All posts by Laurel Chen

National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

VCEH Board member Whitney Nichols was fortunate to attend the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ (NAEH) annual conference in Washington, D.C. this year. Whitney led a session on the importance of peer support in the work of homeless services. Following are some materials he shared at the monthly VCEH meeting from the conference:

August Meeting Materials

Please find below and attached information and materials for our monthly Vermont Coalition to End Homeless meeting.

  • Date/Time: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM 
  • Location: St. John’s Church in Randolph, VT
  • Phone Participation: 641-715-3272, Access Code: 236613#

Materials for the meeting:

System Performance Measures for FY16

In this post, I will share with you all the System Performance Measures for the Vermont Balance of State Continuum of Care, submitted to the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) earlier this year. Meghan Morrow from the Institute for Community Alliances (ICA) provided an overview on these at the July VCEH meeting. Thank you to ICA for their work compiling the data and presenting it in an easy-to-digest format.

First, what are System Performance Measures?

In 2015, HUD developed System Performance Measures to help evaluate and measure progress of homeless assistance systems nationwide (length of homelessness, returns to homelessness, new clients experiencing homelessness, etc.) The measures as a whole look at homeless assistance as a coordinated system within a given geographic region, as opposed to disparate programs that operate independently in that same region. In addition to submitting the measures annually to HUD for the competitive Continuum of Care Funding application, homeless assistance systems can use System Performance Measures to develop baseline data, establish system-wide goals and evaluate projects. The data can also be augmented with other local data sources for a fuller picture. Click here to learn more.

A few things to note when looking at the data:

  • FY15 data is for 10/1/14-9/30/15, and FY16 data is for 10/1/15-9/30/16.
  • The Balance of State Continuum of Care data does not include Chittenden County.
  • The data is from all emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, street outreach & permanent housing providers that input data into Vermont’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Some measures include a subset of these providers. It does not include some providers or agencies that have yet to input their data into HMIS.

Below are some highlights of the FY16 System Performance Measures. Here you can see all the measures in one dashboard.

Returns to Homelessness

Measures the percentage of clients returning to the homeless assistance system (Emergency Shelters, Transitional Housing, etc.) after originally having exited the system to a permanent housing destination.

  • For FY16, 7% of clients, or 74 people, returned to homelessness within 6 months.
  • For FY16, 15% of clients, or 121 people, returned to homelessness within 2 years.
  • Within all time period categories, there was an increase in percentage of returns to homelessness from FY15 to FY16. This increase was most pronounced for returns to homelessness after 2 years, with 10% for FY15 and 15% for FY16.

Increase in Income

Measures the percentage of clients that increase their income (earned income & non-employment incomes) while enrolled in Continuum of Care funded projects, which include Transitional Housing, Rapid Re-Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing. The graph below shows data for “leavers,” meaning clients who exited the project within the reporting period.

  • For FY16, 14% of clients increased their earned income; 23% increased their non-employment income.
  • For FY16, 32% of clients increased their total income (earned and non-employment), down from 41% in FY15
  • Our numbers are below the high performing community goals set by HUD, which are 20% for increased earn income and 54% for increased non-employment income. Some of this gap may be attributed to the high-needs population that we are prioritizing housing resources for and the fact that many clients are entering projects already with both earned and non-employment income.

To view all the measures in easy-to-explore graphs, head to ICA’s System Performance Measure Dashboard and select “Vermont-Vermont Balance of State CoC.” While there, you can also take a look at the performance of many other Continua of Cares nation-wide.