Edd Eason, CoC Chair
The most recent HUD CoC grant cycle proved to be a challenge for many communities around the country, as it came with a new set of funding guidelines and corresponding scoring system. The MDHA team responded by carefully educating its grantees, and creating a highly transparent and responsive local grant competition process, to maximize the scoring of each program, and the CoC as a whole. With the help of a reinvigorated Independent Review Committee, the CoC Assembly leadership and the MDHA Board of Directors, Crain and her team were able to submit a strong CoC grant application, which will hopefully lead to over $18 million for high performing programs in the local CoC.
They developed an innovative partnership with PCCI, a nationally recognized leader in creating information systems that connect community based organizations with healthcare organizations to create an integrated community wide system of care. Together, MDHA and PCCI are creating a new HMIS, customized to the needs of the
represents the first known instance that an HMIS is being built, from the
ground up, tailored to the needs of a community. Dallas
The MDHA team developed another critical partnership, with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD), and succeeded in receiving MDHA’s first ever United Way funding. With this funding they launched the MDHA Flex Fund. This fund pays for minor but impactful expenses that can help individuals resolve their homelessness. This program has been up and running since August 2015, and has already been of great assistance to clients. As these client needs cannot be paid for with federal funding, MDHA will continue to meet this ongoing need through
United Way and
other non-government funding sources.
Daniel Roby at
For the annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count, an annual federal requirement, they marshaled a veritable army of roughly 600 volunteers in
alone, armed with GIS mapping software generated routes to count and survey the
unsheltered homeless. Volunteers were able to conduct Dallas ’ most comprehensive census of these
individuals to date. Dallas
Crain and her team instituted new learning, training and development opportunities to enhance the knowledge and performance of homeless provider professionals, including a monthly case worker round table, and a series of “Hard Conversations” on critical issues in the homelessness arena. Crucially, the team engaged internationally renowned expert on ending homelessness, Dr. Iain De Jong, to come to
for three separate visits and train
numerous practitioners, program managers, agency executives and policy makers
on best practices in building all of the components necessary for an effective
homeless response system. Dallas
As this is being written in March 2016, the work of the backbone organization has anything but let up. MDHA’s leadership in continuing to build
homeless response system is being sought at every level, from front line case
workers to the Mayor’s office, from program managers to state level officials,
from local service provider CEOs to HUD personnel in the nation’s capital. Dallas
In the next few blog posts, we will elaborate specifically on what is at the heart of every effective homeless response system, a Coordinated Access System, or CAS, and how our iteration of CAS is shaping up, as we speak. It is going to be a true game changer.