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January 10, 2011

Policy/Legislation Committee - January 10, 2011
San Francisco Local Homeless Coordinating Board
Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes
January 10, 2011


I. Introduction
Co- Chair of the Policy Committee, Wendy Phillips started the meeting and thanked everyone for coming.

II. Housing Access
A) Background
This is the first of three meetings that the policy committee will be hosting. The purpose of the meeting will be to gather information about what the current housing access system exists of in San Francisco. Housing providers, city departments, and community stakeholders were asked to attend this meeting and share information.

The issue of how homeless people access housing in San Francisco comes up frequently at LHCB meetings. The Board decided that holding meetings on this topic was one of their top priorities for 2011.

B) Timeline
The second meeting will be held in February and discuss the gaps in the current access system. The third meeting will be in March and discuss solutions and recommendations for improving the system. Recommendations will then be sent to the Full LHCB for discussion and finally shared with relevant stakeholders and decision makers.

C) Information Exploration:
During this portion of the meeting the participants, including city agencies, non profit housing providers, and other community members shared information about housing they provide, who it is for, and how it is accessed. A chart with this information is available.

There are various sources of funding- local, state, and federal that fund housing for homeless people in San Francisco. Some housing serves special populations, such as those receiving general assistance, those with disabilities, families, etc. There is also certain criterion for eligibility at each housing site. Avenues to access housing vary for each provider.

Information presented in the attached chart. This chart represents a draft of information gathered during the meeting and will serve as a working document throughout the remainder of the committee meetings.

In addition to the notes in the chart, this information was shared:
Family placements to shelter and other various programs run through the connecting point centralized intake process. Family shelter case managers also assist with housing placements.

Homeless Service Providers Network sends out a monthly list of housing opportunities. It was noted that one person, Gloria Possey, cerates and compiles this list.

City departments, such as the Mayors Office on Housing and the Redevelopment Agency also send out housing opportunities to their community providers.

III. General Public Comment

Additional Comments made:
Project Homeless Connect plays a role in housing placement along with the homeless outreach team and the SF START team (shelter case management) and they should be present at these meetings.

There is a gap in the housing placement system for people who do not receive general assistance or SSI.

The role of the San Francisco Housing Authority should be addressed.

At future meetings it is important to address how funding sources and the restrictions that come with those funds create barriers to accessing housing.

How do case mangers at shelters share information? And are people being appropriately screened for the best housing for them?

It would be good to look at the information and recommendations created during the family redesign process. Also the family shelter referral system, which has a centralized intake, is a good model to follow.

Pay attention to the need for housing for undocumented persons.
Need for more case managers in shelters to assist clients with accessing housing and navigating the housing system.

What happens to community agencies that are not referral sites for housing, how do they assist their clients? Or homeless people who do not use shelter, how do they access housing?

The issue of long wait lists and how to keep people on those waitlists engaged should be addressed.

It was noted that the issues raised, particularly about the gaps and needs in the system will be talked about at the next committee meeting.

IV. Adjournment


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