated Entry Committee Chair, at laura.martinez@startcorp.org.

The LA BOSCOC will collate and publish a de-identified list of comments after the public comment period ends.

Steps Going Forward

After the public comment period ends, the Coordinated Entry Committee will consider all public comments, recommend any changes to the document, determine a date on which these policies will take effect, and refer the final document to the LA BOSCOC Board for approval.

The LA BOSCOC Board will review the document and vote to approve the document or return it to the Coordinated Entry Committee for further revision.

The Collaborative Applicant, in partnership with the Coordinated Entry Committee, will provide training throughout February on the new Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures, including in-person training and webinars.

The LA BOSCOC projects that the new Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures will take effect on or around March 1, 2019.

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes - 12/19/18

Overview

The Board met by phone to discuss several issues related to the LA BOSCOC governance structure and to funding in 2019.

Attendance

Voting Attendance [listed as Name, Organization (Seat) (Role, if any)]

  • Winona Connor, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Louisiana Housing Corporation) (Chair)

  • Michell Brown, Louisiana Department of Health (Louisiana Department of Health) (Vice Chair)

  • Eric Gammons, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (HMIS Lead)

  • Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education (Louisiana Department of Education)

  • Addie Duval, Start Corporation (Baton Rouge Region)

  • Brooke Guidry, Start Corporation (Houma Region)

  • Tarek Polite, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury (Lake Charles Region)

  • Gail Gowland, St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program (Plaquemines/St. Bernard Region)

Non-Voting Attendance (listed as Name, Organization, (Role, if any)]

  • Gay Owens, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Recording Secretary)

  • Gordon Levine, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Continuum of Care Manager)

HMIS NOFA

HUD recently released a Homeless Management System (HMIS) Capacity Building Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): https://www.hudexchange.info/news/hmis-capacity-building-project-nofa/

This NOFA will provide one-time funding to CoCs to improve their HMIS capacity and/or to consolidate their HMIS operations with other CoCs. This funding is specifically targeted to CoCs that HUD identified as having HMIS systems in need of improvement (and at CoCs they intend to consolidate with).

The Louisiana Housing Corporation, as the Collaborative Applicant for the LA BOSCOC, intends to apply for funding under this NOFA to consolidate its HMIS operations with the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs, both of which HUD identified as target CoCs for this funding.

If funding is received, the Louisiana Housing Corporation will become the HMIS Lead for the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs as well as the LA BOSCOC, and the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs will begin HMIS operations under the LA BOSCOC’s existing structure. The Louisiana Housing Corporation also intends to use some funding provided under this grant to improve its existing structure, including via technical assistance and system work in ServicePoint.

As part of the submission process for this NOFA, the CoC General Membership will need to approve the consolidation. Look for that vote to be held via email in early January 2019.

Possible CoC Mergers

The LA BOSCOC continues to pursue mergers with other interested CoCs in Louisiana. While the LA BOSCOC has nothing to announce at this time, it is optimistic that it will merge with another CoC in 2019, much as it did with the Houma CoC in 2018, the Baton Rouge CoC in 2016, and the Southwest CoC (Lake Charles) in 2015.

If another CoC decides it would like to merge with the LA BOSCOC, the CoC General Membership will need to approve the merger. The LA BOSCOC expects that if a merger will occur in 2019, the vote will be held via email in the first quarter of 2019.

Coordinated Entry Funding Through the 2019 CoC Program NOFA

Under the Funding Year 2019 Continuum of Care Program Notice of Funding Availability (FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA), which the LA BOSCOC expects HUD to release in mid-2019, the LA BOSCOC anticipates receiving approximately $1.05 million in new funding.

As in 2018, the LA BOSCOC expects to prioritize this funding by Region based on their level of need (i.e. Point in Time Count data), with each Region receiving priority for, at minimum, $150,000. Priority funding will be available to each Region’s high-scoring new projects first. Any funding not claimed by high-scoring new projects will then be awarded to projects irrespective of their Region.

