May 2, 2011
Local Homeless Coordinating Board
May 2, 2011
Members Present: Laura Guzman; Wendy Phillips; Christine Ma; Richard Springwater; Kevin Sharps; Erick Brown; Rae Suber
Members Absent: Joanne Peters
Co- chair Guzman convened the meeting at 11:10am
II. Minutes from April 4, 2011
Board members Sharps and Phillips provided edits to be made to the minutes.
Motion made to approve the minutes from the April 4, 2011 meeting with edits.
III. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Update
LCHB staff provided a presentation and an update from the Funding Committee, regarding transitions that are happening with the City’s Homeless Management Information System. During the presentation staff reviewed the history of HMIS in San Francisco, what the Federal requirements used to be, what they currently are, and what they are going to be over the next few years. The message provided was that the Federal expectations and mandates for HMIS participation and reporting has grown exponentially over the past few years and will continue to grow. The current HMIS used by the City is no longer able to meet HUD requirements.
In order to become in compliance and able to produce these report in the future, the City has purchased a new HMIS system.
The purchasing of the system and initial start up is being funded by Federal HPRP stimulus dollars. It is expected that starting in March of 2013, $45,000 annually will be needed.
At the funding committee, various funding sources were discussed. Such as : 1) Increase the SHP grant allocation to HMIS by .05%; 2) look at SHP grant expenditure rates and see which grants are not expending at 100% and possibly reallocate those funds 3) Use S+C admin funds, post HEARTH implementation; 4) Use the 2011 application process to reallocate one or more SHP renewal grants to create an HMIS only grant 5) look to other Federal agencies that will be using HMIS in the future to contribute funds.
At the funding committee there was consensus that seeking additional HMIS funds from the projects would be a hardship for the agencies. There was also a consensus to not reallocate funds from an existing renewal project to pay for HMIS. Ideas of seeking funds from unexpended grant dollars and looking to other Federal programs were a good idea.
Board member Guzman suggested looking into user fees from other groups that have to use HMIS.
Board member Springwater asked for information about total current cost of HMIS and questioned why there is an increase in the budget. He would like the City to look into using potential cost savings that would occur when the work of the internal IT department is outsourced to the new vendor. He stated the new system should not cost more than the old system and the providers should not have to pay for it.
Kim A from Glide said that Glide currently uses the same program that the City has purchased and they can share ideas of what has/hasn’t worked well. Also he hopes that the new system will allow for demographic reports to come out of CHANGES.
David B stated that $45,000 sounds like a cheap cost. He would also like to hear from the other cities that are using the program.
Karen G of ECS said she is happy this is happening and asked if during the application process the City could apply for a new project that was for HMIS.
More discussions about HMIS funding and implementation will be held at future Funding Committee and Full Board meetings.
IV. Update from the Funding Committee
Bridget from HomeBase reviewed a draft document that went over the 2011 McKinney Vento application project review process. The Funding Committee began to review the materials and process for reviewing projects that apply for funding in 2011 at its April meeting The materials are not final at this point. Final documents will be presented for review and vote at a future full LHCB meeting.
The process is the same as last year. The committee agreed to use the same threshold review tool for the SHP renewals. The tool will be adjusted in 2012 and the committee will work on its content. Also the committee will review the new project scoring tool at its next meeting.
The board members did not have any comment on the proposed review and rank process for 2011.
V. Update on the 2011-2012 Budget
Staff provided a brief update on the local budget. At this point the departments are still negotiatingproposed budget cuts with the Mayor’s office. It was noted that at the last DHS Commission hearing, Trent Rhorer stated that the cuts to shelters, drop in centers, and some of the supportive housing cuts were not moving forward. Savings may come from possible across the board cuts of 3% or cost savings plan with CBOs. The Mayor has been meeting with service providers and had asked that these cuts be taken off the table. Final decisions are still being made.
Staff also discussed some notable Federal cuts that impact programs that serve the homeless. Decrease in CDBG by 16.5%; decrease in FEMA by 40%; decrease in HOME by 12.5%.
The Board would like to see the Mayor’s Office do some advocacy around these Federal cuts.
Board Member Guzman stated that the budget process has gone well and that the talks with the Mayor have been successful and effective. Providers like the proposal of a cost savings plan for unexpended grants. There is still concern over the possible DPH cuts.
She also suggested that folks attend any future hearings that the Board of Supervisors will be holding in June.
Board member Phillips said that it was important that the LHCB was present at the meetings. that the board acted early, and that there was clear messaging about priorities and not just saying “save everything”.
Board member Phillips also asked a DPH representative who was in attendance why the PSH site the Star Hotel was being propose to close and residents relocated. She expressed concern because there are very few PSH programs in the Mission.
Wolfgang, from DPH, stated that the Star hotel was a smaller project and did not have an elevator. He also noted that there will be no net housing lost and residents would be relocated to new housing.
DPH is still negotiating the budget with the Mayor’s office. Their commission did sign off on the 10% contingency plan.
Board member Springwater thanked the members who participated in the advocacy.
Karen G. of ECS stated that the SF Start Team, clinical case mangers in shelters, was facing a $108,000 cut from DPH. She also stated that the possible 3% across the board cut from DHS would result in a reduction in services.
VI. Shelter Monitoring Committee (SMC) Report
SMC staff reviewed the latest quarterly report that covered information from October to December. Staff reported that although the SMC is not at full membership, a lot, but not all site visits were made. Current data shows that they will meet their site visit quota.
Other key themes that were reviewed were: change in SMC leadership; reviewing of shelter emergency exit plans; clients’ access to tokens; need for Spanish speaking SMC members; and a need to fill the two vacancies on the SMC.
All SMC related documents and quarterly reports can be found on their website.
Board member Phillips asked that when the SMC is presenting that staff send out the SMC reports ahead of time for review.
Board member Ma asked if there was a breakdown of which each complaint was at each facility mentioned in the report. And she asked if there was follow up done after a complaint was filed?
Finally, she thanked the SMC for all their hard work.
SMC staff stated that currently there is not a breakdown of what each complaint was at each site, but in future reports there would be. However there are general themes of complaints in the report. Also, the report does sat if a complaint is closed or pending. Also SMC members when doing subsequent site visits can see if issues have been corrected. More serious complaints are sent to HSA and DPH for them to follow up on.
Board member Guzman commented on the decrease in complaints. She thinks it is the lowest it has been.
Board Member Phillips asked SMC staff to notify the LHCB if there are any issues with the members that the LHCB appoints.
Charles P. wants to know who us not doing their site inspections. He wants a waiver for the vacant seats. There should be a one time infuse of revenues for use to do infrastructure/building repairs at the shelters. And he wants to know if DPH has given out any fines to the shelters who are not in compliance with the Standard of Care.
David B. commented on his experience at the Rules committee and stated that they are very slow to make appointments. There should be a consideration to waive some of the seat requirements.
The next SMC presentation to the LHCB will be at the September meeting.
VII. General Public Comment
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am.