Vermont Council on Homelessness Meeting Next Thursday, December 12

Next Thursday, December 12 will be the Vermont Council on Homelessness’ bimonthly meeting.  The meeting will take place from 2pm to 4pm at the Pavilion, 4th Floor Conference Room on State Street in Montpelier.  The tentative agenda is as follows:

  • Introductions and Announcements (5 mins)
  • Public Comment (5 mins)
  • Presentation and Discussion on Tax Credit Housing – Maura Collins, VHFA (45 mins)
  • Housing First presentation – Hilary Melton, Pathways Vermont (30 mins)
  • Point In Time counts – past and present (10 mins)
  • Updates from Council Members (15 mins)
  • Continuum of Care Updates (5 mins)
    • Balance of State
    • Chittenden
  • Other Business (5 mins)

If you cannot make it to Montpelier, the dial-in number is 1-877-273-4202 and the access code is 7933586 (be advised that the speakerphone is difficult to hear).

Webinar: Preparing for the 2014 Housing Inventory and Point-in-Time Counts

HUD will host a webinar on the 2014 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time Count (PIT) on Thursday, December 12, 2013, from 3-4 pm. The webinar will highlight new requirements and data collection guidance for the 2014 HIC and PIT Counts. Information on how to register for this webinar will be issued later this week.  More on HUD’s notice for HIC and PIT Data Collection and the upcoming webinar from OneCPD Resource Exchange:

In anticipation of the upcoming 2014 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless persons, HUD has published the Notice for Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) Data Collection for Continuums of Care (CoC). The Notice informs CoCs of information that must be collected in order to successfully complete the 2014 HIC and PIT count.

Changes to the 2014 HIC:

  • To better align program components with the CoC Program interim rule, permanent housing (PH) has been added as a program component. Permanent supportive housing (PSH) and rapid re-housing (RRH) will be distinct categories under the permanent housing component.
  • For purposes of the HIC, CoCs must only count RRH beds and units for which rental assistance from any source is being provided on the night of the count.
  • CoCs that have one of the 23 Rapid Re-housing Demonstration (RRHD) projects, funded in the FY 2008 CoC Competition, must identify the Project Type as DEM.
  • CoCs must identify the number of beds within projects that are dedicated to veterans and youth. For dedicated youth beds, CoCs must indicate the age group that the beds are dedicated to serve (i.e., only children under 18, only persons 18 to 24, or persons up to 24). CoCs will not need to identify whether projects target veterans, per Target Population B, since identifying the number of beds dedicated to veterans serves the same purpose and provides more precise information about project targeting.
  • The term “provider program” has been changed to “project” throughout the Notice.

Changes to the 2014 PIT:

All CoCs must continue to complete a PIT count that is based on actual counts and/or statistically reliable data. To further support collection and reporting of complete and accurate data:

  • HUD provides additional guidance about counting standards and methodologies in A Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People and A Guide to Counting Unsheltered Homeless People. CoCs should refer to that guidance and any updates HUD publishes for further guidance on counting guidance and methodologies.
  • CoCs must report race, ethnicity, and gender data for all persons counted.
  • CoCs must report population data for veteran households. Because CoCs are reporting the population data for veteran households the veteran subpopulation requirements have been removed.
  • The term “disability” has been added to Appendix B and the subpopulation categories for “chronic substance abuse” and “severely mentally ill” have been revised.
  • The sum total number of persons reported in emergency shelter, Safe Havens, and transitional housing projects in the PIT fields of the HIC must match the sum total of sheltered persons reported in the PIT count.
  • CoCs that have RRHD projects must not include persons in those projects in the PIT count.

HUD encourages CoCs to engage their homeless assistance partners, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Runaway and Homeless Youth providers, Local Education Liaisons, and critical local agencies and service providers, to assist with achieving the most accurate count of homeless persons in their areas. HUD commends you for your great work and is grateful to be a partner with you in this critical effort.

Webinar: Preparing for Your 2014 Housing Inventory and Point-in-Time Counts: HUD will host a webinar on the 2014 HIC and PIT Count on Thursday, December 12, 2013, from 3-4 p.m. ET.

We will update this post as soon as the webinar registration is online later this week.

Bennington Select Board Votes for New Prohibitions Aimed at Homeless

Last week the town of Bennington’s Select Board voted to approve a series of controversial amendments to an ordinance which would greatly restrict panhandling, penalize the homeless from sleeping in their vehicles, and prohibit citizens from misrepresenting how they use the proceeds from panhandling. The Bennington Banner has more on the new measures and the protests they have sparked:

protests…organized by Bennington Selectman Jim Carroll and local activist and secretary of the Bennington Coalition for the Homeless Mary Gerisch…lashed out at all aspects of the amendment. [Signs] “Brother can you spare some sense?” read one, while others argued, “Sleeping in your car should not be a crime when it’s all you have” and “Asking for help should not be illegal.” Some of the signs asked for the town to focus on solving the problem of homelessness, rather than forcing the homeless out of Bennington. “Keep your coins, I want social change,” read one, while a second read “Solve the problem, don’t move it.”

The amendment to the town’s “Improper Use of Public Way and Abatement of Public Nuisances” ordinance, which was approved by the Select Board on Monday, but will not go into effect for 60 days, will heavily restrict soliciting in all forms, and ban what the amendment defines as “aggressive soliciting,” on publicly owned property.

Particularly controversial is Article 17.4 Section I, which states that “No vehicle parked on a public street, highway, sidewalk or other public place shall be used as housing or for the purpose of sleeping beyond that of a short rest for the purpose of safety,” which many worry will adversely affect the homeless population of Bennington.

Read the full report online or in PDF format.

See also:

The mission of the Coalition is to end homelessness in Vermont through sharing information, developing resources, providing a forum for decision-making and to promote decent, safe, fair, affordable shelter for all.