HOT Housing is Here!

HOT Splash Screen 6The Housing Options Tool (HOT) is now live! Many of you have seen demonstrations of the HOT over the past few months, so you know that it provides an online venue to find housing for persons with long histories of homelessness – based on their preferences, program eligibility, income requirements, and desired level of services.

Almost 50 programs are participating in HOT, and search results can be refined based upon more than a dozen filters! Even better: the tool includes an online Vacancy Reporting form so that any program can post and publicize a housing opportunity in real time, as well as an Applications Warehouse where housing application materials for all listed programs can be downloaded.

Over the next few months we will be refining the tool, increasing provider participation, and incorporating the use of the VI-SPDAT, a proven screening tool. These enhancements will be made by October 1st, 2014, when we launch our Coordinated Assessment initiative! Until then, please try out the tool and let us know what works for you, what maybe doesn’t work, and what we may have missed.

Upcoming Webinar: HUD and USICH: Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing – July 22, 2014 – 1:30 PM EDT

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) are sponsoring a webinar on July 22, 2014, which will focus on the core principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing. The webinar will be presented by Ann Oliva, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs at HUD, and Richard Cho, the Senior Policy Director with USICH.

Participants will learn:

  • Core Components of the Housing First approach
  • Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing as a housing model
  • How to implement a Housing First and/or Rapid Re-Housing
  • Why both of these interventions are critical to the efforts to end homelessness

Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM EDT


Minutes – Unaccompanied Youth Committee 7/15/2014

In attendance: Shannon Barry/Springfield Public Schools, Sarah Kline/North Adams Public Schools, Jean Rogers/CHD, Lisa Goldsmith/DIAL/SELF, Lizzy Ortiz/ City of Springfield, Karen Tracanna/DYS

General Updates 

Sarah stated that North Adams is opening their Section 8 list today, but only for today. Sarah stated their homeless student numbers went down slightly (by about 4) this year and that the number is around 80 for just N. Adams.

Special Commission-Lisa stated that she reached out to Liz Rogers/ICHH and Kelly Turley/MA Coalition for the Homeless about the Youth Count and was told that they will be presenting the data at the Special Commission meeting next week. Lisa stated that the Commission will be completing a report this summer, which will be specifically focused on the Youth Count. Continue reading

Letter from Ann Oliva to Grant Recipients, CoC Leaders and Stakeholders

Grant Recipients, CoC Leaders and Stakeholders –

Now that we have announced the awards for FY 2013, I wanted to provide an update on key initiatives and issues that impact the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS), Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients, and the people whom we all serve.

First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge all of your hard work, commitment, and dedication to ending homelessness – and to personally say thank you for all that you do. I know from personal experience how hard it is to have funding reduced and to make really tough choices at the local level. I also know that many of you are struggling to continue to do what we do best – serve people experiencing homelessness – in the face of some significant resource challenges. Continue reading