Vermont Council on Homelessness Meeting on Thursday, February 27

The next Vermont Council on Homelessness’ bimonthly meeting will take place on Thursday, February 27.  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)
  • Current Issues: Homeless Single Adults – Jack Kearnan (20 mins)
  • State Plan: Reviewing Progress and Planning for the Annual Update (30 mins)
  • Updates from Council Members (15 mins)
  • Poverty Council: Exploring Common Goals – Co Chairs of the Poverty Council (30 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).  Read December’s draft meeting minutes here.

Point-In-Time Count Starts Tonight

Tonight is the start of this year’s Point-In-Time Count.  The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate services, and track progress.

As stipulated in the HEARTH/McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the PIT Count also allows us to secure funding from HUD Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Programs, HHS Runaway & Homeless Youth Programs, Veterans Affairs Homeless Programs, and others.

If you are homeless tonight, please call 2-1-1 to make sure you are counted.  By being counted, you are helping keep resources in our communities.

NOTE – as always: Survivors of domestic/sexual violence and households with a person with HIV/AIDS do not need to provide initials of names or date of birth (If possible, please provide YEAR).

This year’s point-in-time counts those homeless from 6:00PM (Tuesday, January 28th) to 6:00AM (Wednesday, January 29th).

Once survey forms are competed they must be sent to your local CoC coordinator, or designated contact by no later than February 5th, 2014.  Local coordinators in the Balance of State Continuum will then send the forms to VCEH Chair Jeanne Montross.

Your local coordinator’s name and address should be listed at the top of the PIT survey form.  For a list of your local coordinators for this year’s Point-In-Time, click here.

In order to meet federal deadlines and requirements, it is important to make sure your forms are sent to your local coordinator by February 5th, 2014.

Emergency Solutions Grant Program: Survey to Inform Annual Plan

The Vermont Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, administered by the State Office of Economic Opportunity, provides a blend of state and federal (HUD) funding in all regions of the state for homeless shelters as well as non-profit programs engaged in work to prevent homelessness.  The purpose of the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program is to help individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness.  Our vision is that Vermonters, especially vulnerable populations, live in safe and affordable housing.

The State of Vermont, as part of its annual HUD consolidated plan, submits an annual action plan for the Emergency Solutions Grant program describing the program standards, process for making subawards, and performance standards.  The Office of Economic Opportunity seeks consultation from community providers in determining priorities and development performance measures.  Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/38WSLVY.   The Information from the survey will be used to inform the annual action plan.

The Office of Economic Opportunity seeks input from all stakeholders within both Vermont Continua of Care regarding:

•  Allocation of Funding – priorities for funding (within activities eligible under ESG) and populations to be served, including justification for these priorities.

•  Performance Standards

The Office of Economic Opportunity recognizes there may be differences between state goals and local needs, and that communities meet different priorities with different resources.  There are also different perspectives in the approach to ending homelessness.  The Emergency Solutions Grant program occurs within the national context (http://www.usich.gov/opening_doors/ ) and state context (http://humanservices.vermont.gov/boards-committees/vermont-council-on-homelessness/vermont-council-on-homelessness-plan-to-end-homelessness/view ) to support work at the local level.

For information about the 2013 ESG Program:  http://dcf.vermont.gov/sites/dcf/files/pdf/oeo/ESG_Final_Report.pdf

In addition, the State of Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development will conduct a public hearing in preparation for developing its 2014 Action Plan for the HUD Consolidated Plan for 2010-2015.  This hearing is Friday, February 7, 2014.  More information about the hearing is here.

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.