Policies and Procedures

Public Comment: Written Standards (Version 2.0)

Overview

Purpose

The LA BOSCOC is seeking public feedback on the revisions proposed in its Written Standards (Version 2.0).

The Written Standards guide projects that provide housing and services to people experiencing homelessness in the LA BOSCOC. They establish community-wide expectations, minimum standards for project quality, and transparency about fund expenditures.

All CoC Program and ESG projects are required to implement these Written Standards.

Certain items have been highlighted for specific attention. These items were highlighted because they are either a significant change from previous practices or will significantly impact one or more project types.

Changes

A full list of changes can be found in Appendix C, “Change Log.”

All CoC Program and ESG projects are impacted by these changes. The LA BOSCOC advises all providers to carefully review them.

Accessing the document

Click here to download the Written Standards (Version 2.0) draft.

How to provide public comment

Please submit public comments by email to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager, or Addie Duval, Written Standards Committee Chair.

Public comments will be accepted through 4 PM on September 18, 2019.

Public Comment: Homeless Emergency Plan (Version 1.0)

Overview

Purpose

The LA BOSCOC is seeking public feedback on a new policy, the Homeless Emergency Plan, which provides a structure for — and certain requirements related to — how, at minimum, ESG- and CoC Program-funded projects prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters.

Accessing the document

Click here to download the Homeless Emergency Plan (Version 1.0) draft.

How to provide public comment

Please submit public comments by email to Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager.

Public comments will be accepted through 4 PM on September 4, 2019.

Public Comment: Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures Version 2.1

Overview

Purpose

The LA BOSCOC is seeking public feedback on the revisions proposed in its Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures Version 2.1.

Changes

A full list of changes can be found in the new “Appendix D: Change Log” section of the document.

Key changes include:

  • The Board is now empowered to exempt certain older CoC Program projects from some of the document’s requirements;

  • People fleeing human trafficking are no longer required to receive Intervention or wait 30 days before receiving the VI-SPDAT and access to the Prioritization List;

  • The document clarifies how Access Points should attempt to recontact participants and when they should exit uncontactable participants from the BoS CES project in HMIS;

  • The document outlines how projects dedicated to people experiencing chronic homelessness (i.e. primarily PSH projects) should fill beds if no people experiencing chronic homelessness can be contacted.

Accessing the document

Click here to download the Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures v2.1 draft.

How to provide public comment

Please submit public comments by email to Aundrea Braniff, Coordinated Entry Specialist.

Public comments will be accepted through 4 PM on August 30, 2019.

Coordinated Entry Committee Outcomes - Week of July 29

Overview

The Coordinated Entry Committee voted by Slack throughout the week of July 29, 2019.

Attendance

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

  • Layla Pedigo, United Way of Southwest Louisiana

  • Kristin Brooks, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

  • Alex Hamilton, Hamilton Investment Properties Community Development Organization

  • Edna Semar, ASSIST Agency

  • Chelsea McCoy, Empower 225

  • Gail Gowland, St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program

  • Keneisha Keener, Volunteers of America - Greater Baton Rouge

Vote: Coordinated Entry for People Fleeing Human Trafficking

The DV Tiger Team voted unanimously to propose the following amendment to the Coordinated Entry Policies and Procedures:

People fleeing human trafficking (including but not limited to sex trafficking and labor trafficking) should not be required to receive the Intervention Component or wait 30 days before receiving the Assessment Component and access to the Prioritization List.

The Coordinated Entry Committee voted unanimously to adopt the DV Tiger Team’s recommendation and propose it to the Board for final approval.

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.

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 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.

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

HMIS Comparable Databases Policy

Overview

Most projects funded by the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, and certain other funding sources that fund activities for people experiencing homelessness are required to record and maintain their participants' data in ServicePoint, the LA BOSCOC's designated HMIS.

Victim services providers and legal services providers are exempt from the above requirement. Instead, they are each required to establish and operate a comparable database that complies with HUD's HMIS requirements.

Victim Services Providers

Victim services providers that are funded by the CoC Program are required to use EmpowerDB as their HMIS-comparable database.

Certain other funding sources, including the ESG Program as funded by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, may require victim services providers to use EmpowerDB as their HMIS-comparable database. Please check with your program managers for more information.

Legal Services Providers

Legal services providers that are funded by the CoC Program are not required to use a specific database as their HMIS-comparable database.

More Information

For more information, including implementation timeline requirements, please refer to the actual policy as posted on the Members section of the LA BOSCOC website.

LA BOSCOC Governance Charter Updated

Overview

The LA BOSCOC Governance Charter has been updated to version 3.4. You can download a copy here.

Changelog

Created the Regional Applicants Section

  • Each Region can elect a Regional Applicant to apply to funding sources that require a limited number of applications from each Region (for example: ESG, PATH);

Created the Letter of Certification Section

  • Specifies when (and for what reason) organizations can request a Letter of Certification to apply for various funding sources;
  • Specifies when (and for what reasons) organizations can request a waiver from the Good Standing requirement (organizations cannot receive a Letter of Certification if they are not in Good Standing).

Empowered the Board of Directors to create additional Good Standing requirements

  • The Board can now create additional Good Standing requirements without needing to amend the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter