June 4, 2012
San Francisco Local Homeless Coordinating Board
June 4, 2012
Approved July 2, 2012
Members Present: Kim Armbruster, Erick Brown, Richard Springwater, Rae Suber, Co-Chair Dr. Christine Ma, Joanne Peters, Kevin Sharps, Co-Chair Laura Guzman
Members Absent: Wendy Phillips
I. The meeting was started at 11:08
II. Minutes from May 7, 2012 (Action) – 5 min
Approved: MSC Kim Armbruster/Kevin Sharps/Unanimous
III. Update from Mayor’s HOPE Office
Amanda Fried Kahn from Mayor’ office of Hope presented.
Apologies that Bevan is not here.
The proposal for wet housing, pre-treatment housing is approved. There will be an additional trip to Seattle with some community members to learn more.
We just concluded a process with the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) to provide robust community feedback on the SFHA preference system. We are now in the 45 day comment period. Please submit official comments. The Local Homeless Coordinating Board did submit a letter; there were over 60 people at the meeting, including service providers and advocates.
We are working closely with the VA and SFHA to house a number of homeless veterans. First, we need to house 50 currently homeless veterans. Next, 200 new housing vouchers for veterans will be released in the community. This is part of a national campaign and contest to increase utilization. This has been a very exciting collaboration. There will be a press conference on Thursday to call for public support. The biggest challenge right now is finding landlords that are willing to rent to the landlords.
Today is the first day of the Shelter Access Workgroup. This is a public process to discuss access to the shelter system. Issues will include the access process.
Board Member Kim Armbruster asked about wet housing: What is the hoped for timeline and what is the funding?
Amanda Kahn Fried: We do not need new funding; the difference will be the focus on the housing. There are some success stories where congregate space is larger, and there are automatic shut offs in the burners, etc. DPH has looked at this as an opportunity to look for best practices. We hope to have a significant number of units by July 2013.
Board Member Laura Guzman asked: Will DAH have wet units?
Amanda Kahn Fried: Yes.
Board Member Kevin Sharps asked about VASH vouchers: What is the scope of the services, how are they supported with the sites being scattered?
Board Member Joanne Peters: The veterans work with a social worker. The ratio of social workers to veterans is 1 to 25 or 1 to 35. We also fully connect them with VA services.
Amanda Kahn Fried: one of our big pushes is that you run a risk with any tenant.
Board Member Kim Armbruster asked about the role of Dee at the HOPE office.
Amanda Kahn Fried: she is 100% focused on SFHA. Our goal is to get them to be a true partner in ending homelessness; the preference conversation was to streamline the process. Dee also helps tenants who are currently living at the Housing Authority.
Board Member Richard Springwater: Do you need to find 200 studios?
Board Member Joanne Peters: 60 will be project based
Springwater: Let landlords know that you expect them to do their bit—it would be nice if there were incentives that the city could provide to landlords, perhaps some kindness. Try to understand how the system works from a landlord’s point of view.
Board Member Laura Guzman announced that Kim will attend the access workgroup with Laura.
IV. New Business
A) San Francisco Shelter Workgroup
Amanda Fried Kahn provided an update on the upcoming shelter access workgroup. Supervisor Kim asked the HOPE office to convene a shelter access workgroup with the LHCB and the Shelter Monitoring Committee. This group will evaluate options for shelter access beyond lines. Possible other shelter access systems include 311. This working group will begin meeting today. This group will be open to the public, and will consider other topics, including health outcomes, smoking policies, and mental health in the next session, after the access discussion.
B) Annual LHCB Co-Chair Elections will be happening this summer
V. Old Business
A) Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG):
Bruce Ito of the Mayor’s Office of Housing presented about ESG. Last year, initially, HUD only awarded San Francisco 80% of the grant. Now HUD has allocated the additional 20%. The contracts were awarded now for the additional 20% by MOH. This distribution was awarded based on the previously approved action plan. The original plan was unchanged. The initial allocation was 80%. The second allocation was distributed according to the plan. The action plan was distributed to Board Members and the Public. In addition to the 20% additionally awarded in the plan, there were some additional funds awarded. These were awarded to Eviction Prevention agencies.
Board Member Springwater asked for a summary of information about this funding, asked if this is HEARTH money, and asked for a broader background.
Bruce Ito: This funding has been around since about 1974. The allocation is generally around $1.2 Million. In San Francisco, ESG used to support 18-19 shelters that are also supported by city. The slight increase will go 80-90% to the tenants served with TBRA. All additional money was added on to fiscal year 2012-2013 contracts.
Board Member Sharps asked about feedback form the shelters, because the costs of the shelters go up.
Bruce Ito: Flat funding is basically a decrease, but funding has been flat at the Federal level.
Daryl Higashi of H.S.A.: we are all starting from the same situation. Mayor Lee announced his budget proposal. He will not reduce funding to H.S.A. and DPH. He proposed a 1% increase in funding for non-profits.
Amanda Kahn Fried said the current budget proposal includes a cost of doing business increase of 1% for non-profits. There is an additional funding request being considered for resource centers and shelters. The additional requests are for $6,000,000.
Devra Edelman of Hamilton Family Center: There was a meeting with Trent Rhorer in March, because of flat funding over the past 5-6 years and the loss of HPRP funding, there is a gap in funding that reduces the ability of non-profit organizations to provide safe and dignified shelters. Also, this funding would replace some of the funds from HPRP.
B) Review of Last Year’s Annual McKinney-Vento Application Score:
Jason Satterfield of HomeBase: All of the planning that you did last year really paid off. San Francisco scored the highest overall application score in the nation. We wan to maintain and increase the score next year. Next year, we will try to consolidate the guidance form HUD into tangible recommendations. The reason the score was so high was the year-long planning.
COC Housing and services: here HUD is looking for a community process, including stakeholders, includes the homeless subpopulations in the community. The strategy to address, and the comprehensive system to address homelessness, to maintain or increase the score, maintain the existing planning process, and bring together the targeted groups—the work pays off in terms of the NOFA score.
Homeless needs and Data Collection: this is the PIT and HMIS. There have been some issues with HMIS. That is the testament to a lot of hustle form Bernhard and now Delilah. They did that work and it was reflected in the score.
The PIT count, HUD looks at the methodology, and the efforts to use that data in the community. In this category very few communities scored perfectly.
Board Member Kim Armbruster asked about HMIS.
Megan Owens, LHCB Policy Analyst: Right now trainings are being scheduled, and Delilah, the new system administrator will present to the LHCB in July.
Board Member Laura Guzman asked about extremely high needs communities.
Jason Satterfield: That was based on the extreme destitution of the whole community
Board Member Laura Guzman recommended that San Francisco make clear that there is very high homelessness here.
Jason Satterfield: We noticed that communities who do a PIT count of homeless people annually score higher. We will update the Board if we find something interesting. One thing that is becoming more and more important is data quality; the amount of missing and unknown data—if we have missing values, or “unknown” that is a problem. There are some local agencies that are doing better than others to improve this process. One recommendation is to do a data monitoring plan, maybe quarterly or more often. This happens every year with the APR, they are staggered throughout the year, and we are able to figure that out annually.
Board Member Erick Brown: With the new HMIS, providers have to go back and re-think how we collect data.
Jason Satterfield: Strategic planning score is the only decrease. This is looking for long-term strategic plans, like the 10 year plan to end homelessness. Discharge planning matters here; there should be coordination with education and other resources. The CoC check up has some guidance here—there is a lot of concern that the policies for discharge planning are not being used at various institutions.
10 Year Plan Alignment: one way to adopt this would be an update to the 10 Year Plan. Recently, HUD has recommended an update to the 10 year strategic plan-- this should be included in the CoC 5 year strategic plan efforts. In the update of the plan, we should focus on Veterans and Youth. There should be additional points for focus.
Last year, our employment outcomes were good, this year it looks like the employment numbers are going to dip down again. The employment roundtable will need to work on that.
We scored in the high range for emphasis on housing activities. We got 100% of the score, since you have consistently used S+C for the bonus projects, our recommendation is to consult the new regulations, when they come out, and make sure that we want to continue that line of decision-making.
Board Member Christine Ma thanked Jason for the score and thanked the service providers and HomeBase. Ma said one discharge issue is that so many people are doing the work.
Board Member Laura Guzman mentioned that SFGH has been more frequently discharging to the streets.
Board Member Laura Guzman said Workforce development needs to meet with us to discuss the commitment of the city to jobs for homeless people.
Board Member Richard Springwater volunteered to work on the 5 year plan.
Board Member Kevin Sharps: the 10 year plan is based on a robust housing pipeline; we need to look into the 10 Year Plan.
Joyce Crum of H.S.A.: The 10 year plan will come out of the H.S.A. office.
Daryl Higashi of H.S.A.: The mayor’s office is working on a plan with a group of private sector people to place an initiative this year on the ballot to set aside 50 million dollars per year for affordable housing. CA will be hurt by the fact that CA will be hurt by a lack of Redevelopment resources.
