National Conference of Interest for Housing & Healthcare (H2) Communities

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National Conference of Interest for Housing & Healthcare (H2) Communities

This information is provided through HUD's Healthcare and Housing (H²) Technical Assistance initiative. Sign up for ‘ACA’ in the HUD Exchange Mailing List to receive future H² TA announcements and to track progress in your state or territory.
Taking Housing First to Scale: A special track for Executive Directors, Government Officials, Funders and other Community Leaders at the Housing First Partners Conference (HFPC) 2016 in March.

Pathways to Housing and the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) are hosting a track at the Housing First Partners Conference dedicated to "Taking Housing First to Scale." Designed for executive directors, government officials, funders, and other community leaders, this track will feature a variety of opportunities to learn how leaders in the field at the federal, state, local, and agency levels can work together to take the Housing First philosophy and model to scale.

Workshop presentations on Wednesday, March 23, and Friday, March 25, will feature leaders with demonstrated success in the field. A full-day interactive session on Thursday, March 24, will include group discussions on the most common challenges and innovative solutions to expanding Housing First at the program and systems levels. Carol Wilkins is the lead developer of the program, in collaboration with Piper Ehlen of HomeBase, Debbie Thiele of Corporation for Supportive Housing, and Donald Chamberlain of Sound Thinking. These four consultants will act as discussion facilitators and subject matter experts, as needed, to help assure that the participant-driven discussions are meaningful, inclusive, and productive.

Themes of this track include:
  • Expanding housing to meet needs across a spectrum of tenants
  • Harnessing political will to bring Housing First to scale
  • Developing sustainable financing
  • Building organizational capacity
  • Designing flexible models that meet consumers’ needs over time
  • Using Housing First as a strategy in systems transformation
HFPC 2016 will take place at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, March 22-25. Visit the conference website to learn more about HFPC 2016.

Carol Wilkins, MPP is a nationally recognized expert on integrating health care, social services, and housing assistance for persons with disabilities, with a focus on persons who experience homelessness. She conducts research and provides technical assistance to develop and support the implementation of evidence-based policy solutions for people with complex health needs and vulnerabilities. She has worked with several states to support the use of Medicaid financing and delivery systems to provide the services and support needed for homeless people with complex health needs to get and keep housing, and to reduce avoidable hospitalizations and other costs.

Piper Ehlen is the Managing Director of Federal Programs at HomeBase, a San Francisco-based, non-profit legal and technical assistance agency whose mission is to advance solutions to homelessness. She provides a variety of technical assistance and training to communities and states. Her expertise includes strategic planning processes; program design and implementation; facilitating interagency and inter-jurisdictional coordination efforts; and training on a variety of program and policy issues. She also provides direct agency capacity building support to enhance program capacity and quality of care.

Debbie Canavan Thiele is Director of National Consulting Services for the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). She leads systems integration efforts for the health care, public housing, and homeless systems to create supportive housing and has held previous senior leadership positions in multifamily lending for the Office of Housing in Seattle and in homeless housing initiatives for the King County Housing Authority. Debbie serves as Vice Chair of the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Donald Chamberlain, independent consultant and CPA, is a core member of the national technical assistance (TA) team supporting both the ‘Housing and Healthcare (H2) Initiative’ and the broader housing/healthcare capacity-building collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS). He has delivered homeless and HIV/AIDS housing TA in communities across the US and Puerto Rico, published and co-authored guides and curricula for use by HUD grantees, organized several national conferences on Housing First and HIV/AIDS housing, and led efforts to create HIV/AIDS housing and homeless needs assessments and plans in more than two dozen states.

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