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

EVERYONE Deserves a Home

Experiencing homelessness is the devastating result of many events and circumstances. We know from experience that the majority of our community members experiencing homelessness do not choose this lifestyle. Instead, they feel the enormous weight of resolving their situation as being too difficult, costly, and beyond their ability. Home for Good and our partner agencies work together with these citizens to make the process easier with a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is our job to support them not only to find a safe place to call home but also to utilize the resources available to help them stay housed. We work hard to assist them as they overcome these genuine and challenging obstacles.

Now, additional barriers exist associated with COVID-19. The recent epidemic has created more impediments for those experiencing homelessness by limiting some programs as well as fear from landlords preventing move-in acceptance. We have seen an increase in requirements for virus testing requirements, which can be challenging logistically but also demeaning emotionally. Thanks to the collaborative effort of MercyMed, SafeHouse Ministries, and Home for Good, we were able to test 180 people at the emergency shelter. While this helps mitigate the spread of the virus, it should not be a requirement for securing housing.

As the CDC article points out, staying in a shelter helps protect those experiencing homelessness from contracting and spreading the virus, but permanent housing should continue to be a priority. It stands to reason that to prevent and diminish the spread, they are safer in a home just like all of us.

Now more than ever, it is apparent everyone deserves a safe home.

Now more than ever, it is evident those experiencing homelessness need more advocates and supporters.

Home for Good is leading the conversation to break down further these barriers that existed before and as the new hurdles emerge. Home for Good has created a framework to engage with landlords helping them feel supported as they assist our vulnerable population. We are working diligently with the local and state governments to develop systems that prevent homelessness and build and strengthen existing practices. Some examples include eviction restrictions and financial assistance programs.

What can you do? Become an advocate by sharing this story and talking to your representatives. You can also help by donating to Home for Good. These funds assist our most vulnerable citizens.

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured

Strategy: Working Together

Whether you have banded together with family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues, we have all contributed to great collaboration in our community over the last few months. It goes to show our resilience and compassion we feel for one another. Working together is something this valley is good at, as countless stories show. 

One of the most effective coordinated efforts has been the Coronavirus Response Fund, co-led by United Way and the Community Foundation. Thanks to our community’s generosity, they have awarded $843,720 to local organizations helping our most vulnerable citizens.

United Way and the Community Foundation created the Impact Assessment Tool “so that nonprofit organizations in the Chattahoochee Valley can tell their stories. Hopefully these stories will offer supporters an objective way to assess the developing impact of COVID-19, the ways our nonprofit community is responding, and opportunity for investment in both the short & long term.” We encourage organizations to fill it out and for those looking for investment opportunities, to request the results.

We know that the needs of the valley are growing and will continue to evolve. But we can continue to collaborate to ensure a competent and compassionate response is available to everyone. 2-1-1, Home for Good, and partner agency data all reveal an increase in basic needs requests, such as shelter, food, and utility assistance. The connections and relationships remain our most reliable strategy for alleviating these struggles and preventing crises. Home for Good, along with our partner organizations, will continue to be leaders in an alliance to advocate for our people. We are #InThisTogether!

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured

Partnership, Progress, Prevention

Home for Good has led a successful response to COVID-19 and is a reliable, trusted source of relief for many. We are taking this opportunity to share the COVID-19 response, the extensive need this virus has revealed and caused, and the proactive plan to meet that growing need.

Over the last few months, we witnessed the disruption caused by the Coronavirus. It has been not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis. Thanks to the support of organizations like United Way and the Community Foundation, Home for Good was able to immediately respond to the community’s needs and lead initiatives that are guiding our most vulnerable citizens. 

Because of the tireless, collaborative work of Home for Good and our partner agencies, homelessness has decreased significantly over the years. In 2016, the By Name List of those experiencing homelessness was a high of 282. In 2019, the average was down to 110 people. And as of March 6, 2020, there were 94 people experiencing homelessness on the By Name List. Five years ago, we wanted to tackle Veteran homelessness. Today, there are 4 Veterans experiencing homelessness on the By Name List; they have turned down services offered. 

If the number of individuals becoming homeless is declining, why is Home for Good invested in leading the way in the recovery effort? Because we know the factors that precede struggle and can result in homelessness. Before the outbreak, anywhere from 50% to 75% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck with very little savings. Combine that with the job market we are currently facing, adversity is likely. Home for Good is committed to creating systems and programs now that prevent or at least minimize the results this virus may have on our community.

We can also see the increase in need through 2-1-1 reports. 2-1-1 calls and inquiries have increased significantly over the last two months. As those individuals and families move through the coordinated entry process, we take that time to assess their specific needs and tailor the referrals they receive. The coordinated entry process also allows an opportunity to anticipate future needs and a chance to insert prevention systems.

We are assessing the coordinated entry and referral processes as well as available programs to ensure we meet all our clients’ needs and that no one falls through the cracks. Because many people accessing these resources are doing so for the first time, the process can seem overwhelming. We are creating systems that help them navigate their way with little impediment. Our assessment has shown gaps in services that we are now taking the opportunity to remedy. The evaluation is ongoing and is providing valuable insight for improvement.

A positive outcome we have seen is connecting a population of individuals experiencing homelessness with services they were not involved with previously due to personal preferences. People who have been experiencing homelessness for years that did not necessarily want to accept help are now seeking shelter and, as a result, are utilizing wrap-around services that will help them understand they deserve a better living circumstance.

The most crucial aspect of our efforts is to ensure we treat our neighbors that are accessing resources as deserving citizens. At the core of Home for Good is the mission to engage with each individual or family, discover their exact needs, and take advantage of the collaborative system of programs we have in place.

We see the factors leading to homelessness now and can anticipate a growing need for services and programs. Our goal is to strengthen existing programs and enact other mitigating, preventative services. Home for Good has been working to prepare these systems of prevention for current and future issues. Programs, such as eviction prevention, will play a pivotal part in the community’s recovery. Home for Good is here to lead the collaboration critical to ensuring housing for all. We are in this together.

Make a donation to Home for Good today.

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Featured