For the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA, for those Regions that do not currently have a CoC Program-funded Coordinated Entry project, the LA BOSCOC will instead guarantee $150,000 to those Regions exclusively to fund a new Coordinated Entry Access Point in each Region. (This amount will replace the $150,000 that is competitively available.)

This applies to the following Regions: Houma, Natchitoches/Sabine, and Plaquemines/St. Bernard.

In early 2019, the Louisiana Housing Corporation will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify one organization in each Region that will receive these funds and operate the new Coordinated Entry Access Point. Selected organizations will be eligible to receive Coordinated Entry funds as sub-recipients of a new Coordinated Entry project that the Louisiana Housing Corporation will submit under the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA.

The Board voted unanimously to proceed with this plan.

Additional Coordinated Entry Funding Discussions

Several members of the Board have created a working group to explore dedicating additional funding from the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA to expanding Coordinated Entry operations across the LA BOSCOC, including a dedicated call-in number for Coordinated Entry.

CoC Board Officer Structure

Currently, the Board Chair is always the executive director of the Louisiana Housing Authority, and the Board Vice Chair is chosen by the Chair.

The Board discussed changing the above structure to a structure whereby the Board would elect its Chair and Vice Chair.

In a straw poll, the Board voted unanimously in favor of switching to an election-based structure.

As the Board officer structure is written into the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter, the CoC Manager will propose amending the Governance Charter to change the Board officer structure at the next meeting of the CoC General Membership.

Upcoming CoC General Membership Meeting

The LA BOSCOC will likely host its next CoC General Membership meeting on April 1, 2019, in Baton Rouge. Mark your calendars! More details as the date approaches.

LA BOSCOC Governance Charter v3.6 Released

Overview

The CoC full membership voted by email between October 17, 2018 and October 31, 2018 to amend the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter to match the details listed here under Option #3: Fewer CoC Full Membership Meetings + New Quarterly Regional Meetings: https://laboscoc.org/new-blog/2018/10/18/la-boscoc-board-outcomes-101818

The vote was cast using the Alternate Voting system described here: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/alternative-vote/

71% of CoC members in Good Standing (20 out of 28) cast ballots. More than 50% of those ballots ranked Option #3 as their First Preference, meaning that Option #3 was selected without a second round of preference-ranking. The full vote broke down as follows:

Governance Charter Update Votes 10-30-18.png

Outcomes

Please review the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter v3.6 for the full list of changes.

A general overview of changes is as follows:

  • Two meetings of the CoC full membership per year. One will be held in person; one will be held by webinar. (The 2019 in-person meeting will likely be held directly before the April 2019 Statewide Homelessness Conference.)

  • Each Region now has a Regional Subcommittee (e.g. the Lake Charles Subcommittee, Natchitoches/Sabine Subcommittee). Each Regional Subcommittee is chaired by that Region’s Board member.

  • Good Standing requires each member to belong to at least one Regional Subcommittee. More details on subcommittee registration will be forthcoming soon.

  • Good Standing requires members to attend at least 1 meeting of the full membership each year. Reduced from 3.

  • Good Standing requires members to attend at least 2 meetings of their Regional Subcommittee each year.

  • Regional Subcommittees are required to meet on a quarterly basis.

  • Regional Subcommittees are required by the Charter to develop a written regional outreach plan and to coordinate that Region’s PIT Count.

Documents

The LA BOSCOC Governance Charter v3.6 can be found here.

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes: 10/17/18

Overview

The Board voted by email on 10/17/18 to propose several new meeting structure options to the CoC full membership. The Board also recommended releasing data from the LA BOSCOC Monthly Report privately to each individual organization for preparatory purposes before releasing the LA BOSCOC Monthly Report and its data publicly at a future time to be determined.

Voting Attendance

  • Michell Brown, Louisiana Department of Health (Vice Chair)

  • Addie Duval, Baton Rouge

  • Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education

  • Brooke Guidry, Houma

  • Eric Gammons, HMIS Lead

  • Mitzi Harris, Natchitoches/Sabine

  • Tarek Polite, Lake Charles

Propose New Meeting Structure

The LA BOSCOC voted 7-0 to propose that the CoC full membership consider revising the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter to alter its schedule of CoC full membership meetings.

The Collaborative Applicant will call a vote of the CoC full membership via email to consider the schedules detailed below. The vote will use the Alternative Voting system described here (sometimes described as “Instant Run-Off” or “Ranked Choice” voting): https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/alternative-vote/

Option #1: Keep the current structure

  • Meetings of the CoC full membership will be held quarterly;

  • Some meetings will be held in person, rotating equitably between CoC Regions; others will be held by webinar;

  • Meetings will have no specific Regional component;

  • Good Standing: members must attend 3 of the most recent 4 meetings of the CoC full membership.

Option #2: Current Practice + Regional Breakout Sessions

  • Meetings of the CoC full membership will be held quarterly;

  • Some meetings will be held in person, rotating equitably between CoC Regions; others will be held by webinar;

  • In-person meetings will included Regional Breakout Sessions wherein each Region’s constituency can separate out and discuss local issues;

  • Good Standing: members must attend 3 of the most recent 4 meetings of the CoC full membership.

Option #3: Fewer CoC Full Membership Meetings + New Quarterly Regional Meetings

  • Meetings of the CoC full membership will be held twice annually;

    • One will be scheduled, if possible, before/during/after an event that CoC members are already likely to be attending (e.g. the statewide homelessness conference);

    • One will be scheduled, if possible, by webinar;

  • The CoC will create subcommittees for each CoC Region, and each subcommittee will be required to meet quarterly;

    • Each subcommittee will have specific responsibilities related to coordinating, at minimum, street outreach and the PIT Count;

    • Each subcommittee will be chaired by the Board representative from each Region;

  • Good Standing:

    • Must attend at least one meeting of the CoC full membership;

    • Must attend at least two meetings of a Regional subcommittee.

LA BOSCOC Monthly Report

The Collaborative Applicant has developed the LA BOSCOC Monthly Report: a mechanism for reporting on vital statistics for all CoC Program and ESG projects in HMIS, including participant intake/exit and bed utilization rates, for each month and for the year as a whole.

The Collaborative Applicant intends to compile and release this data publicly on a monthly basis.

However, at the Board’s suggestion, the Collaborative Applicant will begin releasing data privately to each organization in question to acclimate each organization to its data. The Collaborative Applicant will continue releasing data privately until it is satisfied that organizations have reached an acceptable level of comfort and familiarity with their data, at which point the Collaborative Applicant will, at its discretion, begin releasing the LA BOSCOC Monthly Report publicly.

General Meeting Recap: 10/9/18

Overview

The LA BOSCOC’s last General Meeting for 2018 was held on Tuesday, October 9. 75 people were in attendance representing more than 50 organizations.

Attendance

75 people attended the meeting from more than 50 organizations.

Due to a technical glitch, meeting attendance was not saved or tabulated by CoC Staff. Therefore, for the purposes of meeting Good Standing requirements, all organizations in the LA BOSCOC are considered to have attended this meeting. Thank you for your understanding as CoC staff work to deliver meetings via alternative platforms!

Highlights

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW)

In recognition of NHHAW, CoC members will be hosting breakfast in Baton Rouge on November 16 to raise community awareness of hunger and homelessness, to create an opportunity for stakeholders to ‘break bread’ with people in need, and to generate funds for local organizations working to ease hunger and end homelessness.

The event will be hosted by St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge (SVDP) and proceeds will benefit SVDP and It Takes a Village.

More details forthcoming as the date approaches.

Point in Time (PIT) Count

The January 2019 PIT Count is coming sooner than we think!

This year’s PIT Count will be similar to previous years in most respects. The CoC will also be targeting 1-2 rural communities for an intensive look at rural PIT Count best practices.

Each Region will be conducting its own PIT Count. By default, each Region’s PIT Captain is its elected Board member, although Board members may designate another person to serve in their place. (PIT Captain designations are due October 17.)

More details as the PIT Count approaches.

