Archive for June, 2012
Last week, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hosted the 15th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference in Washington, DC. This conference provides welfare and poverty researchers, state and local administrators, practitioners, and Federal officials to meet and discuss research, programs, and policies that impact welfare and related programs.
This year, the conference featured tracks on TANF, education and the labor market, child and youth well-being, fatherhood, evaluation of social programs, and alleviating poverty and strengthening the safety net. While a number of the sessions at the conference had implications for homeless families, individuals, and youth, there was a session specifically dedicated to the role that TANF and other human services programs play in ending family homelessness.
The session was moderator by the Alliance’s own Sharon McDonald, Director of Families and Youth, and featured:
- Dennis Culhane of the University of Pennsylvania who provided an overview of his widely accepted typology of homeless families and discussed the important role that short- and medium-term rent assistance in ending homelessness for a large proportion of homeless families;
- Frank Cirillo of the Mercer County Board of Social Services in New Jersey who discussed the successful efforts in Mercer County to fund rapid re-housing for families using TANF funds; and
- Alvaro Cortes from Abt Associates who provided a broad overview of findings from a study that looked at how communities are linking housing supports with social services.
A detailed agenda of the conference is available and electronic copies of powerpoint presentations from the above workshop as well as from other workshops from the conference are available upon request via email.
Spring is always a busy time at the Alliance – with Congress busy up on the Hill and our conference planning well underway – and this month was no different!
This May definitely had a theme – Rapid Re-Housing! The Alliance hosted (with sponsorship from Sen. Murray) a congressional briefing on the importance of rapid re-housing in ending family homelessness. We had speakers from across the country discuss the successes they’re having with rapid re-housing in ending homelessness for veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and families. For more information on the briefing, check out the website or our recap blog.
As a follow up to the briefing, the Alliance released a short brief highlighting communities that are doing great things using rapid re-housing to assist families in their systems. We got a great response from all of you when we put out a call for data (thank you!), so we decided to put that information into an interactive map to track which communities are having successes and what they’re doing. To be included in the map, email Sharon, our resident rapid re-housing expert.
But that’s not it! The Capacity Building Team has launched a rapid re-housing five-part module series. Each one is a 10-15 minute primer on best practices around rapid re-housing and how you can recreate these successes.
We’ve been active beyond rapid re-housing, of course. We were involved in two other congressional briefings: one, featuring Cyndi Lauper, focusing on homeless and runaway LGBTQ youth (see the recap blog here); the second, sponsored by the Homeless Veterans Advocacy Group, of which the Alliance is a part, on successful models for ending veteran homelessness (see the recap blog here).
We’ve also begun in earnest planning the Alliance’s Capitol Hill Day, which includes recruiting State Captains, assessing congressional targets, and creating lots of materials to help participants better inform their Members of Congress about key issues relating to preventing and ending homelessness. If you’re interested in participating in Capitol Hill Day or being a State Captain, just let me know! Capitol Hill Day is, of course, held in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, which is right around the corner! Registration is hitting record levels and we’re all very excited (and busy, very busy).
Finally, in addition to their rapid re-housing modules and travel all across the country on a regular basis, the CAP team relaunched their Performance Improvement Clinics. If your community is interested in receiving customized help from our CAP team – check them out!
And as they say in the business – that’s a wrap!
Image courtesy of J. Star.