Lauren Lynn

Equity is Fundamental

The truth is housing-first works. The truth is a strong Continuum of Care works. The truth is, having a by-name list works. Our community is fortunate; these initiatives were implemented and continue to prove they work – especially for those with lived experiences. 

But if the Coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that we need to do better, and we MUST choose equity as the foundation. 

How? By asking our community members with lived experiences to be part of the process of improving it. Clients are subject matter experts; their voices should not only be heard but respected and valued. To make real change and real progress, we must include all demographics; race, ability, age, and gender. We must continually evaluate the data and ask what upstream factors lead to these findings. Finally, we must adjust our strategies, keeping in mind the impact these decisions make on our most vulnerable citizens. 

As an example, SafeHouse Ministries offered a survey to share with those experiencing homelessness. They intend to collect responses and host a forum; asking clients with lived experience that are also diverse demographically, how the survey responses compare with their insight, what would they add, and how can SafeHouse improve. SafeHouse Ministries will then use these findings to adjust their programs and practices, improve their system, and create a more equitable environment.  

The SafeHouse Ministries survey is the beginning of our community-wide focus group initiative. These focus groups will be facilitated by those with lived experience. We want to continue what is working – the Continuum of Care with shared knowledge and responsibility – while improving and altering the system to consider who is most impacted. We want to remind everyone that the actions or inactions of your organization affect our entire community. 

During this prolonged period of difficulty, many of us feel overwhelmed. You may be wondering, how can we do more? The real question is, how can we not? Homelessness is the outcome, not the cause. In addition, homelessness disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Our chance to make serious, systemic change is now. And we can get there – but equity has to be the first and fundamental goal. 

Get involved today – contact our team or make a donation here

Racial Equity Impact Assessment 
Homeless System Response: Equity as the Foundation 

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Blog, Featured, News

Rehousing and Coordinated Investment Planning Meeting

Rehousing and Coordinated Investment Planning Meeting
Thursday, July 2, 2020

As our Technical Advisor Rachel Post indicated during the presentation, this is and has to be a community wide effort.  We need input from all aspects of our community as we are all experts in our experiences and have much to contribute.  It is extremely important that we consistently pursue the engagement of marginalized populations throughout our planning and implementation. 

Documents from the meeting:
Presentation Slides
Rehousing and Coordinated Investment Planning tool
CoC Racial Disparity Analysis 

Links to information and a webinar on homeless prevention:
Targeting Homeless Prevention in the Midst of COVID-19
Homeless System Response: System Planning: A Framework for Homelessness Prevention
Homeless System Response: Homelessness Prevention: Effective and Efficient Prevention Programs

The next meeting will be held the week of July 13th.

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured

Community Wide Landlord Engagement

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Thank you to all who were able to join us earlier to begin the conversation of how each of us has a role to play in making safe affordable housing accessible to all in our community. For those who were unable to join us, we missed you and hope you will be able to join in future discussions.   

As we discussed, there is no easy answer and a one size fits all approach certainly doesn’t work.  No one has all the answers but with our collective expertise, positive real life changing impact can be made in the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.    

Below you will find the presentation from today, as well as, the recording of today’s meeting.  Please feel free to share with your colleagues and others as you see fit.  Also please find the Landlord Advisory Group Sign up form.   Please consider participation in this group that will help build the foundation for transforming our system to proactive rather than reactive. 

Please be on the lookout for announcements and upcoming meetings.

– Home for Good Team

Presentation Slides | Meeting Recording

Landlord Advisory Group Sign Up

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured

Racial Inequity

Home for Good commits to the goals of ending racial inequities as we continue to advocate for, support, and care for our citizens who are experiencing homelessness.

National Alliance to End Homelessness Statement on Structural Racism and Racial Inequity

The National Alliance to End Homelessness stands in solidarity with all parties fighting to end pervasive structural racism in the United States. The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor reinforce a terrible legacy of systematic racism, racial injustice, and senseless violence inflicted against African Americans. It is time now that we all stand up in opposition to such oppression.

The vast racial disparities in both homelessness and the impacts of the coronavirus are also stark examples of this historic inequity.  They are perpetuated by structural racism throughout our society, ranging from criminal justice, access to healthcare, employment, economic opportunity, and education, to virtually every aspect of American life.  Collectively, these disparities reflect an unacceptable indifference to the humanity of African Americans – an indifference that prevents the policy changes that the nation so clearly needs.

Racial inequity causes homelessness. As part of its mission to prevent and end homelessness in the United States, the National Alliance to End Homelessness re-commits itself to the goals of ending racial disparities in the homelessness sector, and confronting structural racism in our nation. The Alliance is dedicated to these efforts: it pledges to continue prioritizing new tools, resources, and research on racial equity and homelessness to help advance the field in this work. It promises to continue collaborating with organizations that are leading equity efforts. And it vows to make the necessary investments in equity structure and training within our own organization. 

This gross injustice must end.

Visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness website

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Rehousing and Coordinated Investment Planning Tool

1C Equity and Rehousing Focus:

People of color – particularly Black and Native American people – are disproportionately impacted by homelessness and they are also disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, being at risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. As communities plan for the use of existing and newly-available funds, these inequities should inform the decisions being made so that communities are addressing, and not perpetuating, these disproportionate impacts.

Permanent housing is a public health intervention for people in sheltered and unsheltered settings to reduce the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. Providing temporary non-congregate shelter and housing people experiencing homelessness in their own unit should be a public health priority.

Download the Rehousing and Coordinated Investment Planning Tool (xls download)

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Landlord Engagement

Items 1: Lead with Equity:

Address the disparities that people of color face in accessing and maintaining stable housing by utilizing translation services, solicit feedback from people with lived experience, and engage multi-cultural service providers.

Landlord Engagement: Item 1 – Lead with Equity

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Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured

Data Quality Management Plan

We Want Your Help
Community’s Data Quality Management Plan

HUD and our Federal partners are committed to assisting communities to end homelessness for individuals and families. Collecting complete and accurate data about homelessness in your communities is a core element to achieve the goal.

The SNAPS Strategy sets out three overarching goals for itself and communities:

  1. Communities use their data to optimize systems of care through making ongoing system performance improvements and determining optimal resource allocation;
  2. Communities operate data systems that allow for accurate, comprehensive, and timely data collection, usage and reporting; and
  3. Federal government coordinates to receive and use data to make informed decisions in coordination with other data sets, across and within agencies.

To end homelessness, communities must be able to analyze data at both the system and project levels and to evaluate their efforts by subpopulation, across project types, and in other ways. Not only must communities continue increasing HMIS bed coverage and improving data quality, they also should be using data to gain a more holistic picture of the communities’ progress toward ending homelessness. To assist with this effort, HUD has produced a number of products and tools to assist communities to improve data quality and engage in system and project-level analysis.

To meet and exceed these goals and expectations, the HMIS Committee of the Continuum of Care is designing our Community’s Data Quality Management Plan and they want your input.  Please review the samples below and provide feedback to HMIS Committee Chair Tiffany Cole

Samples:

Appendix A: Roles and Responsibilities Worksheet

Appendix B: Sample Data Quality Plan

Appendix C: Sample HMIS Participating Organization Agreement

Appendix D: HMIS Data Quality Monitoring Visit Report and Improvement Plan

Appendix E: HMIS Data Quality Performance Monitoring and Improvement Strategies Page

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured