Category Archives: Best Practices

October 16 Housing First Training Agenda

Registration for the October 16 training event at Holyoke Community College has been open for a few weeks, and many have already registered.  For those of you waiting for an agenda, it is now out:


9:00 – 9:15      Importance of Housing First in State and Federal Policy:  Liz Rogers, MA Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness

9:15 – 9:45      Overview of Housing First: Joe Finn, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance

9:45 – 10:45    Panel: Housing First in Practice – Serious Mentally Ill and Dual-Diagnosed, VASH, Families, A Landlord’s Perspective

10:45 – 11:00   Panel: Best Practices and Tools for Success – Change Model & Tools, Promoting Safety & Harm Reduction, The Role of the Housing Court, The Tenancy Preservation Program

12:30 1:30      Lunch and Keynote: Arthur Jemison, DHCD, Update: Pay for Success for Chronically Homeless

1:45 – 2:45      Housing First Case Studies

2:45 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 4:00      Putting it All Together: Housing First, Coordinated Assessment, Prioritization:       Lisa Bahadosingh and Lauren Zimmerman, Supportive Housing Works, Bridgeport, CT

Please join us! REGISTER HERE:

New Resource on the VI-SPDAT

Community Solutions Inc. and OrgCode have just released the 2014 manual for using the VI-SPDAT, which answers some of the questions raised by the Individual Services Committee yesterday and provides more information about the tool.  The manual includes detailed instructions, guidance on which questions may be changed and which may not be changed, and a Q & A about the tool.

Click to access the VI-SPDAT Manual 2014.

Best practices for CoCs: Rapid Rehousing

HUD is providing a weekly series of messages in advance of the CoC Program funding competition.  The messages highlight best practices and identify federal funding priorities. The second message is about Rapid Rehousing:

Welcome to the next SNAPS In Focus message. Last week, I focused on Housing First as a best practice housing model. This week, I’m going to discuss rapid re-housing (RRH)—which follows Housing First principles—as a model and best practice. Although RRH programs have been used in some communities for many years, they have only recently started to be widely adopted. Evidence of their impact is growing, and HUD is encouraging CoCs to significantly expand RRH, particularly for families with children.

There are many reasons we are emphasizing RRH. It is one of the key strategies in Opening Doors, and it achieved positive outcomes during the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). Early evidence from a number of studies and evaluations—including the Rapid Re-Housing Demonstration, the Family Options Study, and evaluations of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program—all show promising results. RRH programs are screening out fewer families than transitional housing programs. Homeless households are moving into permanent housing at higher rates, in less time, and at lower costs than transitional housing programs. Continue reading

Springfield is ending chronic homelessness

I’ve been thinking about the Zero:2016 campaign, and considering what it would take to get us to zero. I note that, for Springfield, that’s the goal we set in 2007 with our 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

Because the configuration of the CoCs has changed, I have not been tracking the progress that Springfield has made toward ending chronic homelessness lately.  In 2007, we were tracking Springfield data, and in 2012, we shifted to Hampden County data.

Today I checked on our Springfield progress, and I’m excited to report that, over a 7 year period, we (well, more accurately, you)  have reduced chronic homelessness among individuals by 64%, as measured at the point-in-time count.  That’s awesome. The 2007 PIT count identified 149 chronically homeless individuals in the City; in 2014, the number was 54.

Can we reach zero in 2016?  I think we can.