This Weeks Update from Right Resources ~ One Family

This Week’s News from the ICHH Regional Networks and the Right Resources Bulletin Board
February 22, 2010

Innovation In The Spotlight:
The Cape and Island Network’s 24/7 Homelessness Hotline

1-888-656-2233

On February 1, 2010 the Cape and Island Regional Network to End Homelessness launched its latest innovation to help prevent and end homelessness for families and individuals living on the Cape and Islands.   The 24/7 Homelessness Crisis Hotline is one of the Network’s ICHH funded interventions.  The hotline is designed to take emergency calls from families, individuals, or others calling on their behalf, and provide those in need with emergency overnight housing.  The hotline is operated by Community Action Committee of the Cape and Islands (CACCI) and is staffed by providers from CACCI and the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC).

How It Works

A person experiencing a housing crisis can call the hotline 24/7 for assistance.  The answering service will ask the caller a few basic questions to determine if the crisis is in fact a housing crisis.  If the caller is not experiencing a housing crisis they will be referred to Mass 211 and if they are in housing crisis they will be connected with a homeless provider.   If the call is during regular business hours, or if it is not an emergency, the caller will be automatically referred to one of the Network’s providers based on the caller’s location on the Cape or Islands.  If the call comes in after hours, on the weekend, or on a holiday, on-call staff from CACCI or HAC will discuss options with the caller and if necessary arrange for emergency overnight lodging, food and transportation for the night.  At that time a referral is also made for them for the next business day to meet with one of the network providers.  Provider referrals are made based on the following geographic delineations:

·         Community Action Committee of the Cape and Islands – Serving individuals and families on the Upper-Cape

·         Housing Assistance Corporation – Serving families in the Mid-Cape

·         Duffy Health Center – Serving individuals in the Mid-Cape

·         Homeless Prevention Council – Serving individuals and families in the outer and lower Cape

·         Martha’s Vineyard Island Counseling Center – Serving individuals and families on Martha’s Vineyard

·         Nantucket Council for Human Services – Serving individuals and families on Nantucket Islands

Once a family or individual is connected with a Regional Network provider they are able to access the prevention, diversion, or re-housing services they need.  Each of the participating Network providers has access to the Network’s flexible funding for prevention and/or diversion services for these families or individuals.

Who Is Eligible for These Services

Callers experiencing a housing crisis with nowhere else to go are eligible for the overnight emergency services (hotel, food and transportation).  Once the provider referral is made the family or individuals must be deemed eligible based on the provider’s criteria for services and resources.

Purpose of the Hotline

The hotline has three primary purposes

1.       Help families and individuals in crisis with emergency services

2.       Make geographically appropriate referrals for families and individual with a focus on keeping people in their home community

3.       Provide prevention, diversion and rapid re-housing services to reduce reliance on the emergency shelter system

Publicity

The Network is investing significant time and resources to publicizing the hotline so that families, individuals, tertiary providers, community representatives, faith community, and elected officials know where to refer people in housing crisis.

Tracking and Data Collection

While it is far too soon to report outcomes on this intervention the Network will be carefully tracking the individuals and families who call, the referrals they receive, and the outcomes of those interventions.  The Network hopes that this tracking will show that families and individual who receive referrals through the hotline are able to receive appropriate service and avoid the emergency shelter system.

For more questions about the hotline please contact the Cape and Islands Network Coordinator Alan Trebat at atrebat@gmail.com

Information for this article was provided via interview with Alan Trebat.



From the Right Resources Forum

Utility Rights: What Front Line Staff Need to Know
CHAPA Housing Budget Overview

Alliance to Host Virtual Discussion on HPRP Implementation

Housing First Gets Air Time

Sixth Annual Forum on Family Homelessness

Keys to Ending Homelessness Conference 2

*Note: you will be directed to the login page of the Right Resources forum, then taken to your page directly afterwards.

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Clips
Utility Rights: What Front Line Staff Need to Know
ABCD is delighted to once again offer Charlie Harak’s ever popular Utility Rights trainings, in which health and human service providers learn the intimate details of how to help clients attain, retain and/or restore access to key utilities, especially gas and electric services. This nearly 4 hour training takes place in downtown Boston on Tuesday morning, March 23rd from 9:00 — 12:45.  You must RSVP to attend the training and it fills up fast (often in two days).  Click here for more information.


CHAPA Housing Budget Overview

Click here to see CHAPA’s state budget overview for housing programs.


Alliance to Host Virtual Discussion on HPRP Implementation

On Thursday, February 25, the Alliance will host its monthly Virtual Discussion on implementing the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). From 1 to 4 p.m. ET, Alliance staff and some of our national partners will be available to respond to questions regarding HPRP. Participants are also invited to share information with each other on the call. The Virtual Discussion will be held on Community ShareNet, the Alliance’s online community.  To participate in the discussion, please register for Community ShareNet if you have not already done so. Then, log in on the day of the Virtual Discussion, click on the “Discussion” tab at the top of the page, and look for the “HPRP Implementation” discussion thread in the middle of the page.  Click here to register.


Housing First Gets Air Time

On Friday, February 12, WFCR, the local NPR affiliate for all of Western and some of Central Massachusetts, aired an interview of regional coordinator Pamela Schwartz on Housing First and how our Network is working to make it happen.  It ran on the 6:30 am and 8:30 am shows – great exposure for a great mission – congratulations to our the Western Mass Network for making the story possible!  Click here to hear the interview.


Sixth Annual Forum on Family Homelessness

The Sixth Annual Forum on Family Homelessness entitled, How Faith Communities Can Help End Homelessness: A New Vision, will take place at First Parish in Concord on Sunday, February 28th. We hope that One Family can help us in publicizing the event through your website and / or other means. To this end, I have attached a forum flyer, an article prepared for media release and a photograph of the keynote speaker, Rev. Liz Walker. The Forum is sponsored by the Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, Episcopal City Mission and and UU Mass Action Network co-sponsors.

Keys to ending Homelessness Conference 2
Register now for the Keys to Ending Homelessness Conference 2: Education, Employment & Business Incentives on March 5, 2010 at UMass Inn & Conference Center.  Click above for more information.

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