CoC Updates for February 2021

This month brings updates about the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, new programs available for people experiencing homelessness, job opportunities, a community meeting to get input on how our system of care can do a better job of getting and using consumer input and more.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions, concerns and/or feedback at
COVID-19 Updates

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
9:00am to 10:30am PST

This 90-minute webinar provides information about COVID-19 vaccination for people experiencing homelessness and homelessness providers, including identifying key success factors in planning and preparing staff and clients, steps to building vaccine confidence, and funding to support your vaccination plans. Presenters include the CDC, HCFC, HCD, HUD TA and a highlighted California community.

Who should attend the webinar: Homelessness response system/CoC organizations, public health officials, management and front line staff from shelters, street outreach and other homelessness assistance programs, people with lived experience of homelessness, health care and hospital providers serving people experiencing homelessness and county officials.
Contra Costa County residents who are 65 years old or older can now get safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to them from Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS).
To request an appointment, eligible residents can use our online form. Our call center at 1-833-829-2626 is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for residents who do not have internet access or are unable to use the online request form.
Contra Costa County is making steady progress toward its goal of administering 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by July 4, and enough of the county’s highest-risk senior population (75 and older) have received vaccine to extend appointments to younger seniors.
County residents who are 65 or older and have already requested appointments do not need to make new requests – CCHS will contact you soon with information about scheduling your appointment.
CCHS vaccinations are by appointment only. Please do not visit our community immunization clinics without an appointment. There is no “extra” or “leftover” vaccine available at our clinics – CCHS follows a process for ensuring that no doses are wasted.
The HUD Exchange provides a weekly COVID-19 Update for Homeless Service Providers here.
System Updates
The Winter Nights Safe Park Program is now open for families, singles and couples living in their cars. The location is in Pittsburg and the hours of operations are from 8pm - 6am daily through April 30. The program can accept 6-8 cars and unfortunately cannot allow RVs at this time. The program will include breakfast, overnight bathroom access, shower access at another site on set days and light snacks in the evenings.
Potential participants can call or text Bill Shaw at (925) 435-2074.
On January 29, 2021, HUD awarded $2.5 billion to renew support to thousands of local homeless assistance programs across the nation. HUD's Continuum of Care (CoC) grants will provide critically needed support to 6,597 local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Due to the pandemic, the funding renews grants for existing programs. This process was dramatically streamlined because communities have been and will continue to be consumed with COVID-19 response and have limited capacity to participate in the traditional CoC competition.

Community Updates
Registration is now open for Ending Homelessness: A Virtual Conference, a three-day virtual event taking place March 8 – 10, 2021.
We are in a period of change brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the recession, heightened focus on social justice, and a new Administration and Congress.
What impact do these have on homelessness and how do we meet the challenges and seize the opportunities they present?
The Conference will cover how to do more of what works, address emerging challenges, and explore innovative new ways to solve problems. Workshops and plenaries have been developed in concert with people who have experienced homelessness, and with a focus on race and equity. 
March 8 - 10, 2021
Both the Community Health Ambassadors and Ambassador Support Team members will be trained to conduct education and health promotion activities for the COVID-19 Ambassador Program in the Central, East and West regions of the County based upon health education and preventive health principles, the techniques of community organization and strategies to support new and existing community-based partner outreach efforts. These positions will assist with leading outreach throughout the county and perform related work as required.

The positions are initially funded through June 2021 with the possibility of extension based on available funding.

Every year, National 211 Day is celebrated on February 11, to recognize the more than 200 211s located throughout the United States and to increase awareness of this vital service that connects people with essential health and human services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Used by millions of people every day, 211 offers access to free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling; disaster assistance; food, health care, and insurance assistance; stable housing and utilities payment assistance; employment services; veteran services; COVID-19 resources, and childcare and family services.

In Contra Costa, 211, in addition to CARE Centers and CORE outreach, is one of the 3 critical access points to our homeless system of care. 211 services are provided by the Contra Costa Crisis Center, available by phone and text 24/7.

Do you need help, or do you know someone who needs help? Call 211 today or text HOPE to 20121 to speak to a trained specialist. Help is available in multiple languages.
Success Stories
When Heidi enrolled in SHELTER, Inc.’s Positive Futures re-entry program, she was unemployed, homeless, in recovery for a substance use disorder and had lost custody of her twin girls. Backed by supportive family members and connected to the resources she needed to succeed, she quickly moved into a sober living environment (SLE), landed a temporary job at Tesla, and regained part-time custody of her daughters. Heidi is maintaining her recovery, continuing to work towards renting her own apartment and has been hired full- time at Tesla. Her spirits are high and her future looks bright!
Upcoming Meetings and Events
CoC Stakeholder meetings provide an opportunity for a wide cross section of people concerned about/impacted by homelessness to come together to discuss and provide input to the homelessness Continuum of Care (CoC) on issues related to homelessness in Contra Costa. The first CoC Stakeholder meeting of the the year will focus on ways the CoC can improve Consumer Engagement. Bring your thoughts, ideas and examples of best practice from other fields!

Monday, February 8, 2021
1 pm - 3 pm
To attend meeting, click here
Call in: 1-844-517-1271 US Toll Free
Access code: 146 619 1665

Agenda posted here.
Families Thrive, a project of the Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse, is offering a "Trauma Informed Care" training for Health, Housing and Homeless Services. The training focuses on individual and systemic impacts of trauma on families, service providers and communities. The training will be interactive and include discussion of the types of trauma experiences, with a focus on vicarious trauma and strategies supporting healing and resilience. 
Kathryn Burroughs and Vanessa Sequeira-Garza will be facilitating.

This training is mandatory for all providers working in the Coordinated Entry system including line staff and program managers. The goal of this training is to ensure that staff have the skills necessary to conduct their work in a trauma informed way. 

Monday, February 22, 2021
1 pm - 3 pm
To register, click here
Join our next Council on Homelessness meeting.

Thursday, March 4
1 pm - 3 pm
Phone: 1-844-517-1271 US Toll Free
Meeting number (access code): 146 246 8230

Agenda will be posted here 96 hours before the meeting
Make sure you're getting the kind of information from us that you want.

Sign up for our mailing list and/or set your preferences by clicking the button below.

Mailing list choices include:

  • Committee: CoC/ESG Providers
  • Committee: Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Committee: HMIS Policy
  • Committee: Oversight
  • Committee: Policy and Advocacy
  • Information: Advocacy Opportunities
  • Information: CoC Updates
  • Information: CoC Provider Trainings
  • Information: Community Input Opportunities
  • Information: Funding Opportunities
  • Information: Housing Opportunities
  • Information: Upcoming Events
  • Information: Volunteer Opportunities
  • Information: Youth
  • Meetings: CoC Learning Hubs (quarterly)
  • Meetings: Council on Homelessness meetings

P: (925) 608- 6700 -  H3 Website