Strategic Action Plan on Homelessness. Empower our state and community partners to improve their response to individuals and families experiencing homelessness

03/01/2007

Strategy 3.1    Work with states and territories to effectively implement Homeless Policy Academy Action Plans

Examples of Activities:

  • Encourage federal agencies to incorporate language into their program funding guidance that authorizes applicants to use HHS and other federal funds to create and/or support programmatic strategies that formulate an integrated safety net for poor and disabled individuals and families, where appropriate.  Language should also include a requirement that provides for the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the coordinated efforts.
  • Support state grantees to seek appropriate HHS funds to support the implementation of their Policy Academy action plans to address homelessness.
  • Support state efforts to expand Policy Academy Action Plans to address the needs of HHS clientele including homeless families and individuals at risk of homelessness, particularly youth and victims of abuse.

Strategy 3.2    Work with governors, county officials, mayors, and tribal organizations to maintain a policy focus on homelessness, including homelessness as a result of a disaster

Examples of Activities:

  • Encourage national intergovernmental organizations to hold sessions with a homelessness policy focus at their annual and/or winter meetings (e.g., U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, National Council of State Governments, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, etc.).
  • Share information with the national intergovernmental organizations that can be used in their newsletters and other communications with their members (e.g., through a homelessness clearinghouse website that provides links not only to relevant HHS programs but also to state and local activities that could serve as best practice models).

Strategy 3.3    Examine options to expand flexibility in paying for services that respond to the needs of persons with multiple problems

Examples of Activities:

  • Investigate regulatory barriers faced by grantees utilizing HHS funding that impede the ability of grantees to provide timely, comprehensive services to families and individuals experiencing homelessness.  Examine options for reducing identified regulatory barriers. 
  • Identify lessons learned from the jointly funded Chronic Homeless Initiative (CHI) pilot program which allowed for pooled funds from mainstream programs and targeted homeless programs to create a collaborative and comprehensive approach to addressing the problems of homelessness.
  • Develop and distribute a primer that will help explain what medical, behavioral health, and support services that would benefit individuals who are homeless can be reimbursed by Medicaid.

Strategy 3.4    Encourage states and localities to coordinate services and housing

Examples of Activities:

  • Encourage states and communities to establish approaches, such as partnerships, to create a coordinated, comprehensive system of services to address homelessness, including chronic homelessness.  Such approaches include establishing an infrastructure that forges systemic relationships among providers for effective client referral and treatment, more effective leveraging of fiscal and human resources, cross-system training, and increased focus on sustainability of activities.
  • Encourage applicants use of grant funds to support community infrastructure development efforts, including expenses for staff associated with partnership activities, incentive funds, and other funding mechanisms that can support infrastructure development efforts.
  • Where feasible, encourage Federal agencies to develop policy or guidance language encouraging states and communities to address the needs of their homeless residents by coordinating services and housing in a comprehensive way.

Strategy 3.5    Develop, disseminate and utilize toolkits and blueprints to strengthen outreach, enrollment, and service delivery

Examples of Activities:

  • Continue interagency collaborations between HHS program agencies to develop tools that are designed for use by both homeless service providers as well as individuals who are homeless.
  • Complete, disseminate, and promote the use of toolkits developed by agencies (e.g., SAMHSAs Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #42 Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders, Assertive Community Treatment and Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment, and Permanent Supportive Housing.

Strategy 3.6    Provide training and technical assistance on homelessness, including chronic homelessness, to mainstream service providers at the state and community level

Examples of Activities:

  • Continue to maintain jointly-funded collaborations to support state and community partners to implement their homeless Policy Academy action plans (e.g., SOAR Training Initiative, jointly funded HRSA Policy Academy contract, jointly funded SAMHSA Policy Academy Technical Assistance contract, jointly funded ACF Homeless Families Policy Academies).
  • Utilize national meetings of HHS grantees to highlight promising practices and other information to help states implement their action plans through workshops, discussion sessions and transfer peer-to-peer learning to mainstream providers.

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