State Emergency Solutions Grant

Awards for the 2018 NOFA should be distributed by November 2018.

Coordinated Entry

Coordinated Entry has been fully implemented for nearly a year. In October and November 2018, the Coordinated Entry Committee will be working with CoC staff to revise the Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures.

HMIS

HMIS training for PATH providers will be available via webinar on October 16, 17, and 23.

RHY uploads are due December 31.

System administrator training for HMIS administrators is coming soon (date TBD) in Baton Rouge.

FY 2018 CoC Program NOFA Review

Please refer to the PowerPoint Presentation used during the webinar.

Annual CoC Priorities

Please refer to the Board Outcomes 10/5/18 post: https://laboscoc.org/new-blog/2018/10/5/la-boscoc-board-outcomes-10518

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes: 10/5/18

Overview

The Board met to discuss and approve priorities for the coming year (approx. October 2018 through May 2019 or the beginning of the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition). It also discussed and approved the inclusion of “special prioritized population” language in the Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures.

Voting Attendance

  • Nicole Sweazy, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Chair)

  • Michell Brown, Louisiana Department of Health (Vice Chair)

  • Eric Gammons, HMIS Lead

  • Addie Duval, Baton Rouge

  • Brooke Guidry, Houma

  • Tarek Polite, Lake Charles

  • Gail Gowland, Plaquemines/St. Bernard

Non-Voting Attendance

  • Gordon Levine, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Continuum of Care Manager)

  • Chelscie Irby, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Coordinated Entry Specialist)

Priority List for the Coming Year

The Board 7-0 to approve the following list of priorities for the coming year. This list is intended to be a high-level view of the CoC’s priorities, not an exhaustive list of its actions. Items are listed in no particular order.

Coordinated Entry System

The CoC will review and enhance its Coordinated Entry System (CES) in the following ways:

  • Diversion will be the first and most frequent intervention for people experiencing homelessness. In a given year, 75% of people experiencing homelessness will return to housing either independently or with diversion case management, while the LA BOSCOC has housing resources (TH, RRH, PSH) for only 5%. Diversion will be the first and most frequent intervention for people experiencing homelessness; for the overwhelming majority, it will be the only intervention they need to return to housing.

  • Outreach, emergency shelter, and CES project staff will be the primary providers of diversion. The CoC will reconceptualize its outreach, emergency shelter, and CES project staff as the CoC’s first responders to homelessness. These staff will receive training in providing diversion. They will also be empowered to identify those participants who are most likely to require advanced interventions and refer those participants to the CES Prioritization List.

  • Fewer participants will be referred to the CES Prioritization List; those who are referred will be much more likely to receive housing. Currently, all participants who present as experiencing homelessness are immediately assessed using the VI-SPDAT questionnaire and added to the CES Prioritization List. However, 75% of those participants will return to housing either independently or with diversion. Only participants who have been identified by outreach, emergency shelter, and CES project staff as needing advanced interventions will be assessed using the VI-SPDAT questionnaire and added to the CES Prioritization List. (All participants will still be entered into HMIS.)

  • The CoC will develop best practices and train staff on how to provide diversion. CoC staff will work in partnership with TA providers, other CoCs, and housing and services providers within the CoC to answer the question, “What does good diversion look like?” CoC staff will provide diversion training to outreach, emergency shelter, and CES project staff, while recognizing that this training is a work in progress — a multi-year plan to improve how we serve people experiencing homelessness.

  • The CES Policies and Procedures will be revised to make them a “working document.” The CES Policies and Procedures will become a clear, user-friendly document that any project working with people experiencing homelessness can use to understand how they fit into CES.

Point in Time (PIT) Count

The CoC will improve its January 2019 PIT count in the following ways:

  • CoC staff will work with other CoCs statewide to improve the PIT survey form.

  • CoC staff and local partners will work to re-incorporate several organizations that participated in January 2017 but did not participate in January 2018.

  • CoC staff and local partners will work to incorporate organizations that enter data into HMIS but have never participated in the PIT Count.

  • CoC staff will develop best practices for the PIT Count in rural parishes. Leading up to the January 2019 PIT Count, the CoC will identify 1-2 rural parishes for an intensive PIT Count “deep dive,” working with local stakeholders to ensure their January 2019 PIT Count is as comprehensive as possible. Then, using those experiences, the CoC will develop a toolkit for other rural parishes to implement in January 2020.

Monitoring and Technical Assistance

The CoC will enhance its monitoring and technical assistance provisions in the following ways:

  • In calendar year 2019, CoC staff will attempt to monitor all CoC Program projects before the end of May 2019. This will enable projects to incorporate feedback more meaningfully into current programming. It will also enable the CoC to incorporate monitoring outcomes into the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition.

  • CoC staff will provide technical assistance to all CoC Program and ESG projects on an ongoing basis for CES implementation.

  • CoC staff will implement a new CoC Program project monitoring tool. The new monitoring tool will capture the same information as the existing monitoring tool (which was itself closely derived from the HUD monitoring tool). However, the new tool will use simplified language and a clarified structure to make the monitoring process more transparent and less challenging to engage. CoC staff will also encourage projects to use the new tool to self-assess on a quarterly or bi-annual to ensure they are meeting compliance requirements.

  • CoC staff will emphasize technical assistance as well as compliance during monitoring. CoC staff will be working with projects to both establish their compliance and assist them in becoming stand-out performers locally and nationally.

Grant Writing Capacity

The CoC will work to improve its grant writing capacity in advance of the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition in partnership with CoC staff and technical assistance providers. More details coming soon.

Local Capacity

The CoC will work to foster local capacity, incorporate local strengths, and address local concerns in each CoC Region by developing and providing support for local stakeholder communities. More details coming soon.

Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v1.1

The Board voted 7-0 to pre-approve Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v1.1, which empowers the Board to designate “special priority populations” that are referred to resources ahead of other populations. This document will be released once the Coordinated Entry Committee also approves it.

CoC Program Consolidated Application and Priority List - Completed

Overview

The LA BOSCOC has published its completed Consolidated Application and Project Priority List for the FY 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Documents

The Consolidated Application can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/9tpy0mv9m9jccn4ittdjxrxniexc56

The Project Priority List can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/5g1mcserpmrpob15w92ef4geh85z96

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes: 9/14/18

Overview

The Board voted by email on 9/14/18 to approve the completed Consolidated Application and Priority List for the FY 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Attendance

  • Michell Brown, Louisiana Department of Health (Vice Chair)

  • Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education

  • Eric Gammons, HMIS Lead

  • Addie Duval, Baton Rouge

  • Brooke Guidry, Houma

  • Tarek Polite, Lake Charles

  • Gail Gowland, Plaquemines/St. Bernard

Consolidated Application and Priority List

The Board voted 7-0 to approve the Consolidated Application and Priority List for submission to HUD.

The Consolidated Application can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/9tpy0mv9m9jccn4ittdjxrxniexc56

The Project Priority List can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/5g1mcserpmrpob15w92ef4geh85z96

CoC Program Consolidated Application and Project Priority List Published

Overview

The LA BOSCOC has published its Consolidated Application and Project Priority List for the FY 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

The LA BOSCOC will accept public comments on the Consolidated Application and Project Priority List through 12 PM CST (noon) on Friday, September 14.

You can submit comments to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, at 225-242-1388 or glevine@lhc.la.gov.

Documents

The Consolidated Application can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/y61ocr9qbgbxbpv1zzuwmtxrnyt0dh

The Project Priority List can be downloaded here: https://laboscoc.org/s/jxdnh32yer2jhslebyox68ltvxa8c3

CoC Program Project Ranking

Overview

The LA BOSCOC has released its Project Ranking for the FY 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

The NOFA requires each CoC to rank its projects in order of funding priority and separate them into two Tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2. HUD prioritizes funding to all Tier 1 projects nationwide before funding Tier 2 projects.