C) Update on the San Francisco Unified School District Families and Youth in Transition Services:
Salvador Lopez-Barr from the SFUSD liaison for homeless children and youth presented. SFUSD’s definition of homelessness includes streets, shelter, SRO, the gray area is “transitional” including couch surfing. When you are living in a home with other families, you are doubled up and you are sharing a home with another family for a temporary period of time, it is a very grey area, it is very broad; they qualify according to the SFUSD definition.
Board Member Laura Guzman asked him to focus on the questions provided by the Board.
Salvador Lopez-Barr: Transportation is a big funding issue for the SFUSD. The city is moving to a Clipper pass system. The SFUSD is looking for a free MUNI pass for all low income kids.
We offer some help with uniforms. Next year, I want to push that form one uniform to 2 uniforms per year, it is embarrassing for kids to be in clothes that are too small. We subsidize backpacks and school supplies for kids. I want to push for caps and gowns this year for the kids who are graduating from high school. We also offer tutoring.
Board Member Richard Springwater: What is your budget for those services, and how many students do you serve?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: $278,000 approximately is the budget. There are 56,000 total students, and 2,100-2,200 homeless or transitioning students. I also serve as an advocate for these families; sometimes they have issues at school.
Joyce Crum, HSA: Of those families you have you also identified as CalWorks families: are you aware of the summer jobs program for CalWorks families?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: Yes.
Also, we train the counselors on the forms for enrollment, if they have a student that they think is homeless it is noted in the student INFO system, we have a code that incorporate the students and classify them by school. I send all of the students to the school staff and ask them to look into the number of students.
Board Member Christine Ma: What strategies to you use for people who do not self-identify?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: A lot of families know they are homeless, but they do not want to be classified as homeless. One of the hardest things to do is to persuade the families to enroll. We can not make them enroll, but we can tell them about the benefits. At a school site, there is only one person who is the contact, because it is humiliating. I always order them in different colors, etc. We also provide free and reduced lunch that does not mean that you are necessarily homeless; some families live in the shadows, because they have fear, understandably. It has nothing to do with immigration.
Special academic needs: if its special education, I have no jurisdiction. If the family requests special education, the school has to respond within 30 days. In my program we offer tutoring for students at below basic levels, last year we had USF students doing the tutoring.
Board Member Erick Brown: how do you hand off a student that is exiting the FYIT system?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: That is a tough one, and I will be facing that in the future. The counselor will let me know that child no longer qualifies. Is there someone in the district that is handed off that can support the student? Title 1 has tutoring; they might pick up the slack.
Board Member Richard Springwater: Is tutoring available to non-homeless kids?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: If a student is at a star school it is almost guaranteed.
Board Member Christine Ma: how much collaboration is happening? What kind of communication is happening? Are these kids getting an IEP? Are they assessed for tutoring?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: When a student is enrolled in special education, you have one assessment per year. For students not in the IEP program, I keep tabs with the counselors of the schools, when someone wants tutoring that they can not get from us, they can get local programs or churches. I make sure that if I can not help them. Other people like CCCYO will help with uniforms if needed.
Board Member Richard Springwater: How tapped in are you for volunteers and donations?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: We have an elves program where we raise money at the school sites. The money that gets collected goes to San Francisco School Alliance, they provide a voice and some money for programs, for example, this year they gave the money for the summer camp.
Board Member Laura Guzman: how can the LHCB support your work?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: Last meeting I was able to network with members of the audience. I am sure you can not donate money. What you do is better than nothing.
Board Member Rae Suber: What can we do to support your ideas for improvement?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: Voicing the issues of homelessness and transition—voice it and make sure the kids that are in transition are engaging in the services. We are here to support the welfare of the children.
Board Member Richard Springwater: What is the average duration of homeless of children in your dataset?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: Roughly about 2-3 years.
Lloyd Barrel of Cameo House: is there a seminar for the families?
Salvador Lopez-Barr: The open house for the school, the parent liaison will be at the school open house to do briefings. The FYIT meeting is the 3rd Tuesday of every month; you are more than welcome to come to the meeting.
Devra Edelman of Hamilton Family Center: Who completes the form? Have you ever though about making it more universal in order to cast a wider net? Adding it to the nutrition form would increase the number of responses.
Salvador Lopez-Barr: That form can be done at Education Placement Center, it is very discreet. Having it done by all students would be overwhelming for me.
No General Public Comment