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.
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
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.
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.