The National Alliance on Ending Homelessness (NAEH) held its 2016 National Conference on Ending Homelessness from July 25-29 in Washington, DC. The conference brings together homeless service staff members and formerly homeless individuals from all over the United States to network and hear from experts and colleagues about best practices and proven strategies to prevent and end homelessness. This year, three staff members from the Coalition from the Homeless presented to conference attendees on topics where Houston is leading the nation.
The Coalition for the Homeless serves as lead agency to The Way Home, the collaborative model to prevent and end homelessness in Houston, Pasadena, Conroe; and Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties. As such, Coalition staff members lead The Way Home’s workgroups, submit the annual collaborative application for federal Continuum of Care (CoC) funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and work with more than 100 local agencies and countless staff to implement changes that will solve homelessness. As leaders within The Way Home, Coalition staff were well-positioned to present the groundbreaking change underway in Houston.
Gary Grier (Project Manager) presented at the conference for the second year in a row. Titled “Forging and Enhancing Partnerships between the CoC and Local Workforce Board,” this presentation highlighted Houston’s innovative “Income Now” initiative – a multi-agency collaboration that has connected The Way Home’s homeless response system to our local public workforce system, Workforce Solutions. Income Now quickly connects homeless individuals with income to help them secure and maintain housing. Though still in its early stages, Income Now has already made major strides. Click here to read more about a recent Income Now job fair that resulted in on-the-spot hiring!
Ana Rausch (Coordinated Access Project Manager) presented “A Discussion on Using HMIS to Prioritize People for Housing.” This was Ana’s first time presenting at the conference and she focused on how Houston is successfully using its Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to make sure that the most vulnerable homeless individuals have priority access to available permanent housing. Ana said, “I was excited to share the great work that our partners are doing in Houston. It was an incredible experience!”
Eva Thibaudeau (Director of Programs) is no stranger to presenting at the NAEH national conference as this year’s discussion on new work underway in Houston marked her 6th presentation! “Coordinating System Responses to End Youth Homelessness” highlighted the system-level responses that The Way Home partners are working on to prevent and end youth homelessness. The Way Home held a Community Conversation on Youth/Young Adult homelessness last September, which resulted in a strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.
For more information on the NAEH National Conference on Ending Homelessness, and to view available presentations, click here.