July 11, 2011
San Francisco Local Homeless Coordinating Board
July 11, 2011
Members Present: Joanne Peters; Kevin Sharps; Richard Springwater; Erick Brown; Kim Armbruster; Rae Suber
Members Absent: Christine Ma; Wendy Phillips; Laura Guzman
Meeting started at 11:08am. Board member Richard Springwater chaired the meeting in the absence of both co-chairs.
II. Minutes from June 6, 2011
Motion made to approve the minutes from the June 6, 2011 meeting with the edits mentioned.
III. Employment Roundtable and WICAC Update
LHCB staff provided a bit of background information about the reason behind the work of the employment roundtable. The roundtable, along with the Workforce Investment Community Advisory Committee (WICAC) work on strategic planning to meet both short and long term goals, to boost outcome numbers, and boost the overall improvement of the employment system in San Francisco.
LHCB staff reviewed the proposed recommendations that came out of the employment roundtable meetings. A handout was provided.
Phil Clark, the LHCB appointee to the WICAC reviewed recommendations that came out of a recent meeting of the WICAC focused on homelessness and employment.
Board member Armbruster asked for more information about the experience of integrating the One Stop Employment centers and the non-profits. Phil Clark responded by saying there was money provided to do this integration but the system hasn’t worked that well. An example provided was 60 slotted referrals, with only 2 actually going through. The goal is to increase the cultural competency of One Stop staff to work better with those that are homeless.
Marcy Orsco, from Salvation Army, echoed the difficulty of working with the One Stops. Families that go through her program have had minimal success with them.
Board member Springwater suggested that there be information that outlines exactly what is being done now and supporting data of what works well and what doesn’t. Then focus on the small things, otherwise there is too much to do and nothing will get done.
Phil responded by mentioning that both the roundtable and WICAC meeting identified what is happening now and action steps were created. Phil mentioned some action steps that came from the WICAC meeting: increased interdepartmental communication; increase partnership and access to employers; improvement to One Stop system; creating beds in the shelters dedicated to those that are employed.
Board member Springwater stated that there are limited resources to do anything. One action step or priority should be picked (based on analysis of data) and work with the City to implement that action/recommendation. He thinks the focus should not be on the One Stop because we can’t fix that system, rather work with the non-profits that have been successful.
Phil would like the first step to be a forum with the LHCB, Human Services, and OEWD.
Board member Armbruster suggested that an employability assessment tool would be helpful for appropriate job placement.
Board member Suber would like some research/proof regarding the success of job readiness programs and education programs. Also, what is the effectiveness amongst different populations?
Board member Sharps stated that there are three distinct parts to the lifecycle of employment, pre employment work, getting a job, and maintain a job. It is important to know which area needs the improvement. Phil responded and stated he thinks job retention is the area that has the biggest gaps and there is a need for more employers to hire homeless folks.
Marcy from Salvation Army agree that there are gaps in retention services, but a large part of that is due to not enough resources to fund staff to work on this area.
Board member Peters feels the gap is not in training, but rather in placement.
Charles Pitts recommended that there be an action plan and that Richard should submit a request of information for the data that he is seeking. He also suggested the LHCB do a report to the BOS or request a hearing on the issue. Finally he suggested that there be a separate shelter system for those that are working.
Nancy Cross stated that employers want an attitude from people who can deal with life in a non-homeless environment. More opportunities should be created for people to get ready for the outside world.
Next Steps: Phil Clark will take back the recommendations to the WICAC and Workforce Investment Board and there should be a interdepartmental meeting.
IV. Policy Committee: Housing Access Update
LHCB staff reviewed the background and work of the Housing Access committee. Recommendations were reviewed (handout was provided).
Board members spoke about the issues with the Housing Authority. Board member Springwater stated that the section 8 waitlist is a huge problem for ECS and it results in a lot of vacancies. The vacancies and the waitlist issues are a huge embarrassment for the City. The issue should be brought to the Mayor.
The Board discussed the recommendation of having a centralized data base that posts vacancies. It was noted that this would not be helpful for agencies that utilize waitlists. They would not need the vacancies posted publicly. Also in order for the data base to work there would need to be a lot of outreach done to the landlords to ensure that all the info about vacancies are known.
Suggestion made to talk to craigslist.
Nancy Cross stated that the term affordable housing needs to be defined, what does that mean? There should also be an SSI category and a non smoking category of housing.
Rayana from Hamilton stated her support for the recommendation to improve the Housing Authority. Obtaining referrals from the SFHA is challenging and having a list of vacancies would be helpful although she is unsure if they would provide that.
Charles Pitts stated that there needs to be more defined action to the recommendations, something that can actually be done. He recommended a hearing be held at the Board of Supervisors.
Daryl Higashi suggested that when doing advocacy work around the issue of the SF Housing Authority, the LHCB should consider joining forces with low income housing advocates because hey are facing the same issues. Link organizationally.
V. Old Business
A) Homeless Count- comparison data
LHCB staff provided data on other homeless count numbers presented from various counties, Bay Area and beyond. Board members asked that there be more research done on determining why some counties decreased and some increased. They want info on San Mateo, Sonoma, Marin, and Orange.
Bridget from Homebase provided some analysis. She stated that most of the increases in the Central Valley were a result of the economy.
Charles Pitts wants to know what the overall percent of homelessness is in San Francisco.
B) City Budget- Finalized
LHCB staff provided a brief update on the City Budget. The budget was finalized and there was good news for the programs that impact the homeless. $1.6 million was restored to DHS and $3.1 million to DPH’s substance abuse, mental health, housing and urban health, and behavioral health programs.
Detailed information about the final budget decisions and the breakdown of the addback funds can be found online.
C) McKinney Application 2011
The CoC registration for the 2011 Application is now open, and the deadline to register is July 25th. LHCB staff completes this registration.
A proposal, which was discussed at the Funding Committee, was made to create a workgroup that will discuss the new HEARTH legislation and prepare for its implementation in San Francisco. The workgroup will educate the community on what the legislation entails and its impact, and also prepare both McKinney programs and non –McKinney programs for its implementation.
The concern of having too many meetings wad discussed. It was also noted that having the appropriate stakeholders at the meeting is very key.
Daryl Higashi stated that HEARTH calls us to look at the big picture and connect all the dots. It is not just about McKinney funded programs, its about the entire system. The workgroup will help coordinate this system wide response.
Board member Springwater asked if we will have to amend our CoC Plan. And the response was, maybe.
Motion made to approve the forming of a workgroup focused on HEARTH
M/S/C (Suber/ Armbruster/ Unanimous)
VI. General Public Comment
Nancy Cross wants the LHCB to look into improving the health at the shelters and in housing. The LHCB should address issues like nutrition, air quality, and the smoke that is generated at Next Door shelter. There are vents in the smoking room that go into the entire shelter. The impacts of second hand smoke are very negative. The shelter does not hold any meetings about non-smoking or quitting smoking. The LHCB should also look into the correlation between alcohol and smoking.
Charles Pitts said that the recommendations discussed today should be sent in a letter to the Board of Supervisors. This letter should be separate than the one that discusses the Housing Authority.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:40pm.