Friday, November 21, 2014

Delaware and Dallas

This last weekend I was in Dover, Delaware, and I took the opportunity to meet with Ted Garrison, who works for the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPCD). We met at the Smyrna Diner, a legendary institution and landmark in Delaware. Ted comes from the world of business analytics, primarily in the area of banking. He has served as the leader of HPCD's HMIS team for about a year and a half now, and very ably led the agency as acting executive director this summer. His no-nonsense out of the box thinking has served HPCD really well.

As a reader of this blog, you already know that every community in the country must have a CoC lead agency and an HMIS operator. In the Dallas area, MDHA serves in both of these functions. Texas has another ten communities (one such "community" is all areas outside of the metropolitan areas grouped together as one), some where one body fulfills both of these functions, and some where these responsibilities are divided between two organizations. In both models the body fulfilling it may be a government agency, of may be an independent non-profit.

Of course, Delaware is a much smaller state, and so HPCD serves the entire state. Aside from that, it is very similar to MDHA, as it serves in both of the above needed functions, and is an independent non-profit agency. The main difference between MDHA and HPCD, aside from the fact that we serve two counties of a state, and they serve an entire state, is our funding models.

MDHA is funded through a small amount of federal funding, fees paid by the agencies it serves (usually a tiny percentage of their federal grants), and contributions. Very recently, local governments have begun to fund us too. Even with the latter, philanthropy remains an essential part of our income.

HPCD does not rely at all on contributed income, and charges the agencies it serves minimal flat fees. They are able to do this since, in addition to the small amount of federal funding they receive, they receive state government and local government funding that makes up the difference.

To learn more about HPCD, check out their website:

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