July 2018 Members eNewsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
July 2018
2018 NCHV Annual Conference Presentations Available Online
Check Annual Conference page for updates 
Thank you to all who attended the 2018 NCHV Annual Conference! If you couldn't make it or were there and want to review the presentations at home, we have now posted links to most of the 2018 presentations on our website. These presentations covered topics such as employment, housing security, systems coordination, new research, and more. They are a great resource for service providers and other stakeholders.
View 2018 NCHV Annual Conference presentation materials by clicking here.
Hill Watch: Appropriations Process Moves on to 2019
Much-needed increases in SSVF proposed
If you attended the Public Policy Session at the NCHV Annual Conference, or attended any NCHV policy event in the last year or two, you will have heard NCHV's Policy Director talking about the need for increased Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) funding. In 2017, the field lost $207 million worth of SSVF funding from a "surge" of three-year grants that were awarded in 2015. This money came from 56 high-need communities across the country that were using this money to rapidly re-house or prevent the homelessness of tens of thousands of veterans annually.
Recently, in funding bills for Fiscal Year 2019, Congress has stepped up to the plate to restore these funds. A bill containing the VA funding proposals passed the House of Representatives on Jun. 8, becoming the first appropriation bill to make it across the Capitol dome to the Senate. In that bill, the House proposed that most VA Homeless Programs be flat-funded (neither cut nor increased).
On the Senate side however, the news is significantly better. The Senate also proposed that most VA Homeless Programs be flat-funded, with two notable exceptions. The Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program was slated for a $5 million increase over last year's funding level, and the Senate proposed the SSVF program be increased by $110 million over last year's funding level.
If the Senate numbers are enacted, this increase to the SSVF program would bring the total funding for the year up to $450 million. This number is enough to replace the annual cost of the lost 2015 "surge" grant money. NCHV applauds Congress, and in particular the Senate Committee on Appropriations, for their work on the VA budget. NCHV firmly supports the Senate bill and its attendant funding increases. Most recently, the two competing bills have been entered into a conference committee between the two houses of Congress. Conferees were appointed on July 11.
Finally, Section 520 of the bill includes language that would ensure that money which Congress has appropriated for homeless programs in FY 2019 may not be moved away from them by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This includes, significantly, the HUD-VASH program. In essence, this provision provides another protection for the HUD-VASH program – in the coming fiscal year – against any attempts that VA may wish to make to re-designate this funding as "general purpose" funding.
Other good news can be found in the work of the subcommittees devoted to the department Housing and Urban Development; both the House and Senate bills include $40 million for new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, despite the President's Budget Request not including new vouchers for the third year in a row. Furthermore, both House and Senate bills include a full $3.6 million appropriation for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), a critical and irreplaceable partner in the effort to prevent and end veteran homelessness. There has been some worry that the USICH would be defunded as a cost-saving measure proposed by the Administration; these two bills ensure the USICH will be strong and effective in FY 2019. Though the two HUD bills have not yet advanced as far as some of the work on the VA side, NCHV projects that these two numbers are likely to be in the final product.
The House and Senate have recently firmed up their proposals for the Department of Labor and its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP), and the news is very good. Despite a low-ball request in the President's Budget of $44.69 million both the House and Senate proposals have requested the full authorization level of $50 million. Like the HUD-VASH funding described above, there are no guarantees – but it is very likely that at the end of the process, this $50 million proposal will bet the end result of negotiations. In addition, the House version incorporates into its language a provision that would allow formerly homeless veterans who have been housed in the last 60 days to access HVRP services. NCHV has been working on this long standing issue with definitional restrictions for a while, and highly encourages the conference committee for the Labor/HHS/Education appropriation bill to adopt the House language. 
Please stay tuned to NCHV updates for more information as we learn it.
Suicide Prevention Training Now Available
Presented by VA and PsychArmor Institute 
PsychArmor is a national nonprofit organization that aims to help veterans and those who interact with veterans - family members, friends, and care givers. They recently launched (in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs) a free online suicide prevention video called "SAVE." The purpose of this video is to help people that interact with veterans with the tools to help support a veteran who may be in crisis. 
The 25 minute course can be accessed by clicking this link.
Webinar on FY19 Funding Outlook for Affordable Housing Programs 
Presented by the National Low Income Housing Coalition on Aug. 6 at 2:00 p.m.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) will discuss the current status and outlook for the FY19 funding process and how advocates can effectively communicate with policymakers and the public about the need for increased federal investments in proven affordable housing and community development programs. 
The webinar will be held on Aug. 6 at 2:00 pm ET. To register, click here.
Study on Extending Diversion to Help Reduce Homelessness
Released by the Building Changes Organization 
Building Changes has been working in the state of Washington since 2014 studying the effects of the diversion method and how it can help homeless families. The reults that they have found are compelling. By employing diversion, nearly half of the families studied were able to find safe housing quickly and the majority did not return to homelessness within a year. 
Diversion is a strengths-based process that works to engage families and encourage them to find their own resources and housing based on what they have available to them. Through a series of steps, the family develops their own plan for resolving their homelessness. They are then matched with the right level of assistance for their situation. 
Diversion is cost effective, fast-paced, and easier on families. To read more about diversion click here. 
To access a case study from Building Changes, click here. 
Unique Housing Needs of Individuals with Criminal Justice Histories Webinar
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EDT
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Homeless and Housing Resource Network (HHRN) is hosting the upcoming webinar Unique Housing Needs of Individuals with Criminal Justice Histories to provide insights into client service strategies from someone who has walked in their shoes.
Individuals returning to the community from jail or prison must overcome significant barriers in obtaining and maintaining housing in the community. The final webinar of the People with Lived Experience Spotlight Series will discuss strategies for stable housing. The webinar features peers with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system identifying what strategies and supports were most helpful to them in their efforts to obtain permanent and affordable housing.
Funding Opportunities
Lilly Endowment offers grants in the areas of community development, education, and religion. Previous grants have ranged from $5,000 to $1.5 million. The Endowment prioritizes organizations in Indiana, but there are no set geographic restrictions. Applications are accepted year-round. For more information, click here. 
The Polk Brothers Foundation offers grants for workforce development, housing, community based programs, and more. Their grants are focused in Chicago, IL and the surrounding areas. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year. For more information, click here. 
VNA Foundation offers grants for the promotion of health and health care services. Grants are limited to Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Will, Kane, and Chicago counties in Illinois. The Foundation gives priority to organizations in Chicago. Grant applications are reviewed quarterly, and the next deadline for applications is Oct. 25, 2018. Applications must be preceded by a letter of intent which are also accepted quarterly. For more information, click here.