February 2016

A letter from Lisa Tepper Bates

Hello friends,
Our new year is off to an exciting start as we get ready for the final push to end chronic homelessness in our Zero: 2016 effort !  There's great work underway in every CAN to serve those most in need, and to exit every person from homelessness to housing.
This past week, we completed the Point-in-Time count.  Th is important exercise yields critical information on how we are doing in our efforts.  We could not do it without you, and we thank you for turning out and making it happen.
Please be sure to put March 2-3 on your calendar for Advocacy Days!  We are making great strides in our efforts, but this is a tough budget year for Connecticut, and we need you to raise your voice with us and help protect the critical resources you need to carry forward our mission to end homelessness .
Thanks so much to every one of you, for all you do - every day!
Best regards,

On the night of January 26 th , hundreds of volunteers across  the state completed the 2016  Point-in-Time count -  our annual census  of everyone experiencing homelessness in Connecticut.  We wanted to  take a moment to thank everyone involved who made this massive project a success - our partners are too many to mention individually with approximately 500 projects participating this year.  This is the first year we have had a chance to use a new mobile application for our unshelte red surveys, making real time data entry possible for the first time ever. 

We look forward to sharing the results of the count with you in our full PIT report which we will have available to everyone at the end of April.  For updates on this when they become available, consider subscribing to the data newsletter below

Zero: 2016 CT Efforts Ramp Up

Welcome to 2016, the year we will end chronic homelessness in Connecticut!
Working together, Connecticut has made great strides over the last year in our efforts to reach our Zero: 2016 goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. CCEH is following up on the Commissioner's initiative with a letter to each official offering the opportunity to contribute funding to their CAN to help fill resource gaps and advance this effort.      
  • We're making use of the state's eight Coordinated Access Networks to develop collaborative approaches to finding and housing those experiencing chronic homelessness.
  • The State of Connecticut, particularly through the Department of Housing and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has invested in this effort, bringing significant resources to the table. 
What does all of this add up to? Is it making a difference?
Yes! Communities are able to identify the most vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness and are housing them. Working together in CANs, providers have housed hundreds of chronically homeless individuals over the last year. 
To read more about what comes next in 2016, click here. 
To learn more about Zero: 2016 CT, visit the CCEH &  Partnerships for Stronger Community Zero: 2016 pages.  For more information, contact Sarah Fox  or Christy Rubenstein .

DOH Commissioner Klein Calls on Local Officials to Help End Chronic Homelessness

State Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein, sent a 
letter  to Mayors and First Selectmen across Connecticut to ask them to partner with the state in its efforts to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.  CCEH is following up on the Commissioner's initiative with a letter to each official offering the opportunity to contribute funding to their CAN to help fill resource gaps and advance their  housing goals.  

Connecticut was one of only four (4) states to sign on to  Zero: 2016, a national initiative sponsored by Community Solutions. The goal of Zero: 2016 is to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. The state made history in August 2015 when Governor Malloy announced that the federal government certified that Connecticut was the first state in America to end chronic veteran homelessness. 

"We are calling on local chief elected officials to join the state and local nonprofits in our mission to end chronic homelessness. Too often we accept homelessness as a fact of life, but we know better in Connecticut." said Commissioner Klein, "As leaders, we have the ability to connect people with the resources they need to get them on a path to permanent, safe, stable, and affordable housing."

Read more from the Department of Housing by clicking here & ask your local officials to support this initiative.  Click here for more on the Zero 2016 initiative and what you can do to help.

Coordinated Exit & VI-SPDAT 2.0 to Launch 
February 16th!

We are very pleased to announce on Tuesday, February 16th we will be launching the first phase of the statewide Coordinated Exit system in HMIS. On this day, the upgrade of the VI-SPDAT to version 2.0 will also take place and the VI-SPDAT 1.0 will no longer be used. Details on these system improvements will be sent via email to all HMIS users so please look for these soon in your inbox. Many thanks to all the participants in the Coordinated Exit Committee and to our partners at Nutmeg. Their hard work and creative thinking have made these changes possible.

For more information on Administering the VI-SPDAT 2.0, you can view our recorded webinar & all training materials by clicking here. For the VI-SPDAT 2.0 for individuals, click here , and for families, click here . For questions or to request a training on the VI-SPDAT 2.0, please contact Sarah Chess, Training and Communications Coordinator, at schess@cceh.org. For questions or concerns related to Coordinated Exit, please contact Brian Roccapriore at broccapriore@cceh.org.

Lessons from the Field: Landlord Recruitment
Making Rapid Rehousing Work
By Katie Kenney
At the front of the room during the "Best Practices of Emergency Shelters & Crisis Services training in December, Kay Moshier McDivitt of the National Alliance to End Homelessness says, "Rapid rehousing is not a program, but an approach." Not everyone is immediately sold.  
At its most general, rapid rehousing is any method of quickly housing families and individuals who have slipped into homelessness. The concept grew from the "Housing First" model, first developed in 1988. Housing First embodies the idea that people will find much more success when the stress of being homeless has been removed. Rather than waiting for people who are homeless to become "housing ready," agencies should quickly get them housed and then connect them with services. 

"What got me interested in rapid rehousing, people I came in contact with really questioned their self worth because of their housing status," said Samantha Stewart of Supportive Housing WORKS, who led the presentation on landlord recruitment. "And I just felt like there was a real need [to] quickly get those people out of that situation so that they can understand that their worth as a human being is greater than this current situation."

Continue reading & access resources on Rapid Rehousing & Landlord Recruitment by  clicking here.

Upcoming Training:
Diversion Training

One of the most powerful tools in a homeless assistance system is shelter diversion,  helping people avoid entering shelter by employing strategies to stabilize an existing housing resource or paving the way for other safe housing alternatives. CCEH is pleased to be able to offer Shelter Diversion Training by one the country's leading experts in the field, Ed Boyte .
As the Assistant Director of the Cleveland Mediation Center, Ed has trained on his successful diversion techniques across the country, and also piloted a homeless diversion program in Cleveland.
There will be three options for trainings; a train-the-trainer, and two 2-day workshops, all held the week of February 22-26. Details are available through your Coordinated Access Network managers.

2016 Annual Training Institute:
"Ready for Zero: Innovative and Sustainable Solutions for Housing"

Thursday, May 12, 2016
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT

Please participate by presenting on your work, ideas, and successes:

The Deadline to Submit is February 26, 2016

For additional guidelines and information, please click here . For Questions, please contact Katie Kenney, Programs Development Coordinator at kkenney@cceh.org or (860) 721-7876, ext 101

2016 Advocacy Dates to Remember:

Budget and Advocacy Days Preparation Webinar
Friday, February 12th from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

During our Budget and Advocacy Days Preparation Webinar, participants have the opportunity to:
  • Review proposed FY 2016-2017 state funding for homelessness and housing & hear an update on the state budget climate this session
  • Hear about the Appropriations process & learn advocacy strategies for hearings
  • Review state and local initiatives
  • Share ideas on telling your local story
All Advocates Welcome! 
To Register online, click here.

2016 Homelessness & Housing Advocacy Days at the Legislative Office Building

Wednesday, March 2 & Thursday, March 3 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

YOU are the expert s on what works to end homelessness in your community!
  • Make your voice heard-  Meet your  legislators  to discuss current efforts to end homelessness and  advocate  for  resources  that you need. 
  • Each Coordinated Ac cess Network (CAN) will have a one-hour time slot
  • CCEH/PSC will provide a template for presentations and CAN-specific data
Contact your CAN coordinators for details on when your region is being represented and how you can be a part of supporting this effort. If you have any questions please contact Sarah Fox, Director of Advocacy and Community Impact, at sfox@cceh.org.

For more information & schedule of your CANs time slots, 
click here or contact Sarah Fox or Carline Charmelus


D o you know any children interested in making a difference? It's getting cold out there which is why CCEH is looking for 1000 kids to sign up to hold drives with their families to raise critical shelter diversion funds to help families throughout our state. All donors between now and Valentine's Day will receive a special Paddington Valentine's Day card to send to somebody they love. Please share Paddington's "Help End Homeless with Paddington" crowdfunding page  with any young people who might want to show some love for a family in their community this Valentine's Day. CCEH member agencies can also sign up to hold drives to benefit their CAN.

Please contact Madeline Ravich at mravich@cceh.org to learn how your agency can hold its own "marmalade drive" in conjunction with local schools or after-school clubs.

With the  new HUD definition chronic homeless  just taking effect on January 15th, the forms to verify that an individual is chronically homeless or disabled have been updated and are now available. Please make sure that if your agency or organization has been using the previous form, they are updated to the newer versions available here

The new definition is now in effect; if you have questions, you can review the slides from HUD's webinar here or feel free to reach out to Brian Roccapriore at broccapriore@cceh.org with any and all questions relating to the change.

The updated forms and more information about the CoC can be found  

CCEH Data Updates
If you haven't subscribed to the CCEH data newsletter, you are missing out on a monthly dose of everything data-related that is coming from CCEH! You can click here to sign up , and never miss out on exciting data related releases like the Coordinated Entry Reports , Regional PIT Reports , or the upcoming supplemental youth count data report.