Coordinated Entry

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.

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.