For more information about the LA BOSCOC’s scoring, rating, and ranking methodology, please refer to the Project Rating, Ranking, and Selection policy here: https://laboscoc.org/fy18-coc-program-competition

Information about Project Performance

Following the end of the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition, CoC staff will provide feedback for all new and renewal projects that met all LA BOSCOC Threshold Criteria in the following ways:

  • During the LA BOSCOC General Meeting on October 9, 2018, CoC staff will give ‘big picture’ feedback: areas where projects generally performed well or need improvement and changes that CoC staff intend to implement in subsequent years to improve the scoring process;

  • Following the LA BOSCOC General Meeting, the LA BOSCOC will release scoring sheets for each project that was scored, including information about how each project scored compared to other comparable projects in the CoC;

  • CoC staff will schedule site visits to discuss scoring and performance with any projects/agencies that submitted an application and that are interested in further information, including how to improve their performance in subsequent years. CoC staff plan to schedule these site visits between October 2018 and February 2019 and estimates each visit will last approximately 2 hours.

Documents

The LA BOSCOC’s Project Ranking for the FY 2018 CoC Program NOFA can be found here: https://laboscoc.org/fy18-coc-program-competition

Written Standards Updated

Overview

The LA BOSCOC Board has voted to approve a new version of its Written Standards, the Louisiana Balance of State Continuum of Care Program Standards (v0.9).

Vote Details

The vote was proposed by the Continuum of Care Manager. The Written Standards were reviewed and passed up to the board by the Written Standards Committee. The LA BOSCOC Board voted via email. The voting period was 9/10/18 to 9/11/18. The vote passed 6-0.

Changelog

The following changes were approved:

  • Updated the geography covered by the Written Standards to refer to the Governance Charter;

  • Added non-discrimination requirements language;

  • Added language regarding education services for youth and children;

  • Created an Emergency Transfer Policy to meet Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requirements;

  • Reformatted to require only the Board Chair or Vice-Chair’s signature, not signatures from the entire Board membership.

Document

The Written Standards (v0.9) can be found here: https://laboscoc.org/policies-and-procedures

Governance Charter Updated

Overview

The LA BOSCOC General Membership has voted to approve the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter (v3.5).

Vote Details

The LA BOSCOC General Membership voted via email. The voting period was 9/6/18 to 9/10/18. The vote passed 10-0.

Changelog

The following changes were approved:

  • Created a new designated Board seat for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services;

  • Created a new designated Board seat for the Louisiana Department of Corrections;

  • Removed the designated Board seat for Southeast Legal Aid Services (this formalizes their withdrawal from the Board, which occurred earlier this year);

  • Renamed the Board of Directors to the Board, matching national naming conventions.

Document

The LA BOSCOC Governance Charter (v3.5) can be found here: https://laboscoc.org/policies-and-procedures

LA BOSCOC General Meeting (Webinar): October 9

Overview

The next LA BOSCOC General Meeting will held on October 9 from 10 AM to noon CST. As part of our ongoing efforts to make LA BOSCOC meetings more accessible across the CoC's geography, this General Meeting will, for the first time, be held as a webinar.

Members will not be requested to use webcameras during this webinar. There will be opportunities for members to submit questions/comments and participate in discussions via their keyboards or their microphones/headsets/telephones.

As with all General Meetings, this General Meeting will count toward your organization's Good Standing requirements.

Details

  • Who: Open to the public; organizations in the LA BOSCOC that are/wish to be funded by the CoC Program or ESG must attend 3 out of 4 quarterly General Meetings per year
     
  • When: Tuesday, October 9, from 10 AM to noon CST
     
  • Where: Webinar: log in here, then follow the prompts on screen to connect your audio: https://louisianahousingcorp.globalmeet.com/LouisianaHousingAuthority
     
  • How do I Register?: There is no registration process; just open the link during the LA BOSCOC General Meeting to attend!
     
  • How do I Get Good Standing Credit for Attending?: The Continuum of Care Manager will call roll during the webinar.

Proposed Agenda

A final agenda will be distributed in advance of the call to the LA BOSCOC email list.

Items on the proposed agenda include:

  • CoC Program NOFA: what we learned, what we hope to do next year, overview of project application scoring and ranking
     
  • Roadmap for 2018-19: the CoC's priorities for the next 12 months (member participation very much encouraged!)
     
  • Coordinated Entry: what's working, what isn't, and plans to improve the Coordinated Entry System

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you have a question/comment or would like to submit an item for the agenda, please contact Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, at glevine@lhc.la.gov or 225-242-1388.

FY18 State ESG NOFA - Question II.A.1

Overview

The FY18 State ESG NOFA asks (under II.A.1, Proposal Narrative Instructions - General Narrative):

1. Identify any performance objectives that are tracked within your CoC that you can apply to the proposed projects set forth.

2. Describe your CoC's strategic planning goals and objectives. How will ESG funds be used to support those efforts?

Regional applicants for State ESG in the LA BOSCOC are encouraged to use the following information as a starting point to address these elements.

Performance Objectives

The LA BOSCOC's performance objectives are codified in two places: (1) its Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures and (2) its CoC Program Scoring Tool Detailed Instructions.

Coordinated Entry

The LA BOSCOC's Coordinated Entry System (CES)'s performance objectives are to make homelessness:

  • Rare: every year, first time homelessness from all sources except natural disasters will decline by 10% from the previous year;
  • Brief: mean length of time (LOT) homeless will be 20 days or fewer, AND every year, mean LOT homeless will decline 10% from the previous year;
  • Non-Recurring: in a given year, returns to homelessness from permanent housing (i.e. returns to homelessness within 24 months) will be 10% or fewer AND returns to homelessness within 12 months will be 5% or fewer.

These objectives are intentionally aspirational and based on national standards for high-performing communities.

CoC Program Scoring Tools Detailed Instructions

The LA BOSCOC's Scoring Tools Detailed Instructions outlines the LA BOSCOC's metrics for assessing its funded CoC Program projects and defines performance objectives for each metric. These metrics were chosen because they underpin the success of both individual projects and the CoC as a whole in ending homelessness.

They are:

  • % of Participants Exiting to or Maintaining Permanent Housing: to receive full points, a project must ensure 90% of its participants exit to/maintain permanent housing -- OR, if the project serves victims of domestic violence, ensure 80% of its participants exit to/maintain permanent housing.
  • % of Participants Exiting to Shelter/Streets/Unknown: to receive full points, a project must ensure it exits 5% or fewer of its participants to emergency shelter, to the streets, or to an unknown location.
  • % of Participants Who Increased Employment Income at Exit: to receive full points, a project must ensure 25% of more of its participants increased their employment income at exit.
  • % of Participants Who Increased Non-Employment Income at Exit: to receive full points, a project must ensure 25% of more of its participants increased their non-employment income at exit.
  • % of Participants Who Had Non-Cash Benefits at Exit: to receive full points, a project must ensure 25% of more of its participants was receiving 1 or more non-cash benefits at exit.
  • Utilization Rate: to receive full points, projects must have a bed utilization rate of 90% or higher on the date of the most recent Housing Inventory Count (HIC).

LA BOSCOC Board Votes - Week of 8/30/18

Overview

The Board voted by email during the week of August 30, 2018 on the following issues related to the FY18 State ESG NOFA:

  • Good Standing waivers for all organizations that provided sufficient justification (approved 8-0);
  • Good Standing waivers for all organizations that did not provide sufficient justification, including those that provided no justification or did not apply in the specified form and/or timeframe (denied 0-5);
  • Using Good Standing waivers from the FY18 State ESG NOFA to fulfill the same criteria for the FY18 CoC Program RFP (approved 5-0).

Voting Corpus

  • Nicole Sweazy, Louisiana Housing Authority (chair)
  • Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education
  • Eric Gammons, HMIS Lead
  • Addie Duval, Baton Rouge
  • Brooke Guidry, Houma
  • Tarek Polite, Lake Charles
  • Mitzi Harris, Natchitoches/Sabine
  • Gail Gowland, Plaquemines/St. Bernard