Friday, May 22, 2015

The State of the Homeless Address

On Tuesday evening, May 19, 2015, MDHA held a VIP reception on the eve of the State of the Homeless Address. About 60 MDHA board members and staff, city and county elected and appointed officials, foundation and non-profit agency leaders, and MDHA Champions, were treated to a preview of the State of the Homeless Address in the Pecan Room at Old Parkland, courtesy of the Dallas Foundation. On Wednesday morning, May 20, 2015, MDHA held the State of the Homeless Address, under the auspices of the Dallas area Continuum of Care. More than 110 professionals, volunteers, consumers and concerned citizens gathered to take part in this important conversation, at Goodwill Industries.

In both sessions, Cindy J. Crain, President and CEO of MDHA, walked the assembled through key results of the 2015 Point-In-Time Homeless Count, conducted in late January. She spoke about how all people of good will working to end homelessness needed to band together into a true homelessness response system. She elaborated on the demand for housing (showcased through the Count), the supply of housing, the needs highlighted by consumers and the gaps shown through a survey of providers.

Cindy J. Crain, MDHA President and CEO
Courtesy of Rose Baca, Dallas Morning News

Cindy discussed the detailed the strategic work plan that MDHA will use to guide its work, and highlighted four “Big Needs” as paramount moving forward:

1) Single open Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) – We can’t know anything meaningful about the true nature of homelessness if we don’t have unsheltered and emergency sheltered data in the system;

2) Quality training for case managers;

3) Flexible “Fund of Last Resort” – This fund would pay for the “little things” that help people self-resolve their homelessness, such as critical documents, bus passes, certification exams, food handlers licenses, security deposits, car repairs, mattresses and more;

4) Coordinated Assessment/Access System – This system would divert those who do not need housing and can self-resolve, and it would be integrated into the HMIS system, include standardized assessment, client prioritization and placement into housing expeditiously.

For the full Power Point presentation of Cindy’s address, click here: SOHA Presentation 5-20-2015

For the second draft of the CoC strategic work plan, distributed at the address, click here: CoCSP 2015-2016 DRAFT V2 Final

For a Dallas Morning News piece on the State of the Homeless Address click here:

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