Coalition Staff Shares Its Thoughts on National Conference

Aug 09, 2018  |  at 2:36 pm  |  by sbrown

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The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) held its annual National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C. this July. Those attending the conference include funders, researchers, homeless advocates, state and local government leaders, and members of our very own Coalition staff. The conference hosts a variety of workshops where attendees can make their own agenda based on their interests, from learning best practices to sharing ideas and creating valuable relationships with new contacts. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with policymakers on the last day of the conference, known as Capitol Hill Day.

When asked about their own personal experiences at the conference, this is what members of our staff had to say:

“I thought Capitol Hill Day was a huge success. It was great getting to meet Beto O’Rourke. Cory Booker was a lively and inspirational speaker during the plenary. I really liked the session that discussed upcoming changes to the LSA [Longitudinal System Analysis] which will be the new reporting tool replacing the AHAR [Annual Homelessness Assessment Report].” – Ana Rausch, Senior Research Project Manager

“It was a great week of learning more about the thought process behind some changes HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] is implementing. It’s always an enlightening experience, mostly seeing where we are compared to other communities in the nation. Most notably, it’s always an intriguing session during the NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) season where we hear firsthand the intention behind some of the changes implemented. I was interested in learning more about the Joint TH-PH/RRH Program Component, and the panel discussing the challenges and benefits to this program was certainly thought provoking on ways we could implement a similar program for our own CoC.” – Concetta Scerbo, Project Manager

“I enjoyed the audience feedback during the sessions in which I presented and was honored to have been asked to be part of a lunch plenary panel on family RRH [Rapid Re-housing]. The day after the conference, I welcomed the opportunity to delve deeper into the topic of racial equity in our system planning process during the A Way Home America (national initiative to prevent and end youth homelessness) Steering Committee day-long meeting.” – Eva Thibaudeau, Vice President of Programs

“I had a great dinner with Connections Project Team and Heartland Alliance. I was able to present with Eva in a lively, well-attended session on collaborating with the public workforce. I also thought we had a Fantastic Capitol Hill Day with three face-to-face visits including U.S. Representatives Al Green and Pete Olson, and U.S. Representative and 2018 Senate Candidate, Beto O’Rourke.” – Gary Grier, Senior Project Manager

“I had some great conversations with providers about what their RRH programs are like and how they structure them. I also had the opportunity to meet Beto O’Rourke, which was an awesome experience for me. After hearing about how providers [across the U.S.] struggle with their housing authorities, it reminded me how lucky we are to have a housing authority that is so bought into our homeless system. On the other hand, I heard from a few communities that are excelling in areas where we are struggling- like with increasing income, shared housing, collaboration with other mainstream services, and that gave me valuable insight.” – James Gonzalez, Project Manager

“The Conference provided a diversity of choices in their workshops for “best practices” that gave me a lot of invaluable information and great contacts for resources for the work I am doing as a Regional Project Manager. One of my personal highlights was hearing Cory Booker speak these challenging words: “Ending homelessness is not some crazy dream. We have the tools and capacity to end homelessness in America. It’s not a matter of can we. It’s a matter of do we have the collective will.” – Nancy Heintz, Project Manager for Montgomery County

“The 2018 National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, DC was only my second NAEH conference. I continue to be impressed with the conference, both in the number and variety of sessions and workshops that are offered and its ability to bring together people from all over the United States – and the world! – who are all working toward the same goal: ending homelessness. It’s inspiring to know that there are so many of us out there, and so beneficial to be able to learn from one another. I was also delighted to be able to participate in Capitol Hill Day activities. Our face-to-face meeting with Representative Beto O’Rourke was amazing. As someone who is personally very politically active, the ability to communicate directly with elected representatives about The Way Home’s successes and how they can ensure that our valuable work continues was incredibly powerful.” – Sara Brown, Senior Manager of External Affairs and Special Projects