SSVF Region Update from Adrienne: Please Read-Very Important

Hi Team,

I imagine that your may just be reaching this email today. I know that you receive a high volume, and I am really, really sorry for adding to it. I need your help. Please, please cc Lisa if you are emailing me. I want to make sure that we don't lose any emails during the transition. However, if she isn't included and it just goes to me, there may be a very high chance that you won't receive a response right away. Please also help with including information like your grant number etc.

I hope that you are doing extremely well. I am going to ask for your help in reading through this email very carefullyJ First, I wanted to thank you for all of your work. I know that there are many responsibilities with SSVF, and I truly appreciate your dedication. Second, I wanted to commend you on your work with community planning. In our region alone, we have had 8 communities and 2 states receive federal recognition for meeting the Benchmarks and Criteria, and two additional cities that have ended chronic homelessness among Veterans. This is 12 of the 25 national confirmations which is incredible!!!! I know that many of the communities that you serve are making great progress, and I am so so proud of you for your work and leadership. I think you are all amazing, and from the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate your help.

With that being said, I wanted to highlight a few items and ask for your help.

·         Maternity Leave
o   My husband and I are expecting our first child this weekend. This is a little bit earlier than we anticipated so my sincere apologies for the short notice. My leave will officially start on 5/2, and I'll be back in early July.
o   During the time I am on leave, Lisa Mayes from our office will be providing coverage. You will be in good hands.
o   Lisa's email address is
o   She will be listed as the primary contact on my out of office message.
o   Lisa is excellent and will be able to triage day to day questions to the appropriate staff like Lindsay for Program Changes or Bobby for the Rapid Re-housing Waiver as well as support with community planning.
o   If you have questions before Friday, please email me and cc Lisa so that we can do a warm hand off if anything is still in process.

·         Where I Need Your Help            
o   When you send emails, I really need your help in making sure that the following is included in the subject of the email:
§  Grant Number
§  Grant Name
§  Specific Topic or Need
o   This will help Lisa to identify who you are and how to best support you.
o   If an email doesn't have your grant name and number, Lisa will ask you to resend the information.
o   Lastly, if you are a new Program Manager or new staff, please let Lisa know in the body of the email. Again, this will help us to get you the best support when you ask questions or need assistance.

·         Strategy/Planning in Advance
o   As you focus on May and June, I really want you to focus on 2 things.
§  1. Financial Strategy and Program Strategy
·         I strongly encourage you to use the next few weeks to assess where you are at in terms of your finances and program strategy.
o   Are you on target with your households and where you anticipated that you would be by this time (2nd month of 3rd quarter)?
o   If not, what do you need to do to get back on target? Do you need any help? Is it something to discuss during community planning? Remember that we are not only looking at your household targets as a program but also as a team serving a community. If the team is reaching the goal to end Veteran homelessness, and this causes a slight reduction in number of households served, it is okay. It just needs to be clearly documented.
o   Are you at the appropriate expenditure rate for the time period?
o   Are you at the appropriate draw down rate in HHS PMS? Do your draw downs reflect your expenditure rate?
o   Will you need a program change to get back on target?
·         Especially with finances, I want you to think about progressive financial strategy. Use this next round of program changes to put yourself in a good position, and then if you do need a program change in September, it should really be just a slight tweak (not an overhaul) to help you finish out the year.
·         Important Dates: Program Changes due 6/1. The requirement closes on this date, and no late submissions will be accepted so please plan ahead. If your submission is incorrect, it will be denied, no questions asked. Therefore, If you want to brainstorm or have questions about Program Changes, please get your questions into Lisa by 5/23 so that there is time to get you feedback or support prior to the deadline.
§  2. Community Planning
·         As we discussed on our regional call, guidance will be released next week which will give you time to coordinate with the other grantees serving the area, the CoC, and VAMC so that the update accurately reflects a community submission, not just SSVF.  Updates will be due on 6/3.

·         Calendar
o   Repository Upload Due (April)                                   5/04/16
o   Office Hours                                                                       5/18/16 from 1:30pm-3:00pm EST
o   National Webinar                                                             5/19/16 from 2pm-3:30pm EST
o   RRH Waiver Submission Deadline                             5/31/16
o   Q3 Program Change Deadline                                     6/01/16
o   Repository Upload Due (May)                                    6/03/16
o   Community Planning Update Due                            6/03/16
o   Office Hours                                                                       6/15/16 from 1:30pm-3:00pm EST
o   National Webinar                                                             6/16/16 from 2pm-3:30pm EST
o   Summer 2016 Regional Meetings                              Locations/Dates TBD
                                                                              *Calendar Subject to Change*

Thanks so much!

Adrienne Nash Melendez, MLD
Regional Coordinator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Please note new